automationWhile spreadsheets are easy to work with, they only provide unique views of limited amounts of data, rather than a consistent view of the entire company’s data. It’s long been time to ditch spreadsheets and here we provide 10 very good reasons to switch to automation.

‘Spreadmart’ applies to many businesses today which rely on multiple spreadsheets created by different people or groups that frequently provide inconsistent views of the company’s data. The trouble with spreadsheets is that they are prone to error and rely on humans to input the correct information and keep it up-to-date – often with potentially disastrous consequences.

The financial impact of “spreadmart” can be many millions of dollars and the damage to a company’s reputation even worse. For example, a “cut-and-paste” error cost Canadian electricity company, TransAlta $24 million when it underbid an electricity supply contract . Other drawbacks of spreadsheets include:

• Lack of scalability – spreadsheets are unreliable when working with large datasets and complex calculations

• Functional isolation – siloed spreadsheets make sharing information, translation and value chain collaboration difficult

• Lack of enterprise resource planning (ERP) integration – data loading is slow and inaccurate

• Fragility of spreadsheet networks – does any one person or group know, off the top of their head, how many spreadsheets there are and how they are used in your organization? It is difficult to link different spreadsheets used in different ways across different parts of the organization

• Slow time-to-decision – lack of real-time alerts or access to up-to-date information hinders the ability to make crucial business decisions quickly and efficiently

• Inability to optimize – spreadsheets lack the sophisticated algorithms necessary to optimize the various supply chain elements such as inventory levels, production schedules and demand planning

Optimizing the flow of goods throughout the supply chain by eliminating excess costs, boosting inventory levels, reducing lost sales and replacing time-consuming manual replenishment processes are all part of managing the complexity of a fast-moving 24-hour business environment.

Automation is the key to supply chain success and choosing the right technology is critical. The latest offerings integrate effortlessly with ERP systems. They can also manage fluctuating stock levels across national and international business operations on a daily basis to meet customer demand, manage promotional activity and incorporate sales planning. The best vendors combine their technology with specialist training and expert consultancy to keep things moving from one end of the supply chain to the other.

Here are the top 10 reasons for taking an automated approach to supply chain management.

Automation:

1. Captures consistent data

2. Allows access to real-time, trustworthy information 24 hours a day

3. A single, integrated system gives “one version of the truth” across the whole supply chain

4. Introduces best-practice processes that are robust and secure

5. Breaks down organizational silos

6. Reduces the time and effort required to gather and interpret data – minutes rather than days or weeks!

7. Provides standardized metrics and automated reports that streamline the review and proactive management of the supply chain

8. Helps slice and dice data to support the creation of carefully targeted marketing and promotional campaigns

9. Creates a full audit trail that provides transparency and certainty

10. Facilitates better informed planning and aids faster, more proactive decision-making.

Automation ensures the correct resources are in place – people, money and materials therefore saving time and resources. Totally flexible, you can adjust quickly to changing customer demand and even identify issues before they become real problems. Greater efficiencies and improved communication mean happier sales teams and customers because they know exactly when they will expect their products. AGR’s own customers, who use automated technology, have reported a series of tangible operational and business benefits such as lowered inventory levels up to 35%, reduced workload up to 80%, up to 85% fewer stock-outs and return on investment within 6 months.

It’s time to ditch those cumbersome, time-consuming and error-prone spreadsheets in favor of automation and enjoy greater staff productivity, sales confidence, improved service levels and higher profitability. What is more, much of today’s advanced functionality is now available on a variety of mobile devices, perfect for businesses on the move!

About AGR Dynamics

AGR Dynamics are a specialist demand and supply chain planning company offering software and consultancy solutions that optimize the flow of goods throughout the supply chain for distribution, retail and manufacturing companies. AGR Dynamics offer software for wholesale and retail companies, embedded into Microsoft Dynamics AX and NAV, that cover demand and supply planning, forecasting and inventory optimization. With improved supply chain planning and executive process comes the benefit of balancing key availability with least amount of inventory, reducing lost sales and replacing time-consuming manual processes.

AGR 5 is the main solution and the modules include:

  • Wholesale Dynamics
    • Dynamic Planning
    • Dynamic Inventory
  • Retail Dynamics
    • Dynamic Planning
    • Dynamic Assortment
    • Dynamic Inventory