In the South African industrial manufacturing and retail industries, businesses are faced with economic pressure and constantly increasing demand. This requires constant innovation and the application of best practice, especially in the effective management of warehouses, finance, planning, production and supply chain processes.
While these processes are often managed by dedicated staff, the propensity for human error leads to monumentally damaging operational inefficiencies – and the larger the business, the greater the damage.
Adriaan Rossouw, executive at EOH Infor Services
“The key to solving this problem is automation. In the quest for digital transformation, manufacturers and retailers must realise that there is often too much human intervention required. This is an inefficient way to operate and may lead to serious errors,” advises Adriaan Rossouw, executive at EOH Infor Services (formerly Softworx), Infor’s Master Partner in Africa, operating as a Gold Partner.
By implementing a software solution that will better integrate the various functions within the business these organisations can enjoy a host of benefits.
“With the implementation of the correct software, a reduction of inventory holdings, costs of goods sold, and the outstanding days on accounts receivable is often seen. Benefits will be seen from the procurement process right through to the sales process (cost to sales process). With a fully integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution across all branches, production facility and shared services, every aspect of the business is seamlessly controlled,” he adds.
While automated planning tools reduce manual data manipulation, they also increase accuracy and controls, while aiding in decreasing stock levels without falling short on supply. Process issues are highlighted timeously, bolstering planned business growth with the same (or less) resources. “In these industries, inventory management is of major importance. The solution must provide facilities for better planning of stock holding as well as better management and reporting for stock levels, through processes such as cycle counts, ABC analysis and better demand forecasting,” confirms Rossouw.
In this economic climate, many businesses are forced to operate under incredibly lean overhead structures. The right software solution will empower the business to do more with the available human resources, through proactive guidance to management teams. With automated processes, staff are freed up to focus on the critical components of relationship building and customer satisfaction.
To be effective, however, the solution should not simply replicate the current processes that are in place, but rather bring best practices to increase efficiency and reduce risk. “To achieve this, the solution must: simplify and automate business processes; provide visibility across the entire business process, both from an operational and financial perspective; be scalable and provide better management of procurement, production, inventories and the product mix,” concludes Rossouw.
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