Tag Archives: process optimization
“When managers get timely and accurate period-end reports, they have more time to make better decisions during the next period and to make any needed adjustments. An efficient and accurate process also means fewer work spikes at the end of the period and more time for activities that help drive the business forward. More broadly, an optimized period-end reporting process means that you’ve put in the work to make sure your team is well-organized and equipped with the right data and technology, which benefits not just this process but many others.”
Traditional project management methods have been completely transformed by new tools and technologies that enable flexibility and adaptability across the business. Traditional methods are vulnerable to delays, miscalculations or unforeseen costs that can cause budget overruns, or overall failures to deliver on stated goals. Contrarily, agile project management is an iterative, adaptive approach that helps ensure the project delivers what the customer truly needs. The agile methodology adapts to business needs since it doesn’t have a set-in-stone scope. The scope may change, while resources and time are fixed. It allows businesses to quickly amend plans or shift directions and focus on a different solution if the business need changes mid-project.
Today’s customers demand high-quality, individualized products and faster delivery. When it comes to the manufacturing function, manual processes and isolated information silos make meeting these demands increasingly difficult. What’s needed are connected manufacturing processes that are integrated across the entire product life-cycle to break down silos and provide visibility across the phases of design, planning, logistics, and operations. This can enable next-generation business processes that leverage intelligent technologies to analyze root causes of inefficiency, predict machine and process failures, and speed execution. An integrated environment for manufacturing can help compress cycle times, speed time to market, minimize costs, and meet manufacturing demand with greater efficiency and agility – despite growing variability.
The rise of digital transformation has shaken the foundation of even the most stable businesses. Like most industries, success for mill products businesses comes down to data. From manufacturing and production to finance and procurement, decision-makers must evaluate all transactional and related data to truly understand what’s going on. However, few ever truly understand how deeply the business will be affected by changes or future events as long as their accounts receivable and payable requests, shop floor and manufacturing transactions, and sales orders remain in disparate applications and organizational silos. Without an accurate view of changes in supply chain costs, raw material inventory, and order rates, decision-makers cannot safeguard top priorities such as revenue growth, optimization of operating margins, and cost reduction. Throughout mill operations, there’s always a variety of things occurring, transpiring, and transferring simultaneously. And for this reason alone, acquiring immediate insight to sense, analyze, and respond to emerging shifts should always be a priority.
Organizations look to finance leaders to support strategic initiatives by providing actionable information about the business. Ultimately, they can only be successful business partners when reliable financial data is available and when compliance is consistently achieved. When accounting and finance teams rely on manual processes, they struggle to focus on higher-risk areas and analyze trends – especially at peak times during the month. A 2016 Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) study found that 61% of finance teams still rely on spreadsheets for business analytics. As a result, companies have limited real-time data, and little time (if any) is left for analytics that can help identify errors or required adjustments. In today’s world of finance innovation and rapid advancements, businesses that continue to rely mainly on spreadsheets and manual business processes will not be in the race much longer. Digitizing and automating these processes will not only reduce costs and increase efficiencies; it will also free up valuable employees to perform more strategic tasks.
To continually grow as they has in the past, discrete manufacturers must deal with some unique challenges. Without a robust and integrated modeling platform, they often struggle with lack of business visibility, little to no access to actionable insight, excess inventory, and declining profits. The lack of innovation in the business process and technology aspects of manufacturing has many businesses heading into a downward spiral. Consequently, competitors that continue to meet customer needs are the ones that will succeed, both now and in the long term. Short-term vision and planning can mean long-term failure or stagnating growth. Customer demand on organizations to demonstrate flexibility and continue to meet their requirements – but with more product variations – is now the reality of today’s discrete manufacturing industry.
Many businesses have found that their existing business processes have simply outlived the intended reason for which they were initially designed. Once business leaders realize the way they are doing business is not effective or profitable, they seek ways to improve and optimize their existing processes. This search for workflow optimization is prompted by a very real need to improve productivity and operational efficiency – a need that is evident across all business segments and vertical industries. Most can easily identify areas where improved efficiency is needed, but without a clear understanding of the problem, there is a general reluctance to simply throw time, money, and resources at a solution. The key is to implement a tool that can help the business clearly identify the issue and potential solutions.