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3 Ways Supply Chain Automation Helps You Maintain Superior Customer Service During a Merger and Acquisition

Posted by OmPrompt on 03 November 2017

The news of an imminent M & A event for your organisation is an anxious time for those involved in the operational or administrative side of the business – like customer service. 

The immediate and sudden expansion of your organisation after a merger or acquisition is likely to mean a corresponding, sudden jump in your departments workload. Even if you are trying to collaborate with your new colleagues, unfamiliar processes, communication issues and system incompatibilities may hinder your efforts, reducing your departmental efficiency and creating errors within your ERP.  

All of this will work against you and compound the biggest threat in any takeover activity  the threat to your department. 

Order entry errors, a backlog of paperwork and customer-related issues all paint your department in a negative light  just when youre under the most scrutiny. Immediately after the merger or acquisition, the new management will want to make sweeping, strategic level changes across the organisation that have immediate impact. The fact that its the M & A itself that has caused many of the issues in your department, may not be a strong enough defence 

Therefore, to avoid a scenario where your departments very necessity is being questioned, you need to approach the M & A well-prepared.  

Automation: Your First Line of Defence for Change 

Youll be in a much stronger position to withstand organisational levels of change if your department is working at maximum efficiency, and adding tangible value to your organisation before  and after  the event. Heres how automation allows you to do just that:  

  1. All document processing, like sales order entry, can be automated to instantly remove time-consuming, manual tasks from your team. With fewer errors ending up in your ERP data  and more time for value add tasks, such as cross and up-selling  your department will be more efficient and more valuable to the organisation. And, youll be able to manage sudden increases in order quantities, without any detrimental effects.   
  2. With automation, you can more easily optimise your container allocation, allowing you to deliver your products in the most efficient configuration. Even with significantly more products shipping than your department has dealt with before, automation vastly reduces the likelihood of error, as shipments can be cross-checked and validated against accurate master data. 
  3. Greater visibility and control. The further you go with automation, the greater your level of accuracy and compatibility with other systems and departments. In fact, if you digitise your entire department, all the data within your ERP system will have a higher degree of accuracy, all your procedures will be scalable, and you can implement monitoring systems that sense-check your activities to prevent order errors. 

Ultimately, if you implement automation BEFORE your organisation goes through an M & A exercise, youll be in a much stronger position. 

While its unlikely that you will get more funding for recruitment ahead of a M & A, activities that improve the efficiency, and therefore profitability, of the organisation are more likely to get financial support. Rather than be a threat to your department, an upcoming merger may be what you need to create the department that you want.  

Of course, alternatively, you could just put your head down, hope for the best and keep your fingers crossed that senior management dont outsource customer service completely.  

Defend your department with automation 

Stand your ground, and build a department thats resilient to change: Transform your customer service department today.

Transform Your Customer Service Department