Easier said than done? In fact, our experience of hundreds of installations shows that this is one of the easiest things to implement with the largest payback. Again, there are two factors:
- Where users are unaware of the need for a specific format or data convention and use their initiative to enter what they believe to be the correct format or style. This typically happens when new employees join the business and aren’t trained properly.
- Where users know the correct way to enter information but simply “mis key” or, more likely, “mis-paste” the incorrect data into the field. Poorly implemented or non-existent data verification routines in the host system does not pick up this and permits the data to be stored incorrectly.
The impact of this depends on the data field in question. For example, the wrong cost centre could reflect in the financial results of the company being incorrect and this may get flagged during a tax audit. Or the wrong discount is applied to a reseller order meaning that the company losses revenue and profit. Finally, the incorrect designation given to a product code or opportunity name results in poor quality reporting which further impacts confidence in the system.
Bad data can be very expensive to fix and, the cost of rectification increases the further downstream the overall business process – thus, it is critical to ensure that data is entered correctly the first time, every time. Little wonder that the importance of this is emphasised during quality audits and assessments.
One relatively simple and inexpensive fix for browser-based applications and portals is to implement a Digital Adoption Platform such as Apty. More sophisticated solutions like Apty include the ability to “overlay” help and guidance on top of the supply-chain management applications. Crucially, Apty’s solution can also implement ad hoc data-field verification routines and their “auto-pilot” function can auto-complete data. It’s important to note that implementing as an overlay to the application requires no integration with the business application, ensures greater data integrity and is fully supported by browsers.
This is particularly pertinent to supply chain because of the number of points in the process that information is keyed and the time-critical nature of the operation. When teams are against the clock to make delivery deadlines, the number of errors can increase. The only way to mitigate this situation is to ensure that systems are configured to prevent bad data entering the process. It’s generally better than a shipment is delayed than being shipped incorrectly and being held at a local outside of your control or jurisdiction – this can easily happen if waybill information is incorrectly entered.
Another method of fixing problems is to re-design or reconfigure the process. The first point is to correctly gather usage information so that any bottlenecks or areas of difficulty can be assessed. Again, this is easy to achieve with a Digital Adoption Platform – Apty includes extensive capabilities to record and analyse detailed usage relating to multiple application paths for 100s of users. The level of detail from these aggregated data points means that you’ll be confident that you understand the reality of critical user application journeys.
Once the process flows are understood, action can be taken to address bottlenecks and to accurately measure the improvement.
If you’d like to learn more on how the team at Scansolutions can assist with improving your supply chain process or fixing situations where bad data enters processes, please get in touch. We hope you’ve found some value in these blog posts and if so, look out for Part 5 in this series.