Most common examples of inefficient business processes for manufacturers

The most common examples of inefficient business processes cost manufacturers considerable time and money, yet they are relatively straightforward to eliminate.

With a little know-how and well-oiled ERP software, you can begin to move away from inefficient business practices and towards a more productive way of working.

Here are our most common examples of inefficient business processes and how you can avoid them.


Manual processes

Nothing is more disheartening to employees than tedious and time-consuming manual tasks. Your most talented staff are likely to become frustrated if their time is spent carrying out jobs that are unfulfilling and this can lead to ‘quiet quitting’ and eventually moving to a more interesting environment.

What’s more, manual processes cost your business money, taking valuable time from elsewhere that could be spent on more productive tasks.

By automating processes such as lead tracking, updating CRMs, completing purchase orders and order forms or tracking inventory levels, all areas of your organisation can begin to benefit from greater efficiencies, reduce waste and save money.

Automation is key to reducing your reliance on spreadsheets and data-entry. What you will have instead is a set of efficient and error-free business processes that allow you to spend time on the jobs that matter.


Silos and inefficient business processes

A silo describes processes that are disconnected from the wider business and can therefore lead to redundant ways of working or repeated tasks.

If one department works independently from the whole, it is not hard to see how this could lead to duplication of tasks or overlapping needlessly on projects.

Worse even than a redundant manual task is a manual task that is needlessly repeated.

The way to fix this is through ERP software that facilitates better communication and collaboration.

Business critical forms can be shared and updated across departments at the click of the button, clarifying ownership and making important information accessible to all who need it.

Centralizing data is essential if you are looking to reduce waste. This also leads to fewer errors as greater visibility should result in errors being detected more quickly.


Inadequate reporting

Inadequate reporting is another example of inefficient business processes because campaigns or projects without a reliable measure of success can lead to poor decisions and missing information.

Reporting is key to building data that informs strategy and helps to evaluate the success of past projects.

Businesses that fail to provide accurate reports are in danger of replicating mistakes and missing opportunities to improve. This is particularly dangerous because missing data means only part of the picture is available to decision makers, who are essentially working blind to improve things.

Building an accurate and reliable way of collecting and analysing data then is central to moving away from inefficient processes towards trackable and accessible datasets that inform future strategy.


Physical processes

Subtly different to manual processes but even more damaging is the continued prevalence of physical processes in UK manufacturing.

These are processes which are not only manual, but are still paper-based or require an employee to record, print or mail forms for customers.

These hours of wasted admin could and should be digitised when one considers the technologies available to manufacturers in 2024.

To alleviate this problem, you can turn to your ERP software to create forms that can be handled digitally, instantly updated and centralised for use around the rest of the business.

In doing so, you reduce the possibility of forms going missing in the post, printer error and tedious admin that ties up your most important commodity – staff.

Did you find this article useful? Do you want to reduce inefficiencies within your own business? If so, you can contact a CBO consultant here for a no-obligation chat on the benefits of Epicor ERP software and what is can do for your business.


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