When looking to replace their workflow and business database solution for handling orders for paper based products, the Ministry of Defence team were keen to enhance not only their efficiency, but also their quality of service. They needed to look at both automation and the fundamental working practices of the unit to address the key issues.
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is the British government department responsible for implementing the defence policy set by Her Majesty’s Government, and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces.
The ‘Paperwork’ team in Oxfordshire ensure that all the required documentation is delivered across the MoD. As expected, this amounts to vast numbers of documents that need to be planned, authorised, published and tracked; by a large team of specialists and experts.
The original systems were a mixture of software and paper-based processes, which were heavily geared towards the specialist knowledge of individuals. Workflows were often duplicated and it was difficult to manage operations when people were on holiday or off work sick, but especially when they left altogether. A number of highly repetitive processes were carried out manually, and error tracking and correction was slow and intensive. Quality of service for both customers and suppliers was suffering due to an over-stretched team, and a custom solution was required to make the processes more efficient and automated, and less reliant on individuals.
A replacement system was commissioned and software was completely redesigned by Triangle to automate business database processes generically rather than relying on individuals having specialist knowledge.
The bespoke software integrates processes and activities rather than focusing on specialist functions, allowing efficient operational procedures to be designed around the natural flow of work. Users can easily view what work needs progressing and at what stage each item currently stands.
Turnaround times were reduced because substantially less user interaction is required. Repetitive activities have been automated into background processes which remove a significant level of data entry; and allow even inexperienced staff to handle the work load.
Automated provision of additional supply lines and orders has been introduced to ensure that what is required is actually delivered rather than only what is ordered, even when inexperienced staff are involved. Auditability was built in, meaning that mistakes can be traced and managed, and users can track at what stage an individual demand is or produce a report.
The bespoke application was fully integrated with the existing supply chain and stock management system with data being transferred regularly between the two systems, thus enhancing stock keeping efficiency.
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