Materials Management (MM) systems and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are crucial for the success of nearly every industry, from healthcare to manufacturing and beyond. ERP software, when stripped down to the basics, is a comprehensive system of operations that spans the entirety of a company to produce driven results, and ideally, a healthy return on investment.
However, just having an ERP or MM system in place is not enough to bring about cost-savings. When there are gaps present in the Supplier Returns system, financial leaks can occur, undoing much of the work that your personnel put into tracking them! Here are some signs that your company might be experiencing financial leakage due to gaps in the ERP or MM Supplier Return process.
1. Returns are Not Entered into a System
Companies can reduce room for error in their ERP or MM system by making sure communication among the people handling Supplier Returns is as streamlined as possible. When there is a link missing in the communication chain, the entire system fails – and you will not see positive results.
One major way to ensure that there are no communication oversights is by entering returns into the system immediately after they are requested by a user. Using communication channels such as email, paper forms, or voicemail leaves too much room for human error. With such channels, there is always a chance that the information will be overlooked or not received at all, which means that the Supplier Return will not be processed.
Ensuring that there is a strict process for entering Supplier Returns in a system is an easy way to minimize errors and maximize your returns. If your system does not provide an online form with the ability to attach pictures and docs then this first step in the supplier return process is prone to financial leakage.
2. No Internal Owners Assigned
To make sure each return is processed completely, assign a staff member to each return, and task them with making sure that the entire return is processed. Handing off a return to someone else for each step – while it may seem like the most time-efficient option – splits up the accountability for each return.
Each time the return changes hands, there is an opportunity for error to occur. Assigning a single person to each individual return ensures that the accountability sits on the shoulders of one person. This will allow that person to take responsibility for every step of the return process, and make sure it gets completed without missing anything. If your system does not provide a way to assign an owner to a supplier return then unfortunately this will likely become a failure point that will cause organizations financial leakage.
3. No Follow Ups Administered
In some industries, the number of Supplier Returns can become overwhelming, particularly in the healthcare sector. If steps are not being taken to move each Supplier Return smoothly through the process, there is a chance that a few can slip through the cracks. While it doesn’t sound like a big deal, these can add up to serious amounts of money.
By providing notifications and escalations in the Supplier Returns process, you create a system of follow ups and accountability that reinforces the completion of each step. Forgotten returns & missing steps are other common reasons for supplier return financial leakage.
4. No Tracking Statuses
Tying in with communication, documentation is the most important area to focus on when it comes to the Supplier Returns process. By assigning a status each time a move is made, you provide visibility to every step in the Return lifecycle – and track everything along the way.
When a mistake is made or a step is overlooked, tracking becomes an indispensable tool, along with notifications and dashboards, that informs you about what went wrong and what needs to be fixed. Without this tracking, you risk having the return fall through the cracks or partially processed and never receive the credit for that return.
Sidestepping financial leakage doesn’t have to be hard, and it doesn’t have to occupy all of your personnel to make the most of your Supplier Returns. Contact Belmero today to discuss how we can help you streamline your Supplier Returns process!
Are you thinking about managing supplier returns internally? It’s a large undertaking! We can help set you up for success with our proven supplier returns SaaS to help prevent financial leakage! Click here for more information.
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