Would anyone disagree that the world, all people and every enterprise has been subject to force majeure? What is it? Are we overpowered by it? Can good come out of it?
In law, force majeure is described as an act of God, unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract. Force majeure would be bad if the contracts had been mutually beneficial, and good for the party who had wanted out. In life, force majeure is an irresistible compulsion or superior strength. If in your favour, say helping you in an ordeal, then your victory is assured. However, if it is against you, you’ve lost. Whether in law or in life, whether for you or against you, the power is on a grand scale. The results, the cost or benefit, will therefore also be devastating or grand.
The prevailing global force majeure is the pandemic. Devastating in human cost and grand in short-circuiting the production of not just one, but several vaccines, from 10 years to 10 months. Force majeure, miracles, revelations are life and situation changers.
Behaviours have changed since the pandemic hit. People embraced this digital age’s new tools at home and for work. The more successful enterprises grasped the advantages of digitisation very quickly. They cut the umbilical cord and compulsion of being office-bound and stole a march on the competition. Such acts were transformative in their own right. Now add the benefits of 24/7 control, visibility, remove the manual tasks, the human errors, with intelligent machine learning and factor in speed of processing, so the same staff produce more, and the costs tumble. For example, in customer service, digitised order management becomes smoother and faster. CSRs are freed up to give customers the extra time, attention and service they deserve and nurture their loyalty.
Let’s take an example from June 2020:
“Before we had Esker, a standard order took about nine minutes to process,” said Jesse Sandoval, CSR, Order Management at Lam Research. “But once we had Esker, the process was down to 1-2 minutes. Because Esker can handle PDFs, it was able to fill a gap we had in our process. The beauty of Esker’s solution is its ability to ‘learn’ as we use it. The teaching and auto-learn functionalities were big factors in our ability to reduce overall touches and speed up process time.”
Lam Research reduced manual data entry, cut order processing time by 88 per cent, reduced manual changes per order from 3.7 to 2.8, lowered the possibility for errors and streamlined the workflow to realise greater customer service and see unprecedented order processing efficiencies.
Further, “Innovation is essential in driving the supply chain industry forward, and thanks to these valuable partnerships, companies of all sizes are able to achieve success in projects that matter,” says Marina Mayer, Editor for Supply & Demand Chain Executive. “From business intelligence systems and supply and demand planning, to inventory reduction and procurement solutions, the SDCE 100 offers proof-of-concept that with the right planning and execution, anything is possible.”
“We are honoured to be included in the SDCE 100 Top Supply Chain Projects list,” said Steve Smith, COO at Esker. “Esker is proud to support Lam Research in scaling globally to deliver a refined customer service and order processing experience.”
Today, as the world battles for control over this pandemic, digitisation has emerged king and a kingmaker. We have been challenged, changed and given new, better, cleaner choices about how we work. Hopefully our choices will be smart enough to assure that bright future we really do need.