Believe it or not, there are things about your business processes that could be costing money and time. These are likely the same processes that cause frustration for many employees. Processes we have helped our clients improve include, but are not limited to:
- Mis-shipped orders or incorrect items in orders
- EDI errors
- Incorrect data entry
How would you solve these errors before they even happen? It turns out many types of these errors are not only predictable, but also preventable. With techniques like automation, validation, and tattlers (we use this term, I’ll explain more later), it is possible to stop these errors before they occur. First lets talk about how automation can help prevent errors.
Automation: It’s Automatic!
When you have automated systems, your probability of human error diminishes significantly. What does that mean though? What is an automated system? Well, one example is having your different software “talk” to each other. Let’s take a company in the manufacturing industry for instance. You probably have one software for manufacturing and one software for your financials. How nice would it be to have your pricing, quantities, and customer information go directly to your financial software with no need for human data entry?
By automating, mistyped characters are a non-issue. You save your employee’s time spent trying to resolve these errors and the money that would be spent correcting any issues down the line caused by these errors.
Validation: A Valid Strategy
Validation is one of those things that can work really well along with automation. How can validation help prevent errors? For one example, lets think about preparing an invoice for an order. If there is a discrepancy between the price you have listed on the invoice and the price in the database for an item, validation would check for that automatically and raise a flag to let you know.
The other really nice thing about validation is that it prevents data errors while the data is being entered. By checking to make sure that all the characters match the intended data type and checking previous records, you can make sure things are done right the first time.
Tattlers: A Tale of Two Tattles
What is a tattler? Tattler is a term we use to describe the final line of automated defenses against costly errors. In the event that an invoice or a shipment ends up going out but doesn’t match what the database says it should be (price, inventory qty, correct customer), it will send an email (or “tattle”) to the relevant people to intervene.
These aren’t designed to get anybody in trouble. They are designed to catch mistakes before they become something that could get someone in trouble. More importantly these extra defenses can save you loads of money, time, and PR with your customers (nobody likes having to apologize to a customer for a preventable mistake).
In the case of several of our clients, there have been tens of thousands of dollars saved due to these prevention measures. All it took was someone to raise their hand to put a stop to the errors. Why not be the one to raise your hand at your business to put a stop to preventable errors? Send us an email or give us a call. We’d love to help you out.