The Negative Impacts That Manual Processes Have on Your Business

Technology runs today’s world. Whether looking for a recipe or coding an AI robot, technology has made advancements in every aspect of our lives, and your business shouldn’t be left behind. Manual processes have become outdated in manufacturing and may hurt your business more than help.

Challenges of Human Error and Inefficiencies of Manual Processes

Have you or your coworkers ever claimed they could do their jobs “with their eyes closed” only to find they’ve been making costly mistakes the whole time? While some errors can be overlooked, others can significantly impact the company’s ability to produce goods and meet customer demands. These various mistakes are often unable to be identified by manufacturers still using spreadsheets, clipboards, and basic accounting software due to a lack of visibility into your machines and processes. Now you’re out of business for weeks, losing money, and you cannot properly identify what has occurred and how it can be fixed. These processes can easily be updated, and we are seeing more and more manufacturers turning to automation and technology over manual processes.

There are several reasons why manual processes are inefficient and keep businesses from growing. Manual processes are:

  • Slow and cumbersome, and in some cases, they can feel insignificant to workers, causing mindlessness at work and leading to errors or delays.
  • Expensive to maintain and require a lot of time and resources to continue running smoothly.
  • Inflexible and difficult to adapt to new market conditions or customer demands.

The True Cost of Manual Processes

In 2021, Paycom conducted a research study that found the average estimated cost of manually entering HR data without self-serving technology is $4.70 per single entry. This small charge can quickly add up to hundreds when manual processes run your company end-to-end. From ordering to shipping, your business could be losing out on profits.

If your team orders in bulk quantities so they feel “safe,” your business is losing money. While it is important to forecast future customer demands, blindly stocking based on whiteboard math is not the way to order materials sustainably. Being able to better predict your market demand will help free up warehouse space and money that can be allocated to other business needs.

Noah Wallace, Chief Information Officer at Silver Spring Foods, explains his old manual process for shipping. “When we would ship a product, we had multiple systems in which we had to pull different documents from…we’d have to compile all of these documents… one person would have to stand there, print it out from different systems, collate it, stack it, staple it and send the paperwork on its way.” Learn more about Silver Spring Foods upgraded processes in the video below:

Manual processes, as such, are begging for costly errors. Orders are often missed, or papers misplaced. Orders on credit hold end up being shipped anyway. Orders are miss-shipped out of the “First-in-First-out” (FIFO) sequence. This not only hurts your company’s credibility, but many retail giants are now implementing an “On Time, In Full” (OTIF) policy that fines vendors whose shipments are delayed or incorrect. Walmart’s new supplier policy mandates a 3% fine for all goods sold when vendors fall short of OTIF. Simply expecting a shipment to deliver directly to clear ports, meet all requirements and documentation, and safely reach your customer is not going to cut it. It’s imperative now to have full visibility into your supply chain from load to unload.

All these mistakes cause a loss in profits and credibility for your company.

Technology-based Solutions and Modern Systems

Luckily for Wallace, there was an answer to his complicated shipping processes. With built-in EDI functionality, Deacom’s comprehensive ERP has saved Silver Spring Foods processes with streamlined order entry that can be found in one central location. “When we went to Deacom, one of its nice features was that it allows you to build document groups. We now had a single place to put all this information and then control those parameters so people shipping the products off the docks could focus on driving the forklifts and doing what they do best. So, when they click the shipped button, they have the knowledge and reassurance that the people doing what they’re good at have the right documents attached to the order.”

Deacom ERP is a modern solution built specifically with batch-and-process manufacturers in mind. Its built-in Material Requirements Planning (MRP) capabilities can better predict material purchase demands by incorporating forecasts, sales, and production requirements into one central view. With Deacom’s Warehouse Management System (WMS), businesses can have better control over their inventories. Using two-scan verification, the user first scans the lot label to confirm it belongs to the job. The second scan occurs prior to the production operator utilizing the lot. The system ensures that the correct part is allocated to the right order, leaving no room for error. Having a solution like Deacom, that allows full visibility into your supply chain has taken one company from 90% accuracy to upwards of 98%, meaning no fines for error from big box retail chains.

Deacom allows real-time information to be seen quickly. Kerry Babion, customer sales and service manager at Graceland Fruit, tells us, “With Deacom, it takes 1.7 seconds to generate a report, whereas, with our old ERP, it took two minutes.” Babion then explains the importance of visibility in her company  which would have been unattainable without Deacom. Watch the video to learn how Deacom improved Graceland’s visibility:

Work smarter, not harder, and upgrade to technology-based solutions for your company that will streamline material ordering and management, provide accurate information and visibility into your company quickly, and reduce human errors. Manual processes waste time; and as we all know, time is money.

About the author

After graduating from Oklahoma State with a bachelor of science in Strategic Communications, Anna Perez is a content writer at ECI Solutions. She works to expand brand awareness and manages communications for the Manufacturing and Distribution divisions.