Pandemic or not, capital expenditures are on the rise in manufacturing. According to Melius Research, industrial firms that reported results in the first half of 2020 anticipate a 20% increase in capital expenditures in 2021. Whether it’s replacing equipment, adding fleet vehicles, or renovating facilities, manufacturers are investing in their business.

To procure resources as quickly and painlessly as possible, a simple CapEx approval process is a must. But for some businesses, that’s just not a reality. Many manufacturers still manage their capital expenditure (CapEx) requests manually, relying on Excel spreadsheets to track approvals and piece together budget information. Sound familiar? Here are three ways to simplify the CapEx approval process and how automation may be able to help.

1: Streamline approvals

Manual CapEx requests often involve multiple spreadsheets that go out via email to several people in numerous departments. Because these requests need input from many people, getting approvals is tedious, especially with feedback and revisions.

In other words, manual CapEx processes take up time. A lot of time. And that’s something many executives don’t have. It’s also a poor use of resources. To build a successful businesses, leadership teams need to focus on strategic initiatives, not sorting through convoluted email chains or tracking down spreadsheets. In short, the more streamlined an approval process is, the better it is for business.

2: Use a formal business system

Before approving requests, executives need to know what ROI a purchase will bring or how it will help fulfill the company’s mission. However, getting this information is difficult when vital details are scattered outside formal business systems. How can executives properly evaluate requests if the budget information they need is buried in an Excel spreadsheet? There are also security risks to consider. If employees are sending sensitive information back and forth via email, there’s a chance the information could get lost or routed to the wrong person. Tracking and managing requests in a formal business system can save a lot of time and trouble.

3: Ensure consistent and accurate reporting

Everyone knows that accurate information is a critical component of expenditure reporting. But high-level data isn’t enough. Companies often need to separate data by region, department, or vendor, and they need the most up-to-date information available. Unfortunately, there’s no simple way to do this in a manual CapEx environment. That means the data businesses use for reporting may be inaccurate, out of date, or riddled with errors.

Not sure how?

Without the right solution, you may not have the control or visibility you need to properly manage capital expenditure requests. How can you ensure incoming requests don’t exceed your budget? How do you know if time-sensitive reports are accurate? And how can you expedite critical requests? Knowing what you need to do is one thing. Knowing how to do it is another. That’s where MCA Connect’s automated CapExCONNECT Power App comes in.

Benefits of CapExCONNECT

Created especially for manufacturers and built for Dynamics 365, CapExCONNECT greatly simplifies the capital expenditure request process. It’s simple. It’s automated. And it helps eliminate common headaches. Manufacturers like you can use it to:

  • Easily compare CapEx requests against established budgets
  • Define and maintain corporate-mandated CapEx request process
  • Reduce approval turnaround times
  • Prioritize requests based on ROI or business case

Don’t let outdated manual processes hold your company back. Contact us today to learn more about simplifying the capital expenditure process with CapExCONNECT.

Author: Jeremy Perella, Director, Product Development

MCA Connect