According to research done by IBM ECM, highly trained technical workers in the manufacturing industry are spending 20-60 percent of their time gathering information they need to perform their work rather than actually performing the tasks for which they are trained. Most manufacturing facilities are dominated by materials and equipment, leaving little to no room or time for the storage of documents such as shipping and receiving files, job tickets and human resources documents. Having no additional storage space and working under tight deadlines to get projects completed, employees are left with minimal time to search for and retrieve business data. The good news is that if there is a paper trail, then there is an ECM solution that simplifies and streamlines everyday business processes.
Manufacturing Business Technology Magazine, states that, “Your customers want what you have. Make it happen efficiently and reduce costs with ECM to reduce cycle time, increase customer fulfillment and satisfaction, and improve collaboration and communication.” While computers and robots have been a staple of the manufacturing supply chain, manufacturers are turning to technology in a new way: to manage paper documents. The best way to manage paper documents is to implement a capture automation solution that can be tailored to fit the specific needs of any business model. Processes and challenges may differ, but there are three basic steps that each manufacturing organization must go through. From receiving raw materials and gathering components, to assembling products and then shipping to multiple destinations, each of these three phases require different paperwork- and a lot of it. When manufacturers use a capture automation system, it not only reduces the amount of paperwork, but also improves visibility, efficiency, and productivity. This in turn allows for cost savings and additional profitability. Let’s take a look at how capture automation can improve each of these three steps at your manufacturing facility.
Inputting Raw Materials: Capturing Crucial Data
It goes without saying that the obvious first step in the process is to sell your product! With the sale of your product comes the business document such as vendor invoices, purchase orders, and those specific to manufacturing including material safety data sheets, work orders and packing lists. Trying to manage a variety of different documents, manually filing and indexing can present quite the challenge. Capture automation allows documents to be scanned, enabling information like batch numbers, header data, names and costs to be automatically captured through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) accurately. When a sales order is captured into the system, capture workflows allow you to automate document routes for the appropriate department or managers to review and approve, which reduces order processing time.
Processing Materials: Eliminating Data Entry Errors
Having the capability to effortlessly automate the tracking of materials and parts inventories, as well as who completed the job and when, is something every manufacturer aspires to achieve. Implementing capture automation, OCR confidence reporting and other essential validation checks ensure data accuracy every time. This makes finding anything from purchase orders, data sheets, product evaluations, and testing information quick and easy, ultimately increasing productivity by 50 percent, according to IBM ECM. If ever an issue arises, capture automation makes locating the information in question effortless for faster, more informed decision-making. By automating the process, all documents are kept in one centralized location, with the ability of immediate keyword search by entering a customer name or part number. Anything that is associated with that specific project will automatically pull up. Projects usually do not fail because of bad engineering; they fail because there are no formal procedures in place to control the engineering design process.
Outputting Raw Materials: Improving Content Management
Once a project is complete, it is ready to be shipped out to the consumer. Outstanding invoices, purchase orders and bills of lading are all documents that come along with that process, and more often than not, they are misplaced and difficult to locate. The beauty of capture automation is that the software digitizes these files, making them readily available so the data within them can be properly managed; eliminating the need to search through hundreds of papers. Having quick and easy access to proof of delivery information and customer documentation, account information can immediately be accessed for improved collections management. Ticket numbers, names, and documented task logs are all pieces of information that are stored and can easily be searched for later on.
It is clear that manufacturing companies can leverage advanced capture solutions that improve the overall business workflow from accounting, to production, and on to the final delivery. By streamlining everyday processes, managers will not only be given improved visibility, but employees will be able to easily search and retrieve important documentation, leaving time spent (wasted) in the filing cabinets a thing of the past.
If you’re ready to explore the benefits of an ECM system or ready to integrate your ECM system, contact one of our content management specialists today!
Posted by Hilliard Office Solutions