As technology gets more pervasive in the supply chain, the potential benefit of automating certain processes becomes evident. Better still, the benefits in terms of accuracy, speed, and savings, are clear. Getting to true process automation, though, may not be as easy as it looks.
By taking small, repetitive tasks out of the hands of the employee, organizations can focus more on strategic activities. Further, by bringing multiple systems together, process automation can bring together multiple departments seamlessly. Better still, the rules-based nature of process automation allows systems to assign tasks to employees dynamically.
At the same time, systems integration can be difficult and complex. Process changes need to be monitored and measured to make sure that cost and productivity benefits are being captured. Further, employees may fear that fewer manual tasks will translate into fewer jobs and massive layoffs.
To do process automation there are a couple of key questions to consider:
- What criteria can help us figure out which processes will benefit from automation?
- What capabilities and skillsets are necessary to ensure automation projects are done right the first time?
A recent survey from the American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC) takes a look at how organizations are tackling process automation, including what works and what doesn’t. The infographic below outlines some of the findings. Take a look and then let us know what your biggest challenges have been. How has your organization benefited from process automation?
— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN