The opportunities and benefits of workflow automation
Whenever your clients are considering a change in business process, it’s important to know why they’re making the change and what they’re getting out of it – especially when it’s going to affect their entire organisation.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are software solutions that automate complex business processes. They can give companies the power to streamline operations and increase performance efficiency that would otherwise be slowed down by clunky manual processes.
While they might sound like the one solution to all your client’s operational problems, it’s important not to jump in without fully considering your client’s company needs – transitioning to an ERP is a serious investment, both economically and time-wise.
So how do you determine if an ERP is the right choice for your client’s company?
In this month’s blog I discuss what you have to think through before deciding if an ERP system is right for your client’s business. Alternatively, you can download HARMONiQ’s ERP Automation eBook for a more in-depth analysis.
Are manual processes slowing your clients down?
There are many ways in which inefficient manual processes can negatively affect business operations, but here we will be focusing on three that are often deemed the most important by businesses considering a system change.
It’s true that ERP system implementation comes with a cost, but many businesses overlook the cost they’re already wearing due to inefficient processes.
While manual processes can work well for some smaller companies, a lot of the time they can be costly for larger businesses or those striving for growth. These costs can be large and plentiful, caused by:
- Lost productivity through time-consuming manual work
- Extra staff needed to complete processes
- Repetition of tasks due to human error
- Loss of stock due to poorly maintained manual records
- Lost customers due to stock unavailability
These are direct costs, as well as indirect costs associated with loss of time and staff productivity. The latter can often be overlooked by companies – especially if ineffective manual processes have become the norm.
While your clients don’t want to just implement a new system because everyone else is, it’s important to understand their competition and the services they are offering.
If your clients competitors have already implemented workflow automation and are making the most of the benefits, there’s a real chance they’re improved processes are drawing in customers – customers that could be coming to your clients. If your client’s processes are slow, difficult and time-consuming, they aren’t able to go above and beyond for their customers to achieve sales growth.
In this day and age, information is much more accessible, allowing customers the privilege of shopping around and doing their research. If a competitor can offer faster, more accurate and a more cost-effective service than your clients, chances are they’ll score the business.
If, like many companies, your clients want to achieve growth and see your business prosper, it’s unlikely their current processes will support them in this goal.
It is next to impossible to experience and sustain growth with a paper-based system and manual processes. As your client’s business starts to grow, how are they going to:
- Review, keep track and store paperwork and business documents?
- Store, distribute, track and manage an increased inventory?
- Train staff and keep them up to date on all business operations?
- Take care and keep track of every customer?
- View all business data to gain visibility of overall business performance?
Know where your clients stand
You can now see how important it is to take a thorough look at your client’s business practices – unnoticed costs and roadblocks can often be discovered hiding in plain sight.
Now you know what to look for, you will have a better ability to determine your clients need for workflow automation. You should be considering:
- The cost of implementing an ERP vs. the cost of keeping things the same at your client’s business
- The projection of your clients industry and the paths their competitors are taking to further progress their business and boost sales
- Whether your client’s current practices can support them through periods of growth without compromising on service delivery
When you really consider it, it’s likely you’ll find that manual processes won’t let your clients continue a consistent offering through growth periods.
This is a good sign that your clients should be looking for a way to update their system through workflow automation, which can provide the biggest reward for the smallest investment.
Look to the future with workflow automation
Implementing an ERP system is the most efficient way to achieve workflow automation across your client’s business. ERP’s are fully integratable, and can streamline processes throughout your entire operation, including:
- Warehousing and Distribution
- Inventory Management
Allowing an ERP to simplify and automate your client’s business processes removes the chance of error, saves time and money, increases staff productivity and will allow for growth without interruption.
If you’re considering implementing an ERP system into your client’s business, you can discover more about the process in our eBook ERP Automation: Is an ERP system the right move for my business? It will also give you a more extensive idea of the benefits and capabilities of ERP’s, so you can make a clear and objective decision regarding the suitability for your client’s business.
Next month, I will be talking about the most efficient way to implement an ERP system.
If you would like to discuss this further, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I am always happy to have a chat.