Last week we held our annual Visibility Customer Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Not only was it one of the most fun filled and memorable conferences we've had, but we are pleased to say that this was one of our largest attendances in years.
Business Process Automation is the practice of analyzing, documenting, optimizing and automating business processes. The business process is the flow of information, modified by value-added tasks, that begins with the first contact with a prospective client and continues through delivery of a finished product. Well-developed business processes can create a seamless link from initial client interface through the supply chain. Automation of those processes improves the accuracy of the information transferred and ensures the repeatability of the value-added tasks performed.
The decision to invest in Business Process Automation is significant and often part of a project-based manufacturer's lean initiative. Engineer-to-order companies must consider the value of significantly reducing bidding, engineering and manufacturing cycle times, reducing product rework, and improving customer service and internal communication. There is additional value to the clients of engineer-to-order manufacturers when their product is designed precisely to meet customer requirements and is achieved with high quality and delivered on time and within budget.
Company’s Challenges Before Implementing Business Intelligence
A $30 million manufacturing enterprise customer providing systems and components to the telecommunications industry was struggling with analyzing its own effectiveness as a business. The Company, through the implementation of key performance indicators (KPI’s), wanted to be able to measure its cash management and margins in two product areas. Specifically, the Company was interested in low-volume and engineering-intensive project orders and high-volume, repetitive sales. The Company faced numerous challenges:
Topics: Business Intelligence
Many manufacturers are public companies, and even more manufacturers are private companies that may one day be acquired by a public company. For some mid-market manufacturers in particular, the ultimate goal may be acquisition by a larger public company. All of these companies should be aware of and mindful of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and ensure that their ERP software solution includes built in tools to ensure compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley. In fact, all manufacturers should consider implementing procedures to ensure their compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley in order to meet industry standards regarding best practices.
Individual business processes including management controls are subject to a Sarbanes-Oxley compliance audit. When it comes to Sarbanes-Oxley, ERP software is a tool which, when effectively combined with appropriate procedures specific to an organization, can deliver the necessary management controls to pass Sarbanes-Oxley muster.
One struggle facing any business is how to maximize efficiency in transactions involving multiple employees. After all, most businesses aren’t one person shops. Often times, approvals are needed at various levels in the organization in order for a transaction to take place.
In the manufacturing context, purchaser Paul may need supervisor Sally’s approval for the purchasing of parts exceeding a certain dollar amount. The problem is that the Sally may be busy on the shop floor, in a meeting, or on vacation in Cabo. The customer isn’t going to be happy if they don’t receive their order on time because Sally was on the beach enjoying a piña colada and an expensive part didn’t get ordered because she didn’t approve it.