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Imagine where we would be if manufacturing companies did not exist. There would be no computers, no cars to drive and no airplanes to fly. Furthermore, there would be no way to move other manufactured goods through a supply chain. As you can see, manufacturing reaches far beyond the production of simple retail goods.
Creating a product or commodity from raw materials is a skill and talent that very few possess – but it’s very much needed to support our way of life.
While most of today’s manufacturing companies are quite effective, most manufacturers continually strive to make their operations more efficient. And at the heart of improving operational efficiency is business process automation.
Business process automation (BPA) is a transformation of the tools that manufacturers use daily. From upgrading their TMS, CRM, and other logistics-based software solutions, to automating bill payment, payroll, and even light manufacturing tasks. And today’s busy manufacturing company needs to continue to explore opportunities to complete tasks quicker and without consuming additional resources.
Outlined below are a few of the ways manufacturing companies are integrating business process automation software and methods to help improve supply chain movement, reduce stress, and help their companies scale.
It takes a lot of moving parts to operate most mechanical equipment. Such is the case with today’s supply chain. Manufacturers are a critical cog in today’s logistics space by creating products used daily by consumers across the globe. But, in order for them to purchase and utilize their products, they have to be moved to a point of sale.
Any shipper must first locate the right carrier to move their freight. This is usually accomplished by accessing a transportation management software solution or TMS. A user will navigate through multiple field inputs that help streamline the process of locating a qualified carrier. At that point, they need to weed through the potential contenders, and eventually pick one. But this is just the beginning of the routing process.
Business process automation software within logistics helps a manufacturer skip several of these manual entry steps each time they need to locate, rate, and book a carrier shipment. The automation software can help them save time, money, and improve on-road delivery efficiency. It can also help improve communication with customers and carriers, provide instant updates on changing pricing or route delivery status, inventory control, even submitting invoices and paying carriers quickly.
Specifically, there are three areas that manufacturers struggle with daily that can be improved through business process automation software.
With manual TMS software, a manufacturing company spends a lot of time and resources finding the best rates for moving their products to customers. While every penny counts, there comes a time when the time spent finding the best freight rates becomes counterproductive.
By upgrading your existing TMS to a cloud-based, automated system, the software will be set up to locate the perfect carrier – at the right rates. Users can customize input and search fields to specific freight movement types, including parcel, LTL, FTL, Multimodal, and Intermodal. Instead of spending hours toggling through potential carriers, manufacturers can review which carriers match perfectly for their desired movement.
If there is one constant in the manufacturing world, it’s that customers continue to demand improved methods of communication. Whether they prefer email, SMS notifications, or desktop alerts, every customer wants to be notified about the status of their order. Automation with TMS or order processing software can be set up to send updates to customers via their preferred methods. Not only for deliveries but also for manufacturing updates if you choose.
Every manufacturer realizes that the key to growth is partnering with like-minded companies that assist in helping them create products and get them to customers. Whether it’s the raw material vendors or the carriers they use when a manufacturer can pay bills on time, and without delays, relationships are solidified and enhanced. With automated carrier bill pay solutions a manufacturer can submit payments quickly – and to the preferred methods of each partner.
Automation in the workplace is a part of today’s technological world. Those who activate processes to improve their supply chain efficiency are companies that maintain a competitive edge against the competition. Working with a professional third-party logistics company is a sure-fire way to reduce the stress, cost, and time involved in upgrading logistics platforms to automated technology.
If you’re a manufacturing company and would like to learn more about business process automation solutions offered by Redwood Logistics, drop us a line today.