This article was originally published in the Autumn 2019 issue of The Record. Subscribe for FREE here to get the next issues delivered directly to your inbox.
The modern manufacturing environment produces a treasure trove of invaluable insight. Throughout the supply chain, order, financial and supplier information is collected 24/7. However, little value is ever extracted from that data. Paper-based systems, poor archive and storage capabilities, and data sharing limitations are to blame.
Hybrid communication helps combat these challenges. Offering flexibility, particularly across invoicing standards, this approach enables the embedding of additional data on documents. Manufacturing firms are able to enrich and personalise the data delivered by creating documents that are suitable for both machine and human consumption.
In addition, hybrid communications also allow the organisation to access data repositories and consume information extracted from documents, when and how they need it. Hybrid communications ensure each document’s digital equivalent and associated data is available at all times.
Compliance is another challenge. Regulatory compliance moves fast and keeping up can be incredibly difficult. With different documents under varying legal restrictions, managing the logistical issues associated with organising and storing paper presents a significant challenge. What’s more it incurs unnecessary time and cost.
A document management system has the potential to transform a manufacturing operation and decrease exposure. Forming part of a formal digital strategy, the move to a paperless environment throughout the “purchase to pay [P2P] process”, relating to both customers and suppliers, reduces logistical challenges and enhances auditability and access among relevant stakeholders. Manufacturers that formalise and automate the capture of documents drive business efficiencies, reduce the risk of compliance infringements, and improve the ability to trace and examine information.
Every document holds valuable data and many organisations often struggle to extract its full value. A lack of infrastructure and processes to properly manage the data means very few insights ever offer any genuine value.
Document repositories provide a means to overcome these challenges. Across the organisation users can automatically store, manage, search and access digital paperwork quickly and efficiently. In addition, these systems can automate data cataloguing process, bringing together purchase orders (POs), goods received notes and invoices under a single PO number.
Extracting and analysing document data radically improves insight, refines decision-making and facilitates collaboration. It provides new opportunities to enhance efficiency and streamline operations, helping to reduce operational costs.
Using a document management system brings the opportunity to enhance the efficiency of your manufacturing operation. Through the elimination of manual, paper-based systems you can drive increased visibility, reduce the risk of regulatory compliance issues and increase profitability.
David Leonard is vice president, Paymode-X Business Solutions at Bottomline Technologies
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