The transportation industry is always looking for new ways to lower costs and save time. There are many areas in which shippers can do so. New systems and advances make connecting with drivers and carriers easier. Analytics unlock the doors to new ways to utilize equipment, and lower freight spend. Even the most basic transportation management system (TMS) platforms now rely on a host of new systems and processes to streamline supply chain management. It’s a continuous cycle of innovation, and as automation approaches maturity, it will expand to encompass more, including automating back office processes. Automating different back office duties and practices will add brand value, cut costs, and improve efficiency.
How to Build the Business Case for Integrated Supply Chain Systems
The Costs of Manual Back Office Management
Most of the attention is on the front lines, where people deal with the vendors and transportation. However, there is a huge opportunity missed when all innovation is centered around this. The back office is overlooked, and as a result, companies are losing money in one of their most utilized areas. Manual back office management comes with its own set of costs, most notably the cost for people. Automating back office duties creates an opportunity to save money on labor costs. This also allows for less error associated with manual data entry and other administrative tasks within back office management. It will also save money lost from customer dissatisfaction due to back office discrepancies. The costs add up between labor and error, creating a financial deficit for companies.
Automating Back Office Processes Create Massive Opportunities to Conserve Resources
Automating back office duties and processes open the door for substantial financial opportunities. There are several ways to save money and resources by implementing programs that will convert the back office to a more automatic system. According to Supply Chain Brain, “It’s important to recognize that the back office can have an outsized impact on the supply chain. If network planners poorly place a warehouse, trucks will run for years along inefficient routes, even if they’re autonomous. If supply-chain planners misjudge demand, goods will have to be heavily discounted, far exceeding the couple of percentage-point efficiency gains achieved in that new robotic manufacturing facility. In other words, the overall committed cost in the supply-chain back office is substantial, and probably rivals that of the front line.” Automating back office administrative duties will save time and money for companies throughout the supply chain.
Tips to Automate the Back Office
There are many ways companies can automate the back office processes. Some top tips to improve automation of the back office include:
- Standardize operations. Creating a standard practice across the board will eliminate the uncertainty that is associated with diverse techniques.
- Integrate systems. Integrating systems is key to automating back office procedures because it combines the systems and programs to expedite and reduce excessive supply chain steps.
- Enable remote management. Enabling remote management will create opportunities to manage from anywhere. This reduces in-person labor costs and increases efficiency for the supply chain.
- Streamline purchasing and procurement. Automating back office practices and incorporating software will also streamline purchasing product through logistics by eliminating manual ordering.
- Distribute and redistribute assets based on data, not assumptions. Utilizing software will consolidate supply chain management will allow management to distribute assets based on exact data. This eliminates human error that contributes to profit loss.
Back Office Automation Is the Key to the Future of Supply Chain Management
Automating back office measures will launch the supply chain into the future. Supply chain management relies on innovation to keep up with the demands and technology of society. As demand grows, implementing new software and using data-driven statistics for the supply chain is imperative to continue to be competitive. Automating back office procedures will improve the time it takes a single person to perform all duties a system can do automatically. And it will reduce costs overall and decrease mistakes associated with hiring people. Time is money, after all. Switching to a more technological approach will enhance the management of the supply chain, improve safety, and lower barriers to efficiency. Automating the back office will streamline all processes and eliminate errors created by the administration. And using an advanced TMS will go a long way to reduce the stress by modernizing the back office and begin anew with automation.