The no-code guide to Supply Chain automation for SMEs

Automation is a must-have in supply chain management. In the digital age, businesses need to constantly improve their workflows to maintain a competitive edge, and supply chain automation enables the fast execution of most elements of the supply chain.

What is Automation is Supply Chain?

Supply chain automation is the enablement of technology to execute parts of a workflow to improve speed in the execution of supply chain processes. It means utilizing technology to complete tasks in a complex series of sequential activities to achieve speed and reduce errors due to manual work.

The benefits are many and can be classified into two categories: the nice-to-have and the must-have:

The nice to have: Cost Savings

By letting technology take care of elements of a workflow businesses can reduce costs linked to wages. Savings on consumables like stationery can also be achieved.

The must-have: Data Integrity

With automation in data management, companies can virtually reduce to zero the risk of data corruption. And this is the main category of benefits that companies should focus on.

  • Generating reports: Companies that use automation when generating reports from core systems are less likely to get their data messed up by manual errors

  • Receive and send data: Spreadsheets attached to emails are the main cause of data corruption. The best solutions allow sharing data that both the senders and the receivers systems can read without the need of manual data entry

  • Alerts: Supply chain automation can help users focus on things that require attention by creating alerts when data does not fit into certain patterns. An example may be to send a text message when an order is received below the minimum order value or when the quantities in a despatch note from a vendor do not math the quantity on the Purchase order

Enterprise Software Automation is expensive

Supply Chain automation does not mean just robots and Artificial Intelligence. These technologies can deliver amazing results in large organizations but there are some downsides:

  • They are expensive: Enterprise automation software is expensive, the main costs are driven by the consulting time needed to design the solution so that it fits the company’s needs, setup the compatibility with existing systems and train the end users

  • The learning curve is slow: Enterprise software requires extensive training and it might take months before users get to speed with the new tools

  • Clients do not own the support: Enterprise software can rarely be supported by the company that buys it. The vendor company owns the proprietary code therefore, any request for support must go through the vendor.

No-code Automation is the best solution for SMEs

With No-code automation SMEs can avoid all the downsides of enterprise software automation:

  • Inexpensive: Licence costs can be as little as £10 a month per user and with tech-savvy personnel, companies can avoid the costs of design and setup

  • They are easy to learn: No-code automation is based on simple drag-and-drop development. Users with good understanding of business logic can create automation apps within hours

  • They do not require much support: Since no-code automation technology is cloud based, these solutions are constantly updated

What are the best providers of no-code automation?

The one below is just a small list of solutions that have develop robust applications with no-code automation

Things that no-code automation cannot help with

No-code automation cannot improve broken processes.

When automation projects fail is often because executives fail to see that this technology require streamlined and efficient business process. There is no benefit in automating inefficiency as I discuss in this blog post.

Before embarking in any automation project executives must review their existing business workflows, eliminate bottlenecks and get into a Lean mindset of continuous improvement supported by technology.

How to get started?

If you want to get started with Lean Automation schedule a call to get a free assessment