There are many benefits to going paper-free and creating a paperless manufacturing environment, but many decision-makers can still find it a difficult decision to make the change. Here are several things you need to know about moving to a paperless manufacturing environment.
Moving to digital makes it easier to keep track
A manufacturing environment reliant on paper and manual processes can be inefficient. It is easy for documents to get lost, damaged, or destroyed, even if there is a suitable place to store them. Going paperless provides a more reliable audit trail and easier access. Digital record-keeping system will allow employees to access the same records easily and quickly using a computer or smart device. Staff will not need to travel to a different part of the building to obtain hard copies of the information. In addition to this, a digital system is more secure and means that only those with the correct credentials can access files.
It's better for the environment
Although paper recycling is often part of our everyday life, reducing the use of paper or not using it at all is even better. Paper can be recycled but doing so still has an impact on the environment. A manufacturing environment or office can get through a large amount of paper each week. So, by moving to a paperless environment, your carbon footprint will be reduced.
Reduce operational costs
In addition to reducing the environmental impact, your business has, switching to an ERP system can also save money. The need for purchasing paper and other office supplies will significantly reduce or in many cases is no longer an expense at all. In addition to this saving, it is important to recognise the hidden costs associated with a paper reliant environment. For example, waste costs can be significantly reduced, as can labour costs associated with managing a paper reliant working environment. Furthermore, since GDPR regulations hit the industry in 2018, companies are being fined substantial sums for breaching guidelines due to inaccuracies as a result of paper filing.
It allows for more reliable record-keeping
With any form of record-keeping, there is always a risk of inaccuracies but more so with having a paper-based system. Accurate record-keeping is essential, particularly when it comes to working with heavy-duty machinery and custom orders. Accuracy in customer orders and inventory will ensure customer satisfaction while good record keeping of machinery maintenance schedules will ensure the safety of employees. If certain information is incorrect, it can have a knock-on effect on other areas of the business, halt operations or have a huge impact on company profits.
Potential challenges during the transition
Although the benefits of switching to an ERP system are clear, it can be a challenge when moving to a new system. An implementation is a form of change management, and you must ensure all staff can use the new system is a proficient manner. It requires arranging training in a way that doesn't interrupt operations and allows employees to feel competent enough to work with the new system. Keeping a training record is a good way to ensure that all employees are competent and will allow you to find areas that may need further training. Another factor to consider when moving to digital is ensuring you have a reliable IT infrastructure is in place to house the system.