May 19, 2020

How can Canadian manufacturing companies reduce costs?

Manufacturing
Digital
expenditure
DocLogix
anna smith
3 min
How can Canadian manufacturing companies reduce costs?

It seems that manufacturing has not been recovering in Canada post-recession, and the situation is not aided by the oil and gas sectors' troubles. For example, Alberta has been experiencing large-scale layoffs, emptying offices, and falling house prices for the past couple of years.

Experts say that one of the best ways to deal with the sluggish economy is to turn inward and to optimize the internal processes (including production) of the company. Such practices are currently seen around the world: manufacturing companies are spending in digital technology areas, such as process automatization, analytics, mobile, and cloud that lower costs and help improve production.

While many Canadian manufacturing companies decide to take a different approach and to scale down by reducing staff, there are some that face the challenge by directing their resources to process optimization. These companies take recession as an opportunity to save money by being more efficient. For many, efficiency building often turns out to be the step towards modernization that changes how the company operates from its core.

Currently, there are many examples of Canadian manufacturing companies implementing robots - which is a great step towards optimization, but not many understand the value of software that helps increase productivity and optimize costs. When audits of manufacturing companies are performed, oftentimes the losses that are found are directly related to inefficient information management (poorly managed time reports, lost contracts and other human errors). These issues are mostly common in small and midsize companies.

One of the new tools on the market that helps companies manage business processes is the DocLogix platformspecifically designed to help manufacturing companies deal with information chaos, gain transparency and increase productivity.

DocLogix automates and organizes all the company’s information flows, tasks and communication between administration and production. It integrates with a company’s ERP system and complements it, without the need for any programming.

Especially benefiting small and midsize companies, DocLogix helps reduce labour costs by 37 percent per produced item, increases productivity by 26 percent and increases overall traceability and visibility by 45 percent.

With its current Canada-oriented campaign, DocLogix aims to select 30 most promising Canadian small and midsized manufacturing companies to grant them with 60 percent off for DocLogix manufacturing platform implementation.

“The reason we have started this campaign is that we see a huge gap between European small and midsized manufacturing companies and Canadian ones. Here in Canada, most manufacturing companies are far away from information technologies. While having huge plans for exports and profitability, they still lack attention onto better performance through adopting information technologies,” states Aurimas Bakas, DocLogix chairman of the board.

When correctly implemented, DocLogix can produce the return of up to 80 CAD per one dollar spent. How does it work? When a company installs DocLogix system, its entire document management process suddenly becomes automated and very easy to monitor, with no specific IT knowledge required. The system connects the document-heavy back office with production-only part of the company. The production manager can now access all the information about sales, acquisitions, maintenance schedules, time reports and productivity, which enables a more efficient human resource management and increase in profitability.

Manufacturing companies need to have a clear long-term digital strategy that would allow for productivity increase and cost optimization.
 

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Jun 8, 2021

Six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda

Tax
Compliance
financeleaders
Deloitte
Kate Birch
4 min
As businesses accelerate their transformation journeys, tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value. Deloitte reveals six tax trends

New Deloitte research reveals that tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value as companies accelerate business model transformation, from undergoing digital transformations to rethinking their supply chains or investing in green initiatives.

According to Phil Mills, Deloitte Global Tax & Legal Leader, to “truly deliver value to the business, the tax function needs to rethink its resourcing model and transform its technology infrastructure to create capacity and control costs”.

And the good news, according to Mills, is that tax and business leaders have more options at their disposal to achieve this.

Reflecting the insights of global tax and finance executives at global companies, Deloitte’s Tax Operations in Focus study reveals the six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda.

Trend 1: Businesses seek more strategic counsel from tax

Companies are being pushed to develop new digital products and distribution channels and accelerate sustainable transformation and this is taking them into uncharted tax territory. Tax leaders say their teams must have the resources and skills to give deeper advisory support on digital business models (65%), supply chain restructuring (49%) and sustainability (48%) over the next two years. This means redrawing the boundaries of what tax professionals focus on, and accelerating adoption of advanced technologies and lower-cost resourcing models to meet compliance requirements and free up time.

According to Joanne Walker, Group Tax Director, BT Group PLC, "There’s still a heavy compliance load today, but the vision for the future would be that much of that falls away, and tax people become subject matter experts who help program the machine, ensure quality control, and redirect their time to advisory activity.”

Trend 2: Tipping point for resourcing models

Business partnering demands in the tax department are on the rise, but 93% of tax leaders say their department’s budget is remaining flat or falling. To ensure that the tax function can redefine itself as a strategic function at the pace that is required, leaders are choosing to move increasing amounts of compliance and reporting to a combination of shared service centers, finance departments, and outsourcing providers that have invested in best-in-class technology.

Trend 3: Digital tax administration is moving faster than expected

in addition to the rising focus of the corporate tax department partnering with their business counterparts, transformative changes to the way companies share tax information with revenue authorities is also creating an imperative to modernize operations at a faster pace. Nine in 10 (92%) respondents say that shifting revenue authority demands on digital tax administration will have a moderate or high impact on tax operations and resources over the next five years—and several heads of tax said the trend is moving faster than expected.

"It’s really stepped up in the last couple of years," says Anna Elphick, VP Tax, Unilever. "Tax authorities don't just want a faster turnaround for compliance but access into a company’s systems. It's not unreasonable to think that in a much shorter time than we expect, compliance will be about companies reviewing a return that's been drafted by the tax authorities."

Trend 4: Data simplification and lower-cost resourcing are top priorities

Tax leaders said that simplifying data management (53%) and moving to lower-cost resourcing models (51%) must be prioritized if tax is to become more proactive at delivering strategic insights to the business. Many tax teams are ensuring that they have a seat at the table as ERP systems are overhauled, which is paying dividends: 56% of those that have introduced NextGen ERP systems are now highly effective at supporting the business with scenario-modeling insights. Only 35% of those with moderate to low use of NextGen ERP systems said the same.

At Stryker, “we automated the source P&L process for transfer pricing which took a huge burden off of the divisions," says David Furgason, Vice President Tax. "Then we created a transfer price database to deposit and retrieve data so we have limited impact on the divisions. We are moving to a single ERP platform which will help us make take the next step with robotics.”

Trend 5: Skillsets are shifting

Embedding a new data infrastructure and redesigning processes are critical for the future tax vision. Tax leaders are aligned — data skills (45%) and technology process experience (43%) are ‘must have’ skills in a tax department of the future, but more traditional tax specialist knowledge also remains key (40%). The trick to success will be in tax leaders facilitating the way these professionals, with their different backgrounds, can work together collectively to unlock lasting value.

Take Infineon Technologies, which formed a VAT technology and governance group "that has the right knowledge about how to change the system to ensure it generates the right reports", according to Matthias Schubert, Global Head of Tax. "Involving them early was key as we took a greenfield approach, so we could think about what the optimal processes would look like and how more intelligent systems could make an impact 

Trend 6: 2020 brought productivity improvements

Improved productivity (50%) and accelerating shifts to remote working (48%) were cited as the biggest operational benefits to emerge from COVID-19-driven disruption. But, as 78% of leaders now plan to embed either hybrid or fully remote models in the tax function long term, 34% say maintaining productivity benefits is a top concern. And, as leaders think about building their talent pipeline and strengthening advisory skill sets, 47% say they must prioritize new approaches to talent recognition and career development over the next two years, while 36% say new processes for involving tax in business strategy decisions must be established.

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