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How to overcome manufacturing challenges with process automation

While most businesses strive to make operations more efficient, organizations in the manufacturing industry must do so immediately, or risk going out of business. An annual industry report states the top two manufacturing challenges at present are meeting customer expectations and solving the issue of a severe skills shortage.

It is predicted that by 2025, almost 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled and the shortage could be as large as 2 million. Meanwhile, the speed of technological progress and wide availability of choice have caused customers’ expectations to grow at a rapid rate. Customers in every industry want better quality products delivered faster, all while paying less for these services.

Organizations in the manufacturing industry must find a way to produce an increasingly higher quality output without an adequate number of resources.

Make process automation the trick up your sleeve

Process automation can help manufacturing organizations when it comes to efficiency over resources, improving productivity, and ensuring quality. Let’s look at several areas where automation can make a big difference:

1.  Faster equipment and factory inspection

It’s critical for manufacturers to keep machinery running, while also ensuring production facilities are both safe and compliant. Companies may leverage a combination of workflow, forms, DocGen®, and mobile apps to easily collect data and images which can automatically trigger approval and task assignment processes, while generating detailed work orders for technicians.

2.  Efficient quality control checks

Utilizing mobile apps, checklists, digital forms, and workflows increases the speed and accuracy of product quality inspections, resulting in quicker resolution of issues, greater visibility for stakeholders and improved profit margins.

Production line employees can use mobile devices to perform spot checks before, during, and after production, while the shipping department can use intelligent DocGen checklists to ensure all required pieces have been included. Any product defects or packing errors would automatically trigger advanced workflows to fix the problem. This would mean fewer resources needed to carry out manual tasks while ensuring high-quality results and fast output.

3.  Streamlined procurement process

Procurement in manufacturing can range from supplier selection and management, to purchasing raw materials, to inventory management. Automated workflow and responsive forms enable procurement managers to streamline the process of sourcing, evaluating, and tracking all an organization’s suppliers.

Meanwhile, purchasing staff can create a seamless end-to-end process for generating purchase order requests and approvals. Nintex Workflow solutions can easily connect to accounting systems to accelerate purchase-to-pay cycles. When a process as important as procurement is sped up and errors reduced, the whole supply chain can work more smoothly.

4.  Automated supplier onboarding

Onboarding new suppliers can take a lot of time through various manual processes that rely on multiple stakeholders. Workflow automation can ensure supplier operations like onboarding are more efficient for manufacturers. Suppliers expect online forms to establish their accounts. Managing all communication digitally, including the execution of new account contracts, through an automated review and approval solution simplifies and speeds the entire process while cutting labor costs.

5.  Advanced equipment service

Engineers and service technicians can better manage and track their documents and processes with advanced workflow logic and mobile technologies. Leverage enterprise data models to dynamically infuse work orders, equipment service reports, return authorizations, and more with mission-critical details – making service calls more efficient. Moreover, common processes such as dispatching, equipment and/or site inspection checklists, and invoice approval can also be streamlined.

6.  IoT-enabled equipment maintenance

Modern manufacturers must proactively use predictive and preventative maintenance procedures to their advantage. From remote equipment monitoring to automated maintenance scheduling and service document generation, there’s a significant opportunity for process optimization to prevent unplanned downtime—resulting in higher levels of productivity and a better-looking bottom line.

Nintex helps solve your manufacturing challenges

Nintex delivers an enterprise-grade, fully-integrated, and extensible platform for global manufacturers.

Our range of solutions empowers manufacturing organizations of all sizes to automate mission-critical business procedures with a suite of visual process mapping tools, intelligent workflows, data-driven document generation, forms, mobile apps, and process intelligence. Streamlined operations can significantly improve revenue performance and increase customer satisfaction, all with clicks, not code, and without having to rely on IT.

For advanced manufacturing companies to achieve significant benefits from innovation, they must fully manage, automate, and optimize their operations. This is easier than ever on the Nintex Workflow Platform:

Intuitive: Automate simple and sophisticated processes in hours or days, rather than weeks or months, with an easy to use, no-code, drag and drop workflow designer that’s trusted by IT.

Integrated: Seamlessly connect to the platforms you already use and enable people to work within their existing systems of record like CRM and ERP.

Intelligent: Combine people, processes, and data to optimize the way you work and deliver faster, smarter outcomes for manufacturers, their employees and partners, and consumers.



To find out more about how Nintex and its range of intelligent automated workflow solutions can help your organization, no matter your industry, get in touch today.


Dan Burke

Dan Burke is a Nintex Sales Engineer based in our Bellevue, Washington, office. He has been with the company since 2014, starting as a Support Engineer and moving into his current role in 2017. He is passionate about helping customers to optimize their business processes across the entire Nintex Workflow Platform. When not at work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children and losing at fantasy football.

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