Every function is currently challenged to do more with less. Automation is the introduction and / or adoption of tools and techniques that result in efficiency improvement. Automation includes both cost reduction as well as cycle reduction. The biggest benefit of automation is generally associated with a reduction in labor but is also associated with improved quality, accuracy and precision. These all tend to result in improved customer satisfaction. Our focus has been heavier on the cycle reduction portion of the automation process. Success is often measured either through the ability to deliver results faster to the end client or to be able to handle more throughput with the same staff level.
We provide these services largely in engineering and financial functions through the automation of labor intensive processes and the integration of critical data from disparate sources. These services cover both the inquiry to order and the order to remittance cycles. We have recently completed an effort to automate metrics for an equipment manufacturer.
We start with process mapping of existing processed and the identification of the information systems that support those processes. Mapping of the current process is critical to ensure that the nuances of the current processes (regulatory / environmental) are factored into the ‘to be’ process. We provide a gap analysis to determine holes in the current processes. We tend to develop the new processes by working backward from the end customer desired outcome. It is also critical to remember that everything doesn’t have to be automated.
We reduced the proposal preparation process for a large equipment manufacturer from almost 30 days to 8, thereby changing the entire industry. We reduced the financial metrics reporting cycle by 50% doubling the time available to develop solutions as issues arise. We assisted in the automation / refinement of the outage planning process resulting in the savings of several hundred million dollars over a multi-year period.