At a recent interview with a client we determined a need they had for a Purchasing system.
The Existing Process
Staff needed to purchase additional materials for the current Job or Project. Currently Staff have a traditional “Order Book” They must take this book to the Supplier, then write up the Order with Supplier name and material details, then give a copy to the Supplier. They then go back to the place of work and give a second copy of the Order to the Office Administrator to enter in the Financial Accounting system. Then they can get back to work and use the newly purchased items to progress the Job.
The existing process is full of inefficiencies, these include;
- Purchasing physical, multi-copy and individually Numbered Order Books for all Staff who are approved to purchase goods and materials.
- Staff sometimes misplace or forget to take the Order Book with them.
- Staff forget to pass the Orders Copy to the Administrator.
- The Office Administrator sometimes struggles to read the handwriting on the Order.
Looking at these a little closer we can see that there is the obvious cost of the Custom printing, but what happens when a Staff member forgets to take the Order Book? -They can drive back to the office and collect it -adding Time and Mileage or they “Save Time” by phoning the Office, interrupting someone’s work, having them track down the forgotten Order Book then finding the next Order Number and entering the Supplier and Order Details. This wastes the time of the Purchaser as well as the Helper who has also lost the continuity of their work!
The Amount of wasted time grows as the Administrator has to go looking for the Orders Copy to match the Supplier Invoices against the actual Purchase Order. Frequently the Purchaser may be off site or have the Book in a Vehicle.
What’s an efficient solution to this age old problem I hear you ask?
Technology! Our Client had already identified this issue and had a concept solution: “Build an App!”. We looked at the requirements and needs, then determined the most cost effective solution was an interactive website that would auto scale for use on a mobile or tablet as well as desktop PC’s.
The user simply opens a web browser on their smartphone or other device, clicks the link to the previously saved site, then logs in with a user name and password. They are then presented with a dropdown list to select an existing Supplier or add a new Supplier. Once the Supplier is picked an “Order Number” is allocated and boldly displayed. Additionally, they can enter Product details and Quantities etc. if required. The Order Number is given to the Supplier and the Purchaser takes their Goods and goes about their business…
Back in the Office – the Administrator can view all Purchase Orders in real time and update them and the Accounting system as and when needed. They can see who created each order and there are no more interruptions or strain trying to read the scribbly writing.
How is this Achieved?
ProcessIT created a small database to hold all the information and generate unique and sequential Purchase Order Numbers. The mini Website connects to the Database to read and store data to manage the process. We host this and the mini Website “In the Cloud” so it is accessible anywhere with an internet connection. Being Web based, the Purchase Orders will function on any device with a web browser, so is not manufacturer specific. -Read Windows, Android or Apple devices and has been built to suit the small screens used by Phones. The Administrator reporting interface also connects to the live data and runs the required reports.
Do you have inefficiencies too?
Call me now (on 06 8760 312) to discuss your process issues and how we can help you improve your Business efficiencies with systems like this or other automation options…
Cortana – Windows 10’s Digital Assistant.
Cortana is Microsoft’s “Artificial Intelligence” assistant that will recognise voice and typed requests. It is quite amazing how much faster it is to simply speak to your Computer rather than having to type. Sadly though, Cortana does not natively support New Zealand English which is likely your Default language! Luckily you can also set up Cortana to use other “English” languages while still retaining NZ English as the Default Language.
Set up Cortana using an Alternative Language! Yes, English is indeed English, so you can also set Cortana to listen for different languages or accents. These include US English, UK English or Australian English.
Select your Preferred Language/Accent and follow these steps to Make Cortana work.
- Plug in a microphone if you do not have an in built one.
- Click on the Windows Button then the Gear/Cog button (Window ->Settings) and pick Time and Language.
- Select Region & Language and click Add a language: Pick English then one of the three (US, UK, AU). The new language will show on your screen. Click on it again and choose Options. Then select to Download the Speech Language Pack. Wait as it loads and installs. (A restart may be needed.)
- Now Click the “Search” button (either a Magnifying Glass or a Circle by the Windows Button) and click the Gear/Cog button for
- Under Microphone click Get Started to setup your Microphone… -You may need to read a short sentence to adjust sound levels.
- Turn on the “Hey Cortana” prompt and adjust any other setting you choose.
Cortana should now respond to your voice prompts. It’s quite amazing what it can find and do for you. Try a few searches yourself such as “Hey Cortana Play Music”.
With time, Cortana will improve its recognition of your voice as it learns how you speak. I hope you enjoy your new Digital Assistant and the potential time savings it/she will bring to you!