ERP or MRP system ticked-off the IT Systems Checklist. ISO-standards compliance is certified. Yet, a manufacturing company is still witnessing unwanted leakages in supply chain and unmet service level agreement (SLA) objectives. “How could that be?” asked the Managing Director.

ERP system is often designed to receive the “end-result” of a process as the input. For example, the approved supplier, the approved material price, the approved Purchase Order, the approved threshold; but, not what goes before the approval.

More often than not, approval cycles within supply chain are not seamlessly automated. This presents a disjointed and partially digital supply chain in which, the pre-process that produces an end-result record going into ERP is manual-driven or paper-based.

Take the material pricing as an example. A supplier could have already been approved to supply a primary material that forms a critical part of the company’s profit-and-loss equation. Even when a supplier has been approved and registered into the ERP, it doesn’t mean that future material pricing adjustment is taken lightly.

Most established manufacturing companies have documented processes that define material pricing control. However, this process is often one of the digital gaps that is not digitally enabled in a supply chain, leaving it as a potential candidate for unwanted leakages

Through a well-thought digital roadmap in a manufacturing or assembly company, standard-compliant processes and ERP system can be seamlessly synchronized and automated. This, we call it – digital process automation.

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