3 Keys to Unlocking Manufacturing Efficiencies

By NE Docs | March 10, 2022

3 Keys to Unlocking Manufacturing Efficiencies

If you work in manufacturing, you know how difficult it’s been during COVID. And now, coming out of the pandemic, problems persist with companies unable keep up with the surging demand fueled by the huge growth in ecommerce orders and deliveries. There are significant workforce shortages and supply chain disruptions. So, how can manufacturing companies reduce these risks and ensure business continuity? This article discusses three key areas where you can immediately improve operation efficiencies and respond to customer demands.

Striving to Meet Demand

Today’s workforce shortages and supply chain instabilities are burdening operational efficiency and margins for manufacturers who are faced with growing demand for products and services. Deloitte notes, “Record numbers of unfilled jobs are likely to limit higher productivity and growth in 2022, and last year we estimated a shortfall of 2.1 million skilled jobs by 2030.”

If you are a manufacturer, you need to reduce your operational bottlenecks by managing labor shortfalls, improving vendor relations, and gaining supply chain transparency. To reduce your risk and create agility to quickly respond to changing market and resource conditions, consider digital transformation options to manage documents, data, and personnel more efficiently.

How to Improve Your Performance

There are several areas where you can improve operational efficiencies in your manufacturing business. Let’s look at three key departments where digital transformation can make an immediate impact: Human Resources, Quality Control, and Accounts Payable.

  1. Manage the Employee Lifecycle

McKinsey & Company noted, “American manufacturing accounts for 8% of the U.S. workforce and 11% of the U.S. GDP.” With senior workers retiring and a shortage of skilled younger workers, companies must discover ways to attract and train new employees, and more efficiently manage their career paths. This can be done by replacing manual HR processes with automated processes, and paper records with digital data storage. Going digital means easier and faster data access for analysis, decisions and reporting.

Digitally transforming every data point along the employee lifecycle will eliminate manual process impediments and provide staff with the ability to effortlessly access any HR data pertaining to that employee at any time. Planning, generating reports, and reacting to potential opportunities and changes affecting your organization become much faster and easier.

Consider the key benefits to your manufacturing business:

  • Access all historical and current employee records and data
  • Manage data from anywhere
  • Optimize workflows and speed up approvals
  • Simplify HR reporting and analytics
  • Reduce labor costs significantly
  • Protect company assets and reduce liability risk


  1. Manage Documents and QC Data

Manufacturing Testing and Quality Control departments deal with lots of record keeping and compliance measures. Digitally transforming your organization’s document management can dramatically improve security and staff access, simplify compliance requirements and audits, and reduce document and data loss.

Moving from paper to digital improves your company productivity. Projects can move faster through the plant and your product managers can pursue more aggressive deadlines by rapidly moving between sales, engineering and the manufacturing floor for new features and change orders.

Historically, this process has been fully manual in many aspects, such as converting 3D designs into 2D spec books, and then delivering those books to machinists on the floor who review and “redline” the books, which are then returned to engineering teams for revisions.

Digitization makes this process more efficient by solving these touch-point problems. For example, eliminating the paper problem enables your organization to enhance its information security, improve process efficiency, and reduce costly errors.


To successfully convert to an efficient virtual system:

  • Evaluate your current processes and identify gaps with your objectives
  • Establish a safe and secure location for virtual files
  • Organize an efficient filing structure for storage and access
  • Digitally scan and shred your paper documents


  1. Automate Your Accounts Payable

Manufacturers buy tons of raw materials and parts as well as business services from multiple suppliers and service providers. Manual processes with a labor shortage can raise havoc with orders and deliveries. Automating your Accounts Payable and payments eliminates manual errors and streamlines all related tasks.

Bluecreek Software, NEdocs’ development partner notes, “Manufacturing organizations face different challenges to their counterparts in other sectors. The highly competitive nature of the industry creates pressure to adopt a lean approach to delivering goods and services to customers. This has led to an increasing emphasis on customer centricity and faster, more robust supply chains. While there tends to be a focus on front-end process improvements, manufacturers realize that there is also a need to extend these improvements to their back-end processes, particularly in accounts payable (AP) and procurement.”

To create operational efficiencies and scalability to support your manufacturing, you should implement AP Automation services that eliminate the tedious and expensive tasks associated with invoice processing, and other manual related tasks that impede your business’ agility and responsiveness to changing business conditions.

NEdocs, along with Blue Creek Software, has helped manufacturing companies automate their AP processes, including routing GL Code, matching purchase orders, and approving and entering invoices. Your organization’s Accounts Payable personnel, controllers, and executives will benefit from an AP automation solution that:


  • Provides faster, more efficient invoice approvals
  • Supports remote access from anywhere
  • Increases flexibility and scalability
  • Prevents duplicate invoices and payment
  • Manages AP by exception
  • Provides centralized visibility and control
  • Offers security, controls, and auditing
  • Supports supplier payments


Your Master Key: Work with Digital Transformation Professionals

The best way to make effective business process change is to work with a professional who has extensive experience in that process. Digital transformation of legacy business processes is the principal driver of our work at NEdocs.

With nearly 40 years of experience, you can be confident in NEdocs’ ability to preserve and secure legacy paper records, digital documents and processes, as well as implement complete digital transformations. AP Automation, HR Records Scanning & Management, and the Digital Mailroom are a few primary examples. Simply stated, you get comprehensive digital technologies for document scanning, storage, archiving, retrieval, management and destruction all under one roof!

For further information about how you can implement a successful digital transformation of your manufacturing organization, contact us online or call (603) 625-1171.


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