Are your employees spending precious time on repetitive manual tasks? If so, you’re not alone. However, back-office workflow automation can help you achieve greater efficiency. Automation of your back-office processes aims to reduce or remove complex, labor-intensive manual processes. Some back-office areas where a wholesale business can leverage automation software include purchasing, inventory management, and sales.
Access to back-office automation tools is no longer limited to just large enterprises or billion-dollar multi-national corporations. Thanks to technological advancement, small and medium-sized wholesale businesses can make the once-costly decision to implement back-office automation a reality. Every wholesale business should invest in business processes automation to strengthen their existing business capabilities, boost productivity, and drive higher profits.
Still not sure if your wholesale business should invest in back-office automation? Here are 6 key benefits that might change your mind. Your business can capture value by implementing back-office automation to improve your business processes.
1. Elimination of Repetitive Manual Data Entry
In wholesale business operations, there are specific data which are required by multiple departments. For example, when a company receives a customer’s order, the information would first be key to the customer's sales account. Next, the same information would get inputted into the accounting platform. The same information would then be entered into the production team packing list for the team to prepare the customer's order.
From this example above, you notice that the customer's sales information gets entered manually three times. If your business manages a large quantity of order daily, this will be an extremely time-consuming process. Furthermore, if a customer makes changes to their order, the same slow process has to be repeated all over again.
By automating this manual data entry process, it will streamline the entire flow of data entry process. With the need for data re-keying eliminated, it will speed up the time to complete data entry processes. Your business can now allocate employees to more value-adding activities instead of wasting their time doing repetitive data entry.
2. Reduced Administrative Errors
One of the most common causes of errors in wholesale inventory management is human error. One example of a human error is employees keying in duplicate accounting entries into the accounting platform. Another case of human error is employees transferring the wrong purchase order information from the email to the company's inventory management platform. When these errors occur, it can have a damaging effect on your business. It could result in customer orders left unfulfilled and then incorrect inventory levels. By automating your back-office, the system will carry out the work process consistently. The same action will be applied for every process, hence reducing the chances of administrative errors occurring.
3. Improved Purchasing Decisions
Make improved purchasing decisions for your business with the help of back-office automation. Set up low stock alerts to keep your business informed when products are running below a certain stock amount level. In the event that a particular product is below a certain stock level, an email will be sent to you informing you of the stock situation. With this information, you can take quick action to purchase inventory on time to prevent your product from running out of stock. That way, you will know when it’s time to buy inventory without running into out-of-stock or excess stock situations. 4. Optimized Inventory Levels
Tracking and tracing stock is crucial for inventory management in wholesale. Have too little stock could result in the inability to fulfill customer’s orders. On the other hand, having too much stock result in unnecessary high storage cost. Back-office automation allows you can track your stock levels in real-time. You can ensure that your inventory is accurate with every new purchase order or customer sales order with your inventory level updating automatically in the event of any changes.
Your business can also implement an automated lot tracking process to follow a first-in-first-out(FIFO) approach to managing your inventory. The software will automatically assign the lot tracked products to orders based on their lot number and the sell-by dates of your different product. This helps to reduce the likelihood that your business stores near-expiring stock in your warehouse locations. With real-time visibility on all your stock, ensuring that the inventory level is always at the optimal level for your business.
5. Increased Visibility Of Critical Information
For your business to come up with the best strategy, it needs to have immediate visibility into critical information of the business operations. However, this would be difficult to achieve if all the information is siloed across the organization and not updated in real-time.
When back-office tasks are automated, it will speed up the process of how information interacts throughout the organization. Managers can easily obtain the essential data points needed to devise a business strategy. These managers can not only analyze the past data but can also track in real-life the wholesale business operation. With more accurate and insightful data, you can plan out more accurately how your business should progress for the future.
6. Improved Communication Across Departments
Ineffective communication can hinder your business from functioning effectively. Each individual department tends to have their own rules and infrastructure in place. This often leads to higher costs, slower communication, and inefficiency.
Having back-office automation allows your business to streamline communication. When an employee keys a particular piece of information into the system, it immediately gets sent to the department that needs it. The system can be set up to accommodate the working style of the company instead of forcing significant changes that might not be receptive by the employees.
If your wholesale business is looking for a back-office automation software, we have the perfect solution for you. Sweet is an inventory and order management platform built to help wholesale business manage their back-office operations more effectively. Here are some features that Sweet offers:
- Integrations to essential workflow applications like QuickBooks and Shopify
- Low stock alert feature
- Lot tracking Feature
- Generate automated reports
Interested to find out more if Sweet is a good fit for your wholesale business, click here to get in touch with us for a free demo session.