Manufacturing and distribution operations have moved from a behind-the-scenes function to a strategic process that is often the direct focus of the CEO or CFO. This strategic focus integrates sales, marketing, product development, and service with production operations. As a result, collaboration between functions has become critical to ensure optimal company performance.
Cross-functional collaboration is best facilitated by integrated technology because standalone systems impose informational and operational silos. Departments cannot be integrated unless your business software talks to each other. Installing the most comprehensive system in each area that doesn’t communicate isn’t much better than no system at all. For operations, this means that your inventory and warehouse systems must be united with your ERP. Warehouse management systems, sales, service and accounting software should all be integrated, sharing the same database in real time. When all functions input data and have access to the ERP database, everyone can be working together. An integrated system gives the customer a better experience in addition to improving efficiency, productivity and profitability.
Cross-Functional Collaboration Improves Operational Effectiveness
Let’s see how cross-functional collaboration works in each functional area:
Sales: Mobile customer relationship management tools like Scanco Sales for Sage 100 and Sage 500, can deliver a more personalized customer experience. With this Sage 100 mobile sales application, you can complete orders in the field, enter important customer information into your Sage systems, and capture payments seamlessly. The data are transferred instantly to Sage 100 providing the other departments with the customer and sales information they need.
Marketing: Using Sage 100 system sales and operational data, marketing can analyze trends and performance of products allowing them to adapt quickly to changes in customer requirements.
Finance: Accurate and timely information is key to giving finance and accounting the tools they need to evaluate costs, follow cash flow, and manage assets.
Operations: Warehouse data collection and bar coding are important pieces of operational excellence. Automation enables operations to be accurate and efficient. When systems are still paper, inventory counts in the ERP are not updated until the data is keyed into the system meaning that individuals accessing the system have an inaccurate reflection of quantities. Inaccurate data result in shipping errors, broken promises to customers, lost sales, and poor inventory levels. Clearly these problems have a negative effect on the company bottom line.
Using an automation tool like Scanco Warehouse enables you to accurately input inventory data directly into your ERP system and make it accessible to other departments so they can do their job better. Integrated data collection systems will read the Sage 100 database. Any changes made to the ERP data are instantly displayed on the handheld. It works both ways; any data collected on the warehouse floor are instantly accessible to the Sage 100 and, therefore, other departments.
Field Service: Field service personnel need access to real time information on the ERP. Scanco Service is a Sage 100 mobile field service app that gives a real time view of inventory whether it is on the truck or in the warehouse. Mobile field services capabilities integrated with your back office systems should be a vital part of your field service strategy. These solutions can improve your service technician’s productivity, increase efficiency, and boost customer satisfaction.
Integrated Tools Enable Cross-Functional Collaboration
Scanco offers a set of automation tools that integrate with Sage 100 to improve the efficiency of your operations.
- Scanco Sales, a Sage 100 mobile sales application, to empower your sales force
- Scanco Warehouse, a warehouse management barcoding solution, to increase your operational efficiency
- Scanco Service, a mobile field service application, to make your service team more effective
If you would like to evaluate ways to improve your cross-functional collaboration, contact us today.