As our world advances through the 4th Industrial Revolution, many companies are realizing that they can utilize technology to automate manual processes. With COVID-19 forcing all of us to do more with less, using technology such as robotic process automation (RPA) helps create opportunities to devote more time to value-added work. Let’s explore some of the ways in which RPA can help take the robot out of the human as it relates to financial processes.
Many employees spend countless hours entering data from invoices into a system for additional processing. Further, errors in transcribing this data from paper to system may result in delayed or incorrect payments. In order to have a more seamless and accurate process, RPA can help by automating the input of data, preparing reconciliations, and even making certain decisions for processing the invoices. Your digital workforce will follow all the same rules any human would, but without any of the errors for the repetitive tasks - thereby allowing the human workforce time to focus on analyzing and managing your cash flow.
Reconciling data is a critical component of a successful payroll run - and that’s a perfect application for RPA in that it avoids the painful efforts to compile and compare spreadsheets and reports. “Fat-finger” errors are also avoided as data can be easily validated and transferred between interfaces - automating as much as 65% of manual processes involved in payroll processing.
Any accountant will likely attest to the fact that the month-end close requires manual verification and reconciliation of account balances in order to generate financial statements. Further, these time-consuming tasks require diligent attention to detail at the same time that other work typically stops - resulting in stress and frustration. Using RPA to automate some of these repeatable tasks enables a shift towards more value-added analytical work.
Nearly any rules-based process presents as a good candidate for applying RPA. As businesses look to become more efficient, RPA can help by freeing up time spent on repetitive tasks to work on value-added activities. Remember the old school Excel Macro? RPA is that - but it works across everything on your computer.
COVID-19 has created a situation where many businesses and companies find themselves with no choice but to adapt. In this post, we will be going over how the manufacturing industry is continually adapting in response to COVID-19.
Furloughs and Layoffs
According to a survey conducted by The Conference Board, 45% of those in the manufacturing industry expected to implement layoffs and furloughs between May and July, with 29% already having done so in April. Furloughs and layoffs reflect a large drop in revenue, and many manufacturers are experiencing a need to reduce labor costs because of the sharp decrease in demand. Manufacturers will likely continue to issue layoffs to cope with the effects of COVID-19 in the coming months.
A Shift to Remote Work
While only 1 in 14 employees for a manufacturer worked from home before the virus, that number may become 1 in 3. The long-term consequences of the virus may result in more of a shift to remote work, barring only those working at physical plants. The long-term effects of this shift may demand more flexibility for production workers, a need to increase digital capabilities, and accelerated automation of plants.
Stabilizing Growth Through Products
In sectors where the demand is beginning to wane, manufacturers will find themselves focusing on the products which have the highest chance of achieving stability and growth, while slowing or shutting down production volumes of products that are in much less demand. It’s likely that many manufacturers will review and adjust their supply chain strategies in order to lessen the shock of disruptions
Giving You the Tools to Adapt
A lot has changed thanks to COVID-19, and manufacturing is no exception. What remains most important for both you as a manufacturer and for us at Adonis is to promote sustainable growth and give you the tools necessary to adapt to the changes in manufacturing brought about by the virus.
Managing a project is never easy and without proper management, projects are headed for tough times or failure. Our Adonis Partners team has first-hand experience in managing small and large projects. Here’s an overview on how to make project management practical based on Lean Six Sigma Principles:
Before the project is executed, make sure you clearly outline the scope and objectives of the project. This helps keep work within the ‘guardrails’ of a project and helps keep team members focused on the ultimate goals.
All projects have to come to end at some point (an end can be reaching the end of a major milestone or phase), and it’s better for the sake of your project leaders and the team to know how much time should be dedicated to a project and what date deliverables are due. You might not know everything at first, but creating an estimate will get you started in the right direction.
Create Your Budget
Whatever project your business is undertaking, there will be costs associated with it. Create a budget and calculate costs before you start your project so that you aren’t surprised by unforeseen expenses.
Creating a rubric for quality standards or outlining quality specifications required for the project prevents having to use more time and money later to rework the project to the standard of quality your company needs.
Helping You Ensure Value
Scope, time, cost, and quality are all closely interrelated, making all of them crucial to practical and effective project management. Adonis Partners offers project management consultations where we will help ensure your team can deliver on time, on budget, and on target -- and most importantly, that the end result will have value.
Continuous Improvement (CI) is difficult to maintain under normal circumstances, never mind when unexpected challenges arise. In this article, we will tackle some ways in which your business can continue to improve, even when times are tough.
Stay Engaged with Your Teams
Continue talking with your employees to understand what challenges they are facing - and help them navigate through solving those problems. Engage leadership to determine what roadblocks can be removed to help the team be successful.
Create Realistically Achievable Goals
As tempting as it is to reach for the stars, having realistic, sustainable goals in place prevents employees from getting discouraged and setting your company up for unrealistic expectations of growth.
Be Mindful of those Affected by the Crisis
Whether it be clients, customers, or your own employees, be sensitive to the challenges they might be facing personally or professionally by providing support and resources.
Develop a Crisis Management Plan
Last but not least, having a developed set of guidelines to fall back on in difficult circumstances can help your business continue to operate smoothly even in times of crisis. Some steps that can be considered when developing guidelines include:
Of course, the most important aspect of maintaining CI during crisis is adaptability. Being flexible as the situation changes, or even your business model, will help keep your business growing. Adonis Partners can help your company adapt through our various CI Services, which are founded on proven Lean and Six Sigma practices.