On a recent ProcessMAP EHS Leadership Roundtable, I shared an interesting anecdote with the participants about how ProcessMAP helped one of our customers to use ProcessMAP’s Connected Workers App, our low-code/no-code application development platform technology, to “think outside of the module” and help solve a business challenge within their organization. While ProcessMAP offers a comprehensive suite of integrated digital solutions to address our customers’ business requirements, from time to time, we identify situations where a customer is trying to solve a specific non-EHS business challenge, which our ready-to-use mobile apps can easily help to solve.
A global manufacturing customer was looking for a more efficient way to document and track reclaimed metals. These are metals that they return to suppliers to be recycled or reused in a different way than how they were originally intended during the customer’s manufacturing process. While brainstorming with our customer, we understood that the tracking and management process for reclaiming these metals, such as copper and gold, was cumbersome, costly, time consuming, and not at all transparent.
The customer was preparing paper documentation for the metals, so that as the company returned them to suppliers, they would list the metal types and weights in anticipation of receiving payment for these specialty metals. Tracking this reporting on paper presented a number of challenges, particularly when awaiting payment for these reclaimed metals. Some of these challenges involved documentation accuracy – was the proper weight and type of metal being correctly documented for each reclaimed metal? Also, was the amount the reclaiming vendor paid for that metal aligned with what the customer was expecting to be paid?
With an electronic record of each reclaimed metal, the customer gained improved visibility into that metal’s status in the reclaiming process and shared that information with the departments that needed to have it, including Supply Chain and Accounting. The value of certain metals can be quite high, and the anticipated reclaimed amounts could be significant, so accurate electronic tracking of each metal reclaim was important to the customer.
The ProcessMAP Metals Reclaim app has four sections that the customer uses. Each section is permission-driven, where only certain departments have visibility to the sections they need, and perhaps not all departments see all sections of the information. These permissions are enabled by the record- and field-level data security capabilities of the app platform.
When creating a new record on the app, the customer’s first step is to initiate a pickup request. The app creates a record of the metal to be picked up and includes a field for estimating the value of the metal. The initiating employee can complete this step right on the shop floor using a mobile device. When the requester taps “save,” a notification is sent to the appropriate vendor.
The vendor is notified what metal needs to be picked up, where the requester is located, the request date, and the number of items that need to be picked up. The app then enables the user to document the time of pickup, completion of the Bill of Lading or the shipping manifest, by uploading images of these documents right into the app.
The final step in the process is called Settlement. This is where the customer receives payment for the metal and confirms that the amount received matches the expected amount entered at the time the shipping request was initiated. The Accounting Department can then validate the payment the vendor has made, and ensure the amount is within the range of the estimated value of the metal.
This electronic documentation of each reclaimed metal helps to improve transparency for both the requestor and the vendor picking up the metal. The customer is now able track the entire process digitally, from initiating a pickup request all the way through payment for the reclaimed metal. Accounting receives notifications throughout the different phases of the process, so they are aware when a payment should be expected, and can determine whether they have received full payment, partial payment, or if needed, dispute a payment amount based on the documentation collected in the app.
This is just one example of how ProcessMAP can help to digitize business processes across departments, from the shop floor, to Accounting, and senior management. ProcessMAP’s Connected Worker Apps simplify the documentation process and minimize the time spent sharing reporting across multiple business functions. To learn more about ProcessMAP’s Connected Workers App library, visit - https://www.processmap.com/mobileapp/