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COVID Lesson in Supply Chain: Time to Automate

Order automation is not only vital, it’s a time-saver, and most importantly, it’s the way of the future.

Accounting In Mfg

One year into COVID-19 and supply chains worldwide are still under pressure. Manufacturers remain mired in increased orders, customer inquiries, shipping delays and remote workforce dynamics. Business leaders are continuing to overhaul their operations as the pandemic rages on.

Increasingly, manufacturers are realizing that the old ways of doing business are gone for good. Digital transformation is no longer a long-term strategy project—it’s a current business imperative. And, for supply chains, the message is clear: It’s time to automate. Modernizing supply chain processes with automation is not only vital, it’s a time-saver, and most importantly, it’s the way of the future. In particular, sales order automation is a form of supply chain automation that is high-impact and high ROI.

Unprecedented and Unpredictable

With so much out of their hands, business leaders have turned their focus to what they can control. Within the supply chain, the end-to-end order experience has emerged as a critical lever for leaders. Increasingly, manufacturers are realizing if they want to keep this area of the supply chain running as smoothly as possible, they must automate. 

Implementing supply chain automation enables more efficient and effective operations — a necessity in today’s business environment. Tapping the power of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and applied analytics to modernize the supply chain process enables companies to cut costs and maximize workforce productivity. What’s more, companies looking to undertake a broader digital transformation can use sales order automation as a vital first step. Digital transformations are lengthy processes, but the benefits of sales order automation can be immediate. 

All of the pandemic-driven orders and shipping delays have overwhelmed customer service representatives (CSRs), who are under a deluge of customer inquiries and are trying to navigate ongoing government restrictions and evolving remote workforce dynamics. For CSRs, time has become an even more precious commodity.  

Even before the pandemic, CSRs in the manufacturing industry were typically spending three or four hours per day manually keying in purchase orders. For them, customer-facing engagement before COVID-19 was challenging enough. Now, amid coping businesses, existing tools and workflows are proving almost impossible for CSRs, and are dramatically slowing overall supply chain efficiency. 

Replacing repetitive, manual CSR tasks with automation frees up valuable time and accelerates supply chain operations. Instead of CSRs wasting time manually inputting orders, a purpose-built SaaS automation platform can automatically convert purchase orders into sales orders, without human intervention. Through sales order automation, CSRs are free to focus more on customer interaction and help their companies generate more revenue. 

The pandemic has shown all industries — particularly manufacturing — that the time to get agile and efficient is now. COVID-19 has also underscored that one of the best ways to prepare for the next crisis is to automate. That’s because automation is an important component of supply chain stability.

GradyGradySales order automation enables manufacturers to optimize business processes, cut additional expenses, maximize cost savings and revenue opportunities, and excel at the customer experience. Not only is automation the way of the future, it’s a way you can stabilize your supply chain now and prepare for future disruptions and create new business opportunities.


Ray Grady is the president and CEO of Conexiom. He brings more than 20 years of experience in scaling high-growth B2B organizations, and leads the company in designing and executing Conexiom’s vision, strategic growth plans and company operations.

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