At a recent materials management conference, someone gave a statistic that really stuck with me: the average time it takes to complete a material receipt using a traditional paper-based processes is 22 days.

Twenty-two days! And according to the speaker, that’s an average—not a worst-case scenario.

What causes this broken process? To me, it can be attributed to using paper in the field. Even on projects that have invested heavily in sophisticated software programs for scheduling and purchasing, the field is still run on paper.

With paper-based receiving there are many opportunities for delay and many opportunities for mistakes, which, in addition to paper-based OS&D and inspection processes, can really add up to significantly increase that receiving cycle time average.

Digitizing material data, automating material transactions, enabling a collaborative workspace across the supply chain—that’s the only way to fix this broken status quo.