Improving Business Efficiency for Manufacturers and Distributors
Manufacturing and wholesale distribution are often costly and time-sensitive industries which are reliant on effective supply chains and efficient warehouse management. Any hold up with order processing and fulfilment, purchase order approvals or payment processing can have a significant knock-on effect for the entire running of the business. Technology solutions that can streamline operations and make warehousing and stock management easier to oversee are therefore becoming extremely important; especially in this digital age.
Investing in technology enables an organisation to grow organically. In fact, investing in technology and using it effectively can provide a significant advantage to a business. Technology solutions can improve the way that data is presented by removing manual administration tasks and enhancing communication between departments, suppliers and customers. For example, business process automation software can extend existing business applications capabilities and remove many manual processes thus increasing performance, improving efficiencies and driving revenue growth.
Integrating Business Systems with Warehouse Software
Integrating business systems, such as eCommerce, CRM and ERP software, with warehouse management systems (such as Dexterity WMS) and then automating business processes, is one area that manufacturers and distributors can benefit from. A dedicated solution can automatically transfer a wide-range of data into a warehouse management system (WMS) from existing systems, including product, customer and supplier data, along with purchase orders, sales orders, sales returns and stock changes. This enables the WMS to recognise products when they are scanned, understand what goods are being received, manage sales orders, enable goods to be picked and despatched, as well as update stock levels and new stock that has been added.
Data also needs to be transferred the other way, making sure that other systems are up to date, and they have a record of purchase order receipts, sales order despatches, sales order returns, stock additions and write offs. Once orders are shipped, job completion notifications can be imported from the warehouse management system to a CRM or ERP system.
By integrating warehouse management with other business systems and then applying automation to numerous processes, manufacturers and distributors can easily improve business efficiency, reduce costs, optimise inventory levels and increase the visibility of critical information.
In such a fast-paced environment, relying on processes that often need to be performed manually can slow down the distribution cycle. It can also delay access to vital information that provides clear visibility into inventory, order status, supplier schedules, and customer demands which is required to succeed.
If an organisation has multiple warehouses for storing stock, a common scenario might be that one warehouse is overstocked whilst the other is under minimum stock. An automation system could monitor the levels, automatically notify the warehouse with minimum stock that stock is available elsewhere and generate a transfer document to attach to the notification.
Another issue that can arise is where the delivery date by the supplier is greater than the purchase order due date. Not only does the warehouse manager need to be aware of this information the customer should also be updated as well.
Quite often, a customer may have pre-ordered an item, or the order had to be split and placed onto a separate back order, due to low stock levels. A notifications system could monitor the incoming stock and notify the relevant people/account manager that the stock has been received and ready for distribution.
Enforcing Rules-Based Purchase Order Authorisation Processes
Authorising the purchase of a product or service for many organisations is often a manually driven process that is slow and open to human error. In many instances, purchases can require multiple levels of authorisations which are unique to your business rules and departmental structures. Unfortunately, this can mean more manual communication being pushed around an organisation resulting in prolonged purchasing cycles.
Having the ability to automatically identify if a purchase order requires approval from multiple line managers and direct it to the next authoriser for review, as and when a preceding authorisation has been given, saves time, improves communication and provides a complete audit trail of all purchase decisions made.
Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform
Codeless Platforms has equipped manufacturers and distributors, from a variety of industries, with its BPA Platform to gain a competitive advantage and to meet their needs. Common tasks that have been automated include:
Importation of orders and export of confirmations and invoices in EDI package
Order processing including purchase order (PO) approval process
Rules validation for orders, including price checking and applying unique PO numbers
Data processing between warehouse management systems and back office systems
Importation of job completion notifications from warehouse management system to ERP system
Generation and distribution of sales and stock reports, in real-time.
The credit control process and the production of Crystal Reports
Event-driven information on stock levels to assess impact upon production techniques, such as Just-In-Time (JIT)
The purchase ledger process - comparing invoices against expected cost
Importation of payment notifications from credit card gateways
For more information regarding integration or business process automation, please visit www.codelessplatforms.com