Business Process Automation in Engineering and Manufacturing Industries

by Mr. Shriniwas Tilak | 16th July, 2020

In my last two articles, I had put forward my thoughts on ERP Systems and Business Software application development as a process. Going further, now, I am putting forward my thoughts on 'Business Process Automation in Engineering & Manufacturing Industries'.

Engineering or Manufacturing industry is where actually a process automation was born. Not only for traditional, on-the-floor warehouse workflows but also for the office operations and systems that contribute to quick product lead times and keep a plant running.

Yet it's also an industry, which is facing many hardships as globalization and a cutthroat and stiff competition continues to decrease the bottom lines.

Based on my experience of last 40 years in the field, I feel, Technology is the enabler for business process automation (BPA) in the Engineering industry, and it can automate workflows to the point where human intervention is unnecessary. Automation can save time and money, delight the customers, and preclude human errors.But not every business process in an engineering and manufacturing organization is a good fit for automation.

A picture depicting various processes in a complex engineering and manufacturing environment, posted below would give any one, an idea, where the automation can be done in an engineering industry. However, the picture is generic in nature, and only an Expert in the subject matter can help the organizations in deciding this.

There are multiple reasons, as to why one should automate the business processes, but I find, following to be the crucial ones:

  • Minimize Costs
  • Enforce Accountability
  • Reduce a paper work
  • Maintain a consistent work standard
  • Improve Workflows
  • Improve Quality, Decrease defects and manual errors
  • Build a digital labour model.

COVID-19, also has taught a lesson that, going forward, automation of the processes, and geographical independence in the working environment, would be key in the coming decade, for the organizations to survive.

Targeting the following work areas on priority for Business Process Automation (BPA), would help the organizations, to gear up and be ready for implementing Industry 4.0, Robotic Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence and also against the rising customer expectations

  • Research and Development
  • Procurement and Supply Chain
  • Sales and Order Processing
  • Distributions and Logistics
  • Customer Service
  • Production and Operations
  • Accounting
  • Last but not the least 'Compliance'

Customer Relationship Management or commonly known as CRM, is also the important process and includes lot of activities. But personally, I feel, CRM should be considered for automation, only after the 'House' is clean and the essential's are in place.

Automation of any of the Business Processes, is a project by itself, and it goes through 4 major phases.

  • Analysis - In this phase, One reviews the organization's current infrastructure. Assess its requirements and objectives before performing a full review of the current systems, data needs, and business processes. Based on this analysis, then one selects a technology solution based on its architectural design and its fit with the business requirements.
  • Design & Develop - During this phase, based on the analysis, one designs the solutions, sets up and customizes the technology to suit to the design. At this stage, documentation is critical, and one should record each and every functionality.
  • Implementation & Integration - At this stage, One should / can appoint an administrator and impart end-user training, followed by end-to-end and user-acceptance testing of the proposed designed and developed solution. This stage is also critical and important not only from the view point of implementing the proposed solution but also from the view point of implementing the 'Change Management' practises. Top management's support and dictate is also important, as lower levels of management and operating levels may not like and accept the change.
  • Maintenance & Support - This last phase seeks out bottlenecks and flaws in the designed processes so that they can be corrected. One should continuously update system versions, with consistent migration to new platforms as they are available. The whole organization should also be able to take advantage of technical support.

To conclude:
Implementing Business Process automation and workflows is one of the most valuable additions engineering and manufacturing organizations can make during their move to 'Digital Operations or Digitization'.

This stage will help the organizations to improve manufacturing capabilities moving forward, leveraging efficiencies and allowing teams to access the information they need in order to take action. They can do this knowing their decisions are informed by data.

Something about ShriSoft:
We, at ShriSoft, help our engineering and manufacturing clients to analyse, and decide upon which business processes to automate.

ShriSoft starts by looking at the strategic and operating drivers for process improvements in client's organization. Thrust is given by taking into consideration three basic principles:

  • Doing away with 'Non Value Adding' activities / Processes.
  • Cutting down on 'End to End' process times
  • Build the organization to move towards 'Digital Operations'

Consequently, We help our clients, to look at such business processes that are:
  • Time and Resource intensive operationally
  • Subject to human error
  • To be accelerated with automated process improvements


You can share your requirements round the clock and we shall get back to you with "Proof Of Concept"