One of the steps you can take towards creating a successful efficient business is to apply lean principles to it. By taking the time to understand where inefficiencies are in your company and systematically working both to reduce it and to even out workflows, your business can become lean.
Process automation is one of the methods you can use to achieve this, it can help businesses reach higher levels of productivity and decrease inefficiencies. For each of the advantages, process automation can bring, an ERP system can help implement it.
Automation can handle both complex and repetitive processes or tasks based on predefined parameters. It will help maintain the level of quality you can reliably deliver to customers, improve your customer satisfaction levels and your products' reputation. For example, computerising certain tasks in the office such as issuing automatic EDI order and delivery confirmations can add to the customer journey and lower paper usage.
Continuous process improvement
ERP systems can assist in automating processes by taking on tasks, such as keeping inventory at the right levels and ensuring that workflows are operating at synchronised rates. In order to effectively implement this, both ERP and lean principles need to be considered.
With both lean driving your day-to-day processes and an ERP system automating these processes, you can nurture a culture of continuous process improvement. A workplace culture driven by productivity and efficiency improvements rather than resorting to increasing spending every time resources are pushed can have a positive impact on the finances.
Reducing costs by removing human error
Removing the risk of human error from processes is another key benefit as it helps eliminates time-consuming and error-prone tasks such as data re-entry from multiple systems. Tasks such as order processing, MRP, stock control and sending invoices can all be automated with the right technology.
Insight and analytics
While a well-planned strategy of process automation can create huge improvements across your business operations, it is perhaps the information that can be collected and analysed that holds the most potential for long-term continuous improvement. This is particularly true of your interactions with suppliers and customers.
A built-in EDI system can reduce inefficiencies and improve productivity - like, sending invoices out as soon as possible and ensuring purchasing orders go out when they should - and contribute to your business becoming truly lean. The insight you can gain through automating these relationships is invaluable for future strategic decision making.
WinMan ERP software can seamlessly pull these different elements together which will provide you with all the tools to build a business on lean principles.