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IT: How to Control Automation Implementation in Your Supply Chain

IT: How to Control Automation Implementation in Your Supply Chain

Posted by OmPrompt on 24 August 2017

In this technologically advanced world, those who are in control of running and maintaining an IT department in a global organisation must consider the idea of automation, as it prepares their venture for the future. For those new to this technology trend, Automation in business is the process of transforming a conventional business process or system into an autonomous system that does not require immediate human intervention to work. Automation of various business tasks provide many amazing benefits for an organisation such as increased productivity, improved data quality, and reduced labour costs, to name a few. If you are currently looking to introduce or improve automation for your organisation, here is how to control the digitisation of processes and documents.

Identifying Where and How to Start

Automation means the digitisation of business documents and business processes. When looking at an automation project, it should always be done with the customer in mind. Follow the customer journey and consider what documents or processes you could automate that would improve customer experience, get products delivered faster and ultimately get you paid quicker.

To achieve a better customer service, you should start by looking at processes in these 3 places:

  • Sales & Customer Service
  • Supply Chain & Logistics
  • Finance & Admin

These are all major parts of any supply chain and as an IT leader, you must keep in mind that each and every major part is composed of smaller processes that combine to reach a specific outcome. Here are the departments to consider.

Automation and Digitisation in Sales & Customer Service

When you are looking to bring automation into your business, digitising sales order processing is the logical first step. By digitising different business documents in sales or customer service (or both) and automating the processes, you cna start to improve customer experience, run a more effective team and proactively deal with customer issues.

These are just some of the core documents/processes you should consider for automation:

  • Sales Order Processing
  • Quotation Validation
  • Order Amendments
  • Container Optimisation
  • Forecast Collaboration

Once you have begun the automation process here you’ll find that your customer service and sales departments have more time to focus on providing better customer service, know where customer orders are faster and are able to deal with customer, and order, growth using the same resource.

Automation and Digitisation in Supply Chain & Logistics

The next step in growing automation in your organisation, to the benefit of the customer, is looking to introduce it in your supply chain and logistics departments. This will help you deliver products on time, in full, to the right location. 

Here are some of the processes in supply chain and logistics you might want to consider automating:

  • Shipment Processing
  • Receipt Processing
  • Delivery Claims
  • Transport Order Processing

Automation in the supply chain and logistics departments means the teams will be able to focus more on meeting customer demand, forecasting accurately and managing any complaints.

Automation and Digitisation in Finance & Admin

Getting cash into the business as fast as possible is the objective for any finance department. If IT is seen to be supporting this, by bringing automation in, it’s a win-win for everyone.

Here are some of the documents and processes that can be automated in Finance:

  • Remittance processing
  • Invoice Processing
  • Invoice Disputes
  • Claims & Deductions
  • Debit Note Processing

Implementing automation into the right departments at the right time is crucial and should always be with the customer in mind. By starting with sales and customer service, you’ll impact the customer immediately. Follow this through to logistics and supply chain and you’ll have a streamlined order to fulfilment process, meaning you’re likely to get paid faster and receive fewer complaints. Throw in finance and admin automation and you’ll have a digitised end-to-end customer supply chain.

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