How Automation Accelerates the Order Management Cycle

 In Best Practices, Business Intelligence

Automation

If there’s a step in your order-to-cash workflow that involves clicking a button, checking a box, sending an email, or any other similar, electronic function, there’s room for automation. Today, we’re looking at a few ways automation supercharges the order-to-cash cycle.

The main goal of any automation solution is to save a company time and money. This is accomplished by providing ways to trigger redundant business tasks (such as emailing a customer when their order has shipped or creating a vendor receipt when inventory is received) through the use of a software application or module.

Five ways automation will transform your entire order-to-cash cycle.

Automation unifies and facilitates communication among all departments and within your organization. Because of this, you can expect to see improvements across a wide spectrum of processes and functions. Here’s what you can look forward to when you jump on the automation train.

1. Eliminate manual data entry

One of the most obvious advantages of automation in the current work-from-home environment is that it eliminates many manual tasks. This ensures that your operations can continue on with less human intervention. The right automation solution will free up your time and drastically reduce the number of buttons clicked throughout the course of the workday. And when there’s less manual entry, you’ll see an increase in data accuracy.

If your business software suite involves multiple applications where data needs to be re-keyed, automation can absolve that pain for you too. By eliminating the need to manually re-key data from one software into another, you’ve removed a layer of potential human error, plus saved those same humans a whole lot of valuable time.

2. Reduce errors

While eliminating human error completely won’t ever happen, automating your processes can get you close. It’s a great way to ensure consistency on a large scale, and consistency plays the biggest role in contributing to human error reduction. When people are given a long list of highly repetitive tasks, it should be no surprise that consistency levels will go down. When thoroughly configured, automation delivers the consistency needed to perform those redundant tasks accurately every time.

3. Reallocate resources to value-added tasks

If you want to get extreme with your definition of value-added, ask yourself, “does this benefit my customer?” If the answer is no, your contribution is considered non-value-added waste. Automation is a great agent for fighting waste and going lean, but there’s more to it than that.

Automating repetitive tasks frees up employees to take on new responsibilities. When employees have the time to focus on other areas of the business that need attention instead of spending all their valuable time on mindless tasks, you’ll find yourself with more opportunities to capitalize on new growth potential. Imagine the growth opportunities that become available when something that used to take hours or even days now takes only seconds.

4. Cut costs & increase profitability

Increase profit

There are multiple ways that automation helps businesses control their operational costs. Chief among these is the way automation leads to a significantly improved economy of scale, often without needing an increase in headcount. Automation leads to the highest possible throughput with the least amount of spending, with the greatest amount of consistency.

Automation leads to the highest possible throughput with the least amount of spending, with the greatest amount of consistency.

Beyond keeping headcount down while increasing productivity, automation enables shorter lead times, quicker delivery, and greater efficiency with inventory management. All these equate to a significant boost in profitability. When you add a little automation, your bottom line will thank you.

5. Reduce environmental impact by eliminating paper

There is one thing you’ll lose when you introduce automation into your order management cycle: paper ⁠— lots and lots of paper.

According to Upstate Medical University, 45% of the paper printed in offices ends up trashed by the end of the day – this daily lifespan occurs for over a trillion sheets of paper per year, worldwide. Additionally, each misfiled document costs $125 and each lost document costs $350 to $700 in employee time. Large organizations lose a document every 12 seconds.

Opting for automation drastically reduces the amount of physical paperwork required by your company. For reducing your environmental impact, automating business processes takes the cake.

With automation, the game has changed.

These five points are all tied together, some of them inextricably. If you’re reducing errors, it stands to reason that you’re saving time and money by not having to correct mistakes. This shows just how beneficial automation can be to your overall business success. There’s a greater degree of control and visibility over nearly every step of the order-to-cash process.

If you’re seeking increased efficiency without the extra effort, automation is the way to go. The right automation solution will free up your time and drastically reduce the number of buttons clicked throughout the course of the workday. For further help on figuring out how to leverage automation capabilities in your own company, give us a holler! We’re eager and ready to help push your business to the next level.

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