by Craig Johnston - Marketing Manager at Bluekey Seidor

BETTER PLANNING

How automation can help business plan better

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It’s easy to embrace the status quo. You know where everything is (well, more or less) and you’re familiar with your processes. But this kind of apathy could result in you losing customers and being outshone by your competitors, particularly if they have embraced automation to control every aspect of the production and delivery of their products and services.

If you still had legacy systems in place in 2017, here’s why you should consider automation and integration for 2018: 

1. It can help you to manage your stock effectively: You may lose a customer if they’re interested in a product or service and it’s not immediately available, hence why it’s crucial to be able to plan ahead in such instances. Automation can provide you with a forecast of when you’re likely to run out of stock and avoid the embarrassment of having to inform the customer that they’ll have to wait as you order in. For instance, SAP Business One for Manufacturing businesses will automatically detect when stock reaches the set warning threshold. It will then process an order to replenish the stock, send a notification to the finance component and issue purchase orders – all without any human intervention. 

2. It can help you to easily access your data to keep on top of your finances: Automation can ensure that all the information you need is located in one central place that is easily accessible to all who need it, regardless of what department they are in or function they perform. Increasing the accessibility of data will reduce the time it takes to process an order and result in client satisfaction.

3. It will help improve productivity and efficiency: Doing things manually takes time and is prone to human error. However, automation can reduce the number of tasks that you and your employees need to perform and save you time in the process. Getting stuff done more efficiently means better productivity and a boost to your bottom line.

4. It will ensure that your business is robust and consistent: If you can provide your customers with the same quality of product and standard of care they have become accustomed to, then they’re more likely to become repeat customers. If you have good systems in place, automation can ensure that every transaction is performed identically and that you respond quickly to customer’s needs. In addition, consistency is required in order to meet industry-specific governance and compliance standards, as regulators are constantly tightening the reins.

5. There will be fewer errors: Errors are an opportunity for competitors to jump in and capitalise on your weaknesses. SAP Business One, for example, enables sound decision making by capturing all critical information across sales, operations, and finance; making it instantly available for 360-degree insight throughout the business. You can cut down the possibility of errors by integrating data in a single system, instead of disparate ones that often result in duplication and a high incidence of errors. 

6. Costs will be reduced: Manual tasks usually involve many hands, lengthening the time it takes to complete the service which in turn increases costs. However, automation requires fewer people to complete a task or deliver a product to the customer. This will not only save time, but money too. Plus, it could free up experts within your business to work on the core functions that they were hired to do, rather than get bogged down with the time-consuming admin.

Automating through Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems will provide your business with all the aforementioned benefits and more. Planning is a critical step in staying ahead of the competition and to service customers efficiently.

Having a single solution to manage your entire business makes sense as you’ll have all the information you need to drive sound business decisions and serve your customers to the best of your ability in 2018.

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