Tim Nissen | Peer Expression: How a Company Reduced Production Lead Time 50 Percent.
Founded in 1946, this global company produces custom products and services for companies in the valve and pump, chemical, petrochemical, nuclear, pulp & paper, pharmaceutical, food & dairy, metering, military and instrumentation industries. With steady growth came their realization they had outgrown their manual system of order input and workflow, and that it should be automated, enabling their order-to-cash processing to drive faster production, shipping and billing.
Their identified challenges:
- Gaining visibility into order processing
- Enhancing workflow between departments
- Accelerating order/contract review lead time, and
- Reducing costs associated with paper: handling (invoice retrieval from filing cabinets, copying documents, updating log books, and lost orders due to capture ineffectiveness), significant storage space allotment.
“Once a customer order came in, there were a lot of steps required before it was entered into our enterprise resource planning system (ERP),” stated the company’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “Engineering, Quality, Production and Customer Service were all involved in the order review process. Each area might have responsibilities from validating pricing, setting up new customers, providing samples – all based on the kind of order received and from whom. This meant a lot of room for error, shuffling paper between departments, lots of emails; overall an inefficient manual process.”
Their requirements included:
- Will work with their ERP
- Will capture emailed orders
- Workflow will handle their complex order process.
After evaluating four vendors, the company selected IntelliChief, who integrated with their ERP, provided the document capture and workflow capabilities they needed, required less upfront configuration to fit their processes, and provided attentive ongoing maintenance and user support.
“IntelliChief’s paperless process management has enabled our production lead time to be reduced 50%,” conveyed the Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “This significant improvement also provides benefits of substantially fewer lost orders, enhanced visibility into the orders-to-cash process, and ultimately fewer customer complaints.”
Functionally, orders are now uploaded to IntelliChief, validated against data in the ERP, and routed to all respective parties involved in a structured electronic package. What was done manually by moving paper in batches through various departments is now cohesive in real time. IntelliChief’s accelerated order-to-cash processing allows access to the entire order packet directly from the company’s ERP screens, saving time and improving customer service. Through this automation, IntelliChief captures customer order documents regardless of how they are physically received – by email, fax or postal service. IntelliChief’s workflow assists in order processing by automating functions including new customer setup, expired pricing, credit checks and engineering approvals.
“IntelliChief’s user training enabled everyone interacting with the system to be comfortable with its usage quickly,” mentioned the Sales & Marketing head. “That helped achieve our system ROI within a year.
“My advice to those considering automating their document capture and workflow: thoroughly understand your current process and what you want the future state to be. IntelliChief’s business process specialists helped us immensely to assess our strengths and discover opportunities and configured our IntelliChief system to suit our needs best.”