ARM stands for Automated Routines Manager and is a propriety Blue Link feature built directly into our ERP software and available to all customers. Although ARM can do many different things, the technology primarily helps customers automate what would otherwise be tedious, manual processes. ARM is a tool to read data, determine when data meets certain criteria and then perform an action based on the criteria (such as changing or updating a record, or sending an email). During our implementation process, Blue Link consultants will work with your team to identify any opportunities to use ARM, but customers (and Blue Link employees) are always creating "new ARMs” every day to further automate processes. Below, we share some of the popular ARMs that we’ve set up to help our customers save hours of manual work.
Save Time with ARM
With the help of the right software system and automation tools such as Blue Link’s ARM, your team will be able to reduce manual work and automate processes.
- Instead of manually emailing invoices to customers, ARM allows you to automatically email invoices from the system to customers when the sales order status changes to “shipped”.
- You can also automatically email other documentation such as shipping notifications and tracking information.
- With ARM, you can automatically send multiple attachments to a single email address (such as an invoice and order confirmation information) or send information to multiple emails.
- Automatically populate Blue Link’s F3 notes when a report (such as a quote or invoice) is sent to the customer. This saves you from manually updating contact records every time you send information.
- The record that gets added to the write-back table is then used to make sure that employees do not send the same report repeatedly and provides a means to track communication between your employees and customers.
- Automatically email customer Statements with Accounts Receivables based on certain criteria to help with the collection process. This replaces the manual process of reviewing all customer accounts and then emailing those accounts that are overdue. Instead, the system will find that information for you and then automatically send a statement to all customer accounts that are x days past due or past the due date.
- Automatically send website orders (either B2B or B2C) directly to the warehouse to be picked, packed and shipped if they meet certain criteria. While you may sometimes want to manually review website orders before sending them to your warehouse, in certain situations, this process can be automated instead and the criteria set by your team could be based on factors such as inventory availability, customer credit limit, type of inventory on the order (serialized, lot tracked), etc.
- Automatically change the status of an order based on criteria being met such as payment received. Instead of manually updating the status, once you receive payment the system will automatically change the status to “Paid”, “Ready to Ship” or some other example, for your team to continue processing.
- Automatically email spreadsheets to specific sales reps with their sales activity, commissions, etc. This provides your sales team with timely updates on the status of their accounts and allows you to automatically alert them to opportunities.
Other Tools to Eliminate Manual Processes
Using SQL Reports is another great way to automate processes and eliminate manual work. While in some cases users could choose to use Blue Link’s ARM tool OR SQL Reports to accomplish the same task, in the real world, the following examples would be best using SQL Reports.
Track Employee Productivity
Using SQL Reporting tools, you can schedule daily reports that get automatically sent to the appropriate people with information on staff productivity. For example, how long it took an employee to pick/pack/process an order, the employee’s fastest vs. slowest times and how much free time they had during the day.
Prevent Bad Data
Using SQL reports can help you prevent bad data – either due to missing information, duplicate information or incorrectly entered information. The system will automatically email the correct person when information is missing or incorrect for a specific screen/task. For example, if the address field or phone number field on a customer account is missing, or if a salesperson did not correctly enter or complete an order.
Generate Recurring Reports
Automatically generate daily, weekly or monthly inventory reports on a specific date chosen by the user and send to a specific email or list of emails. This helps track inventory information such as pricing, costs, inventory levels etc. and allows your team to make proactive decisions to help aid with inventory management. You can also generate recurring reports to help manage other aspects of the business too.
The above are just some examples of the tools available to Blue Link customers to help automate processes and reduce manual work.