As supply chains become more global and complex, processes are becoming increasingly challenging to monitor and optimize. Identifying the root cause of inefficiencies can prove difficult without having a comprehensive view of operational workflows. Process intelligence technologies optimize the order to cash process by providing a 360-degree view of all organizational processes in real-time – across disparate back-end systems, departments, teams, and locations. These advanced technologies enable supply chain leaders to easily identify where bottlenecks are occurring, measure vendor performance, streamline company operations, and enhance profit margins.
According to a Deloitte study, the supply chain ranks as one of the highest priorities for digital transformation investments. However, many organizations have been slow to adopt new technologies. Process analytics platforms are a critical success factor in improving supply chain efficiency, speed and accuracy in a way that siloed, standalone systems cannot. Below are seven ways that process intelligence technologies can improve your supply chain operations:
1. Enhance profit margins.
Paying invoices on time or early can have substantial cost saving benefits. Timely invoice processing improves discount rates and, depending on the volume and size of the organization, could result in hundreds of thousands, if not more, in cost savings. For some supply chains, eliminating just one day of invoice processing time can save millions of dollars.
2. Identify the best suppliers.
Choosing the right vendors is a crucial component of a successful supply chain. Having a comprehensive view of your processes makes it easy to see which suppliers are the most timely, reliable, and responsive. Process intelligence makes it possible to accurately measure and track vendor performance by monitoring and identifying the following criteria:
- Which vendors are the most effective at fulfilling orders in a timely manner
- Which vendors are the most accurate
- Pinpoint vendor issues at their root cause before they spread to other operations
- Identify variations from vendor agreements
3. Fix process deviations in real-time.
Advanced process intelligence tools provide real-time alerts when processes deviate from the “ideal” path. Alerts can be configured for a wide range of scenarios including being notified when an order takes longer than X days to ship out, to being alerted if an invoice takes longer than X weeks to process. Alerts enable organizations to address process inefficiencies and variants immediately before they become a much more significant (and more costly) concern.
4. Track packages in real-time.
Process intelligence platforms provide timely, accurate monitoring of packages along every step from shipment to delivery. These platforms enable supply chain managers to track packages in real-time, estimate transit times, identify delays, allow for real-time intervention, and increase the speed of delivery.
5. Predict future influxes of orders.
Neural network enabled process monitoring offers prescriptive analytics that help make forecasts into the future. Innovative AI technologies identify improvements that are possible and help predict when shipments may delay as well as predict and improve capacity and planning. Data-driven forecasts enable organizations to minimize safety stock and reduce overhead costs all with a core focus on improving the supply chain.
6. Reduce bottlenecks.
Supply chain processes vary widely. Unexpected influxes of orders, low inventory, shipment delays, distribution system inefficiencies, and a number of other variables can cause inconsistencies in operational performance in ways that affect a company’s bottom line. Obtaining a comprehensive view of your process makes it possible to accurately identify where bottlenecks are occurring which helps enhance overall profit margins and leads to better customer experiences.
7. Improve the cost to complete each process.
Sophisticated process intelligence not only effectively monitors the full scope of organizational processes, but it also evaluates the direct cost associated with each process, enabling organizations to strategically improve the cost of completing each individual process.
The Deloitte study claims that not embracing digital innovation in the supply chain is a missed opportunity. For companies looking to succeed in their digital transformation projects, process intelligence solutions can go a long way in creating a more effective, efficient, and ultimately successful supply chain operation. Process intelligence enables supply chain leaders to more strategically cut costs, choose the right vendor partners, improve capacity planning, and streamline workflows, all of which play an important role in helping increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Are you ready to raise your supply chain Process IQ?
By Ryan Raiker, Sr. Product Marketing Manager at ABBYY