Did you know businesses lose 20-30% of annual revenue because of inefficient processes? This is a huge loss, and it calls for enhancing the processes. The manufacturing industry has millions of workflows to get things done. Workflows cut down cost and enhance operations efficiencies.
The manufacturing workflows are a type of quality assurance. A single workflow creates a redundant process to build constantly high-quality products. Your manufacturing business is a series of processes and each creates a link in the chain. It has bottlenecks which are not visible. It creates a need to digitize the workflow.
Many companies are offering solutions to digitize your manufacturing workflows with innovative environments like Nintex, Sharepoint, Microsoft power apps, etc. These environments are low code or no code development platforms make things easy for you.
In the beginning, we will throw light on some common workflow challenges in the manufacturing industry:
The Law of Amplification
Sometimes adopting wrong technologies can slow down manufacturing workflows. It is important to understand and select the suitable technology to solve the bottleneck in the workflows. As per Kentaro Toyama- former assistant director and co-founder of Microsoft Research, India, there is a tendency in businesses to throw technology at the problems with no understanding the reason why processes are not working and why they need that technology to start with. He quotes it as the “Law of Amplification.”
Technology expands the process; if the process is inefficient, the technology makes the situation worse. Hence, understanding the bottlenecks in the processes is paramount.
The top two key bottlenecks contributors are:
- Performers: Any people involved in the workflow at some point.
- Systems: Any technology or software that handles tasks in your workflows.
If you enforce a digital workflow solution to meet your software needs but can’t train the performers, you will fail.
Implementing digital workflows is hard. It takes a lot of effort to enhance such workflows, as there are invisible or hidden bottlenecks that are critical to discover. If you ignore the minor bottlenecks, they turn into major setbacks for businesses at some point. Over time, such bottlenecks come to light. If you imagine business processes as a chain, bottlenecks are the most fragile link and eventually it will break.
If you can’t see all these details or have no time to do so, you can hire a workflow expert or audit the performance.
Inadequate Workflow Mapping
Most manufacturing companies have complex and many workflows. It is difficult to map or define the same. If you want to enhance the workflow efficiency:
- Detect the underlying processes fuel your workflow
- Find out the bottleneck to get success
Poor workflows enter the work culture over time and make it hard to break.
Mapping workflows gives you an overview perspective on how to do things right. You can figure out the processes that are slowing down production and redundant processes that need automation.
Challenges of digital workflow implementation
After working with many global manufacturing companies, we have gathered some knowledge on the common challenges they face while implementing digital workflows:
Most times, employees perceive digital workflow implementation to decrease their decision-making power; the management has a more clear visibility on the processes and decisions. Earlier, the worker used to make these decisions. The employees may feel they are out of the league and feel less powerful.
Successful implementation of digital workflows depends on many factors; choosing the right managers is one of them. Only the right managers can distribute the roles and responsibilities between different departments or stakeholders. It triggers low conflict during the implementation. If you don’t involve your stakeholders during the early phase of planning, you can’t collect high-quality data. Engaging the right people from the beginning can widen the scope of success.
Over-management and adding new work
You can describe a workflow by defining various levels of details. If your existing system monitors each detail in the workflow, it can create unnecessary cost and face worker resistance. Managing both, i.e. business and technical aspects of the workflow, will build extra work.
Loss of flexibility
Some workflows need personal judgement. Manufacturing companies need to choose the right workflow and process that needs to be digitized. Workflows that are document intensive, need high collaboration, and require hands-off among end users are the best option to go for digitization.
Benefits of implementing digital workflow
Although digital workflow implementation face challenges, if you successfully implement the same, you can get the following benefits:
Implementing digital workflow empower the manufacturing companies to leverage automation. It increases efficiency, reduces errors, and unnecessary steps. A well-implemented digital workflow leads the manufacturing companies with low operational cost. For example, Nintex simplifies complex workflows with integrated, intuitive, and intelligent process automation.
Better accountability and visibility
Implementing digital workflow offers tools to track the workflow status visually. It shows the tasks and employees who handle completion of the same. It enables the managers to understand who is accountable for every action. Such accountability promotes transparency in the organization.
A digital workflow streamlines the diverse processes in the manufacturing industry and provides better insights. You can view the tasks that need redundant approvals and vice versa. A digital workflow pulls data from upstream tasks and uses it in a downstream task as an input. For example, you can use some design documents in the manufacturing process manually. But digital workflows automatically pull and deploy data in this process.
Better control, scalability and enhanced flexibility
Digital workflows ensure audit trail and enhanced control. With this, the manufacturing companies can scale up the work flows as per business requirements. Eliminating bottlenecks with ease and meeting new demands becomes simple.
All communication in one place
Your employees don’t need to constantly notify their managers upon completion of tasks in a digital workflow. It offers process status tracking facilities that trigger notifications to keep the concerned people informed. Any guideline updates and new requirements are transparent in such workflows with enhanced communication.
Integration and real-time reporting
You can integrate digital workflows with your ERP system or legacy system. It offers you real-time reporting on each task or process. The management can enhance their decision-making skills with real-time data.
Leverage digital workflows with Katpro Technologies
At Katpro Technologies, we use the innovative Nintex Process Platform to manage processes and automate workflows as per specific business needs. We offer you a dedicated team to take care of your process and workflow automation. Nintex is a powerful solution for procurement management, factory inspection, and supplier onboarding.
- It helps build a flawless end-to-end process for purchasing order requests & approvals. It helps to speedup the purchase-to-pay cycles and optimize the whole supply chain.
- It keeps machinery running and ensures safe and compliant production facilities. Easily approve and assign tasks to create detailed work orders.
- It optimizes supplier operations with digital forms by managing all communication online with automated renewal and approval to cut down the labor cost. Talk to an expert to leverage the benefits of Nintex with us.
Here are our app store links for reference –
- Improve the way people work through management and automation in manufacturing
- Nintex: Process Management and Workflow Automation for Manufacturing Industry
- How workflow automation is changing the manufacturing sector?
About Katpro Technologies
Katpro Technologies is an advanced technology firm offering specialized services in Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Sharepoint Consulting, Microsoft .NET based IT development and mobile app developments. We work on emerging technologies in the Microsoft Platform providing customers with high performance and comprehensive solutions. We adapt ourselves to change business needs and deliver our customers with high-performance solutions that are relevant, futuristic & scalable.
Author, Kothand Rajangam
Founder and CEO with a passion for technology is providing Microsoft Suite of solutions to mid-market and enterprises on Nintex, SharePoint and Cloud. Kothand drives excellence in designing and delivering solutions backed by client success. His strong focus on Azure Suits and AI helps to complete enterprise turnkey projects with deep skill in quality delivery and business strategy. With over 15 years of experience, Kothand and his team migrated over 500+ customers to the cloud.