Practical example: New industry software optimizes all workflows!
In the following practical example, we highlight the steps required to achieve a significant improvement in work flows.
Sound familiar? Different types of software are used for handling in-house organization, but the software can’t provide all the required features. Data from paper documents like worksheets or Excel spreadsheets has to be entered manually, and information is lost. Processes are unnecessarily long and complicated. Collaboration is inefficient. The results include errors and delays in daily operations and strategic decision-making and an accumulation of unnecessary costs and risks.
The following practical example illustrates the steps that are necessary for achieving a significant improvement in your workflows.
What was the goal?
A skilled crafts business with 12 employees sells, assembles, and services systems and products in the areas of timber and furniture construction, solar screening, windows, and doors. The management wanted to optimise the company’s workflows in all areas of operation for the above-mentioned reasons using digitisation and automation, including:
- Mobile order processing via app, smartphone, and tablet
- Digital timesheets
- Innovative financial assessments of projects and orders
- Digital building site documentation
- Digital warehouse and merchandise management
- Digital transfer of accounting to the tax office
Old industry software was slowing down processes
When the industry software that the company had been using was reviewed and evaluated by a neutral consulting firm, it was determined that the solution wasn’t technologically up to date nor could it acquire all the data needed in the necessary quantities: for example, customer addresses, delivery addresses, and billing addresses and agreements on individual discounts, whether they were specific to a particular product, order, or customer, to name just a few.
In addition, communication with customers was logged for projects, but this information (which included orders, invoices, delivery notes, dunning letters, etc.) wasn’t linked to customer data.
The organization and documentation of customer service appointments and construction planning were mainly performed using Excel spreadsheets, paper forms, carbon copies, apps from the app store, and entailed the manual entry of data in the industry solution. A similar situation was found in warehouse and merchandise management, from invoicing and dunning to financial accounting.
What were the findings?
The industry software used in our practical example consists of a system composed of multiple individual solutions. This system, along with a complex menu structure, made it difficult to use features and modules. Although the overall range of features was wide, some important features were completely absent or were inefficient.
These problems were “solved” by using additional apps and paper. As a result, many processes within the company couldn’t be represented in the homogeneous form needed and required twice as much work.
The result of the experts’ review was that there were digital alternatives that would meet the needs of the company’s daily operation much more effectively and flexibly – and also in light of a future that’s becoming increasingly digitalized and the challenges associated with it.
Digitisation projects need a structured approach! First of all, they require a comprehensive analysis of work processes – from management, workshop, and warehouse to building sites, maintenance, and repair – as well as the review and evaluation of the solutions already being used in the company.
The following steps can then be taken:
- Make a knowledge- and fact-based decision about whether to continue using the current industry software or to find a new solution
- Create a detailed profile of requirements for the ideal software environment
- Research potential alternative solutions based on the profile of requirements in order to clarify that the alternatives and systems that are suitable for the new approach are available on the market
- Develop a structured implementation roadmap for introducing a new software solution
Fund everything involved in the digitalization project, including consulting, more training, industry software, the overall hardware base, robotic systems, marketing strategies, and Web stores.
Often it is not a question of what’s being funded but of how to acquire the funding and what conditions have to be met. Add to this the complexity of the “funding landscape”: Do you know your options for financing innovation with support grants or affordable credit? Or are you possibly missing out on hard cash?
At the PRACTICAL GUIDE TO DIGITISATION Forum being held at FENSTERBAU FRONTALE + HOLZHANDWERK 2024, an expert interview on Thursday, 21 March 2024 from 11:00 to 11:30 a.m. will provide you with an overview of the digitisation funding landscape, which programs should be considered, and how you can successfully submit a targeted proposal!
For information on all the practical interviews and discussions, including times and information on participants, consult the event schedule for the PRACTICAL GUIDE TO DIGITISATION Forum that will be held from 19 to 22 March 2024.