Shop floor automation is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry. At the same time, Business Process Automation can be extended beyond the factory floor to automate nearly half of the mundane, mid-office knowledge work that can be performed at a desk. It enables more connected and compliant manufacturing processes to increase productivity, superior customer service, and quality, improve employee morale, and reduce operational costs and time. This digital manufacturing is imperative to stay competitive in the industry that is facing industry 4.0 disruption, globalization, and rising customer expectations.
Automating following 8 processes can help your organization enhance operational efficiency and increase customer experience in the coming years and beyond.
Traditionally managed suppliers and materials management can drain you due to its manual and ad-hoc processes throughout various supplier portals, Vendor Management Systems (VMS), documents, internal systems of records, and email communications. You can streamline different procurement subprocesses, such as purchase requisition, purchase order, invoice management, vendor management, and contract approval using procurement automation tools.
An automated process can help you cut down the time of purchase requisition approval, enable timely payments and compliance, streamline vendor selection, and elevate vendor relationships, organize contract information for quick retrieval. Further, it offers consistency, accuracy, and transparency with cost savings.
- Logistics & Supply Chain
Distribution and logistics process automation helps to simplify and shorten the document workflows in this process domain. Some of the examples can be order instruction, carrier bidding, packing slips, invoices, proof of delivery, shipment tracking, and more. It offers complete visibility into the quantity on hand in the warehouse, facilitates real-time monitoring, and helps you efficiently manage products stored at different locations. It assists you to achieve cost efficiency with real-time access to freight data and transportation mode choices and enhances customer experience with reduced delivery time.
- Sales & Order Processing
Sales Order Automation helps businesses save time, increase profits, and improve customer satisfaction by taking care of a significant portion of the ordering process. It eliminates manual consolidation of information about order placement, tracking, fulfillment, and delivery from scattered sources and offers substantial savings on time and efforts minimizing errors and maximizing accuracy. The system not only provides order processing from anywhere with real-time visibility into sales and order status but also can handle pricing calculations, address parsing, payment processing, and adaption of any order changes along the way.
- Customer Service
Today’s customers want to be informed throughout the process of manufacturing and delivering the aspired product through a single channel and expect answers and deliveries faster than ever. No matter how many departments and people are involved during the product creation and delivery, customer service automation helps you keep your customers informed throughout the journey. Bots are capable of helping you automate workflows and implement self-service.
Customer service automation can also help you classify the issues intelligently without human intervention, and provide responses with correct information using integrated account histories. It enables routing them to the respective bots or agents based on their urgency and customer status (e.g., high-value customers, etc.), facilitating resolve customer problems quickly with orchestrated human and bots collaboration. It helps you win customer satisfaction by providing proactive customer support.
Manufacturers have to follow many stringent regulations and compliance, and the list increases manifold for businesses that operate beyond geographical boundaries. By standardizing and automating compliance processes, you can be sure of using the correct version of the information. Compliance workflows provide you with enhanced accuracy, productivity, and adherence to corporate compliance initiatives, quality, and audits by enabling access to secure standard operating procedures and inspection reports.
Production process automation helps you streamline all the stages during production. From quality testing and fulfillment to inspection documents, approval documents, and manuals, contractor management, and ensuring plant safety, it helps avoid bottlenecks between employees and physical stalls in production. Further, it facilitates the monitoring of various IoT devices and sensors, data collection, and analysis. It enhances quality and efficiency through real-time visibility, AI-assisted decision making, analytics, reporting, and communication.
- HR, Operations, and Finance
Automating processes for Operations, HR, and Finance ensures quality recruitment, compensation management, Human Capital Management (HCM) tool integration, benefits administration, performance appraisal, labor relations, and compliance management. These automated rule-driven, fast-paced operations offer a significant competitive advantage to the manufacturers in today’s fierce market space.
- Research & Development
Product innovation and improvement demand substantial documentation and inter-departmental communication and orchestration that is subject to create bottlenecks, if not implemented efficiently. Automation tools help standardize, streamline and seamlessly connect various processes, including data tracking, project management, document processing, conversion, and template filling, to expedite engineering change orders, fewer errors, quicker time to market, and enhanced efficiencies.
With the size of $ 11.8 billion in 2019, the global manufacturing execution system market is expected to grow to $ 23.0 billion in 2024 at a CAGR of 14.3%. Business automation is the need of time for the manufacturing industry. It helps businesses lower costs, reduce time-to-market, and enhance productivity and efficiency without compromising quality and compliance aspects.
With its decade of experience and expertise in providing customized automation solutions to the manufacturing domain, WaferWire Cloud Technologies can help you explore and implement the best-fitting automation solution for your business. Get in touch today, and we will be happy to help.