Are you looking to reduce waste in your business? Maybe your business is using words like “lean”, “digitisation” or “streamlining” but, whatever the label, many of our clients are looking for ways to reduce waste and improve profits.
Waste comes in 7 forms – yes, 7! Typically we focus on wasted product (“defects”) and inputs (“over-processing”) because they have the greatest impact on our bottom line but if your business is passing around paper, forwarding, waiting or looking for emails, or moving data between spreadsheets, then you're feeling the pain of more than two types of waste every day.
The antidote for unnecessary administrative waste is to digitise all that paperwork and spreadsheets, right? Well, while I am an advocate of digitising as a first step, I propose that integration should be the end goal. Let’s break it down.
Using software to replace paperwork for repeatable tasks is a fantastic start and it’s easy to see why agri-businesses are turning to technology to solve the problem. Put simply, digitising processes can eliminate:
Errors that cost you money
Double data entry that costs you time
Delays receiving information that can cost, potentially, a lot of money
Time spent chasing paper to evidence compliance
Risk of corrupted or broken spreadsheets and/or lost paperwork
The holy grail for intelligent supply chains is gained through integration. An integrated supply chain draws on data created outside of your business so that decisions you make inside your business will save you money.
Integrated supply chains are all about information, and the way you store and share information matters. When you are integrating, there is more than one party involved but the good news is that small compromises you make can yield huge rewards. Think of it like this:
When the iPhone gave us iMessage they took messaging over data to the masses. This spelled the end of 160 character limits and, thankfully, also the end of sentences like “wat u up 2?”. Annoyingly, you couldn't send an iMessage to an Android phone which was limiting for us all. Next came Whatsapp, and 2 billion people agree the effort of downloading a new app is worth it.
In a nutshell, minor compromises that enable a new common standard can break down silos and open up opportunities.
That’s why at KisanHub, we developed Paperless Load Passports - a simple tool for creating and sending crop passports/tickets between growers and customers straight from your KisanHub mobile app. Even better, it's easy enough that you can “plug and play” today, but, under the hood, it’s ready for the intelligent supply chains of the future.
Let’s talk money
With an integration mindset and the right software partners, the benefits can be huge. With access to more data:
1. You get visibility of available options, i.e. grab opportunities
2. You can make proactive decisions, i.e. save money
3. You see the whole picture, i.e. you're informed
4. You can act faster when markets or demand changes, i.e. you save time
If your business wants to save time and money then you’ll benefit from an integration mindset. This means looking outside your business to capture information digitally, making minor compromises to conform to a shared standard, and then enjoying the extra decision making power and saved time as a result.
About the author
Lisa Beattie is Head of Product and Engineering at KisanHub; "I work with our amazing engineering team to create solutions or evolve our product in line with what our customers need."