Time is one of the best gifts you can give to your teams. Too often, workers are bogged down with mundane, repetitive tasks that prevent them from focusing on the more fulfilling, higher-value projects.
Your teams would prefer to work on long-term business growth and strategic initiatives, if only they had more time. How can you give them that extra time while also ensuring routine tasks are reliably accomplished?
Leverage Your Systems
A number of routine business tasks are ripe for automation, which can help with cutting repetitive tasks. Imagine if your sales team had more time for selling and high-level planning instead of filling out reports, for instance.
When workers are stuck performing repetitive data entry and tracking tasks, valuable time is lost that could be better spent strategizing and growing your business. And it's entirely unnecessary since these types of tasks may be quickly and easily automated.
If your business isn't automating at least some of the following tasks, you're taking precious time away from your teams that could be better spent
Some of the low-hanging fruit from automation:
- Sales order creation
- Routine customer service communications and notifications
- Order processing
- Basic human resources tasks
- Accounting tasks and financial report generation
- Materials requirement planning
- Product and service delivery
- Project management
- Inventory management
Is your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system capable of automating these processes? The primary benefit of ERP is to automate a variety of business processes to better integrate workers and teams. Data and processes are streamlined and centralized, making it easy for different departments to share information and collaborate seamlessly.
If you aren't taking advantage of these automations to give your teams more time to focus on higher-value tasks, you're doing a major disservice to your company. And if your business doesn't have an ERP system in place, it's time to consider an investment.
Invest in Automation to Save Time
When Countrywide Tire struggled to update its outdated ERP system in 2012, it became clear an investment was necessary. The tire distributor chose SAP Business ByDesign, a cloud-based ERP solution that supports scalability and easy implementation and customization.
The investment paid off in a number of ways, including the amount of time it gave back to Countrywide team members. The company saved more than 12 staff hours each day with the new solution, and the company was able to reallocate nine employees thanks to the automations and time saved. Countrywide also benefited from new revenue streams comprising 20 percent of their revenues, while enjoying an $11,000 per year reduction in IT expenses.
"There’s been so much cost savings from Business ByDesign, it would be hard to even put a number on it,” said Eric Johnson, vice president of operations at Countrywide. "It really changed our data game and our ability to do tasks a lot more efficiently because we're not trying to do these workarounds to get it into an Excel format, or manually typing data in,” he said of generating reports through the system.
Invoicing has also improved dramatically. “It used to take a full morning every day, sometimes into the afternoon when it was in the busier season," said Johnson. "When we moved over to SAP, that changed into clicking a few buttons and it finishing in three minutes.”
Why ERP Gives Time Back to Your Teams
By applying artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to standard business processes, ERP creates countless efficiencies and savings throughout all areas of a business. It also provides invaluable tools to team members, enabling them to perform their jobs better.
From real-time views of product availability to instant access to customer records and history, ERP improves processes across the board. Not only does that aid your team members, but it saves them precious time and frees them to focus on business growth and planning.
The Internet of Things (IoT) tied to a company’s ERP system also enables connectivity and continuity throughout the supply chain through the use of small sensors. This allows more accurate tracking of products and components as they move around. The result is longer product lifetimes as well as time saved through reduced maintenance and operating expenses.
IoT also offers additional information about how products are being used by customers. This can aid with improved product design and marketing efforts, particularly since your teams will have more free time to focus on these types of endeavors.
If your business is not taking full advantage of ERP to automate routine tasks and give time back to your teams, it's time to make adjustments to your current system. Maximizing automation and streamlining processes across the board is essential to giving your team members the time they need to focus on growing your business.
Perhaps you do not have an ERP system in place and have been reluctant to make the investment. Our guide explains how cloud ERP can help your business save money, automate routine tasks and, most importantly, give valuable time back to your teams.