Overview & Challenge
The Client is in the Manufacturing industry – Building Materials and Chemicals. They are active in professional construction products, and in the industrial applications market. Additionally, they have a representation in the do-it-yourself (DIY) hardware stores. The Client is also a worldwide supplier in its industry, distributing its products (silicon and caulks, polyurethane-foams, and adhesives) to over 140 countries across the world. Established as an independent producer and supplier in 1966, its operational efficiency is essential for the enterprise’s success. Having this brand image, they strive to continuously improve their service to maintain the stable reputation they set over the years.
While the Client provides exemplary service and products to its customers, internally the company was challenged by the need to digitally transform and automate its internal operations to continue providing the same value. The challenges they encountered were manifold, given the company’s vast array of business processes, and they were mostly felt in the supply chain, especially in the order processing and producing part. More specifically, the Client was manually transforming the purchasing orders into production orders, and then manually sending the production orders to production. This manual work was slowing down the entire order-producing process and very often caused mistakes in production. In addition, there was no traceability about the status of the production order, no communication between departments, and huge chances for sensible data leak, meaning privacy could not be guaranteed.
All these challenges affected the Client’s operational efficiency including customer service, resulting in complaints from customers and employees, and increased costs due to mistakes. The goal of the Client was to automate and improve the process to reduce manual work, eliminate errors and improve customer satisfaction.
To fully automate the order processing and material producing process of the Client’s supply chain management, SharePoint, Power Automate, and Microsoft Planner are implemented and integrated with APIs of the existing infrastructure. The solution includes:
- Customizing and implementing SharePoint to transform the Purchase order into a Production Order, and add the option for tracking orders in terms of the time of completion, responsible person, department, and completion percentage.
- Implementing and integrating customized flows in Power Automate to automatically transfer the production order through the different departments of the supply chain. Once the production order has been completed in one department, it is automatically distributed to the next department of the supply chain.
- Integrating Microsoft Planner to automatically plan the tasks for every department of the supply chain based on the production order. Microsoft Planner provides a total overview of the tasks per department, and level of completion. This allows managers to quickly evaluate the process of completing a production order and easily detect problems in production.
The main benefit for the company is the full automatization of the supply chain, which correlates to improving the operational efficiency of the organization, stabilization of the supply chain, solidifying relationships with Clients and partners, and above else lowering costs for the company stakeholders. The lists and reports provided by SharePoint provide valuable insights into departments’ performance, and the tasks created in Microsoft Planner improve employees’ productivity and efficiency providing better visualization of the entire order processing and production.
Key business results include:
- 70% decrease in manual maintenance
- 90% automated processes
- 100% increased transparency
- 60% decreasing manual work