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Push automation to the Edge… of your ERP!

Are you spending time manipulating data so that it can be entered into your core system, or extracting large amounts of data from the system to manipulate it in Excel?

AdminAre your staff members logging into and out of different systems all day, that is, they’re serving as the interface between multiple systems?

If you could bring system tasks directly to employees in Outlook would it improve response times?

If you’re answering “yes” to these questions then you may need to consider integrations and automation. Let’s explore why it’s important to look at an entire process in your business to discover if there are more efficient ways to complete a task.

Introducing SynergAutomate – because we moved away from manual a long time ago

SynergAutomate consists of a range of automation tools that will help with the integration of applications, automation of processes and providing data to users in their preferred application.

In days gone by, the aim was to have all operations taking place in a central system but with the need to adapt at pace being more important than ever, companies are looking to integrate multiple best-of-breed systems enabling them to evolve without taking on long, costly software implementations.

In the past, the process of developing system integrations attracted high development costs and relied on the assumption that these connection points would remain unchanged. It was difficult to maintain these integrations as the business needs changed.

Integration at speed

IntegrationThe integration services in SynergAutomate enable rapid addition of integration points known as APIs (Application Programming Interface), a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other. These interfaces may be provided by other systems or created using the SynergAutomate platform.

With SynergAutomate, integrations are built quickly and cost-effectively when compared to development-heavy integrations of the past.

Bring in the bots

When should you introduce Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to your business?  You introduce RPA to create a ‘digital co-worker’, another resource in the company that will complete repetitive, mundane tasks. Then employees don’t  need to act as the interface between systems, rather a bot is programmed to fetch or input data.

A common example of where RPA is used, is for the collection of files from a banking application, and then bringing the data into the financial system for reconciliation purposes. In an environment with many different bank accounts, this ‘simple’ task becomes time-consuming and valueless.  In this case, the bot is an important co-worker as they complete the repetitive task of retrieving the bank files and bringing in data to the ERP. This results in fewer errors from manual data capture and employees have more time for valuable tasks, such as analysis of the company’s current financial position and any issues that may need attention.

Meet the user where they are with actionable emails

Actionable EmailsBecause your employees may not have access to your ERP or they may be more comfortable working in familiar applications such as Outlook, actionable emails will help to make them more productive by delivering the data to them.

When using actionable emails, we embed actions in an email – whether you need a user to input data, approve a request, or update a transaction – your users will receive an email that they can work inside of directly updating the relevant systems and transactions, without having to log into the system.

How we’ve used automation to assist our clients

SynergERP Team Leader Renier Duvenhage relates the following example of process automation success during a recent implementation at a large technology distribution customer.

We started with specific areas such as the product divisions and set out to discover and understand the complete value chain. We conducted sessions with all stakeholders in that value chain including finance, marketing and the brand team, procurement, warehousing, and the sales reps.

Our objective was to gather information from documentation and stakeholders relating to the business processes, even if it appeared to fall outside the ambit of the Sage X3 system. For example, to fully understand how vendor rebates are processed from end-to-end we looked outside the business.

We then ran through all the stakeholder activities, by prompting the users to identify their day-to-day tasks and challenges, which were duly recorded. This report highlighted where the processes could be automated by SynergAutomate. Consequently, this automation will free up staff to focus on more valuable activities.

SynergAutomate Use Cases

SynergAutomate leverages several technologies that enhance and complement one another to help users easily access data without even being aware that they may be using data from different applications. It provides stable and secure cross-platform integration services, robotic process automation (RPA) and actionable emails that speed up process flows and bring the tasks directly to the user.

There are many use cases for SynergAutomate, some examples include:

  • Timesheet capture
  • Purchase request approval
  • Delivery confirmation process
  • Retrieve inventory supply information from vendor and use it in your system
  • Expense claim process
  • Bank recon & debtor automation

Using the tools included in SynergAutomate you can remove or reduce manual tasks, streamline business processes and make the overall business more effective.

By giving users easy access to data they become more productive, and less errors occur as employees no longer need to work in multiple applications.

The main driver behind all of these improvements is to free up your employees time, so that they’re no longer busy with mundane tasks, but rather have time to analyse results and identify areas to improve business operations and ultimately business performance.

Consider the value of your Financial Manager’s time. If you’ve automated just 15% of his role – activities that don’t add significant value – he could invest the additional time he’s gained into the business. This is where you’ll see the true value of SynergAutomate, employees focusing on activities that move the business forward.

Allocate your resources to the things that matter, let automation do the rest.

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