Monday, March 3, 2014

Streamlining Manufacturing Processes and Improving Inventory Management

Any organization that handles inventory at any significant level will struggle at one point or another with inventory control and warehouse management.  Operations start normally enough and growth is accommodated fairly well until a trigger happens.  That trigger can be any number of changes.  They may include a merger or acquisition, new product line, updated manufacturing, new demand or market penetration.



As business grows the need to address multiple customer and separate industry segments at the same time are examples of growth that many systems cannot handle well.  A given system may have been designed to work with a single industry and its unique needs, but may not scale well to accommodate new industry segments.


What happens when there are new lines of business that have different requirements?


It becomes increasingly critical to streamline and manage the massive amounts of information being transmitted and processed from various locations such as customers, billing departments, technicians, trucks, and more when hundreds of organizations in a variety of industries rely on your systems for its equipment and supplies services,


A common constraint in many older Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems is their limited ability to efficiently and cost-effectively perform critical every day sales and service functions. 


These older systems tend to be very labor intensive and involve too much paperwork.  These constraints are multiplied when there is a mobile sales force that needs to have printed materials before traveling to customer locations.  This information has a tendency to go out of date quickly so that Salesreps would not have a clear snapshot of what products customers were using, what they were already billed for and what they already paid.  Delays in billing amplified the gap.


Recognizing that your current service billing and inventory processes are leading to increased costs is a first step in finding a solution that will reduce costs and streamline operations.  


You first have to recognize you have a problem before you can find a solution. 


Finding a system with real-time visibility of its data that has the ability to present it in a meaningful way is a critical step to moving forward and being more competitive.


To address efficiency issues companies need to find solutions that help to automate and integrate all of its ERP processes and provide an accurate, real-time view and control of the organization’s customer and inventory data.  Adding to the complexity are businesses that have manufacturing processing to integrate as well.  


Any new solution will certainly need easy deployment and real-time data discovery which will result in increased customer satisfaction.  Leveraging mobile technologies is often a key factor especially when a mobile sales force must be supported.  Mobility is important not only in extracting information, but also in updating the backend ERP system automatically.  Tasks such as invoicing can be done directly and automatically through handheld devices to eliminate the expense of time delays, postage and inefficient paper processing.


Implementation any new system can have its challenges.  When change is embraced in an organization the process can be seamless and quick.  Seamless integration of the entire organization will provide a seamless view of all data.


Key benefits and results of a comprehensive and fully integrated solution can include:

Rapid implementation.

Seamless integration.

More efficient and up-to-the-minute inventory management.

Real-time accounts receivable control and inventory updates.

Transition from paper to electronic records/management.

Reduction of human error, manual processes and employee resources.

Automatic printing of needed forms.

Real time updates and adjustments.

Reduction of operational costs.


Working with a responsive ERP solution provider that takes the time to listen and truly understand your challenges is invaluable.  Access to the leadership of that solution provider is equally important.  Having the ability to developing a flexible solution without rewriting the system can transform the way you automate and streamline your organization.   




How have ERP solutions transformed your operations?  How have implementations of new solutions increased efficiencies, reduced costs and increased profitability in your organization?  We would like to know.  Please share your successes and failures with our readers.


Dolvin Consulting works with industry experts to help you find the right solutions that will fit your business and your operational culture.  Contact us today to see how we can help.


With truly automated operations and real-time access to critical data, you will be able to offer your customers outstanding service and support that will truly set you apart from your competition.


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