Technological advances and an increase in consumer demand have created an “always-on” supply chain. To keep up with the consumer-driven world, warehouses and distribution centers rely on quick communication and easy collaboration with all of its team members and partners to do business in a better way. But this is easier said than done, and a busy IT department often ends up spending precious time trying to facilitate other departmental needs while still maintaining control of key business data.
Keeping track of what data is coming in and going out, whether it’s product SKUs or employee information, and who’s receiving which data and when — all with multiple disparate tools — can become an infinite cat-and-mouse game. (And this is before mentioning the “shadow IT” deployments in any organization that compromise security and governance.)
Think of a distribution center that needs to ship an order to a customer with locations around the world; a warehouse that needs to get product to a client in time for the holidays; or any other type of time sensitive content that has to be pushed out to multiple collaborators. Enabling multiple workflow automation processes moves focus from the routine daily minutiae to the more critical business tasks.
Out with the Old
Warehouses and distribution centers are slowly integrating a wider range of platforms and technologies to share information. While email is still the most commonly used method, organizations are gradually adopting and integrating various file transfer technologies. And for good reason.
Email is easy, but it has its limitations, like file storage limits. When users don’t manage their inboxes, and email servers overload, corporate data gets put at risk when users turn to free email accounts to share critical business data. What’s even more frustrating is that more and more files that need to be shared exceed email attachment size limitations.
And then there’s the consumer-grade cloud file sharing services, which don’t meet the security requirements for a variety of industries and often hold your data hostage through encryption key ownership. Given advances in technology, there’s a better way.
In with the New
Central management and distribution from a business-grade secure file-sharing solution — and one that’s not necessarily cloud-based — streamlines the communication process and keeps a warehouse or distribution center on task while:
- Maintaining security and compliance
- Delivering overall usage patterns
- Improving process automation
Some key benefits to be gained from a business-oriented, on-premise file-sharing solution:
- Knowledge is power: Know who exactly is on a folder at all times.
- Assigning permissions and expiration dates: Set it and forget it based on business role, and limit the duration of folder access to non-essential team members.
- Track participation activity: View collaborators who have uploaded/downloaded files and when
- Automated email notification: There’s no need to go into Outlook, find/set up a distribution list and write a new message. Alert every collaborator from your file-sharing solution with one click.
- Flexible communication: Enable multi-protocol access to folders (share files with people and also business partners using their preferred secure methods).
If time is money, take a stab at estimating the potential savings if your regular business activities include:
- Securely exchanging orders, payments and transfers, and other data from a variety of sources.
- Enabling community management, registration and activation, self-service account management and support operations.
- Enabling multi-protocol communication to quickly connect to a variety of partners with industry-agnostic technology.
- Transferring and integrating data exchange between your service and your customers.
A central platform that gives users the opportunity to enhance their own productivity in the workplace aligns IT goals (security and compliance) with business goals (daily production and ease of use). Discover how a next-generation secure file-sharing implementation delivers automation and more collaborative functionality to boost employee and system outputs.
Frank Toscano is the Director of Product Management at Cleo.