Ken Manchen: How I Found Efficiency Through Automation

Ken Manchen: How I Found Efficiency Through Automation

Manually collecting data can be tedious and labor-intensive, consuming valuable staff time — but imagine the possibilities if that time could be reallocated.

In the eBook Budgeting for Compliance in 2019, guest author Ken Manchen explores how automation could help his team find efficiencies and streamline the compliance process. The following is an excerpt from the eBook.

If time is money — which it is — then manual compliance processes are incredibly expensive.

Compliance is a big, complicated job. Companies not only collect huge amounts of data from their operations and suppliers — they also need to validate it, organize it and manage it in a way that is accessible and useful for the company.

Typically, the person, or people, in charge of compliance are responsible for a variety of important tasks within an organization. When people talk about the costs of compliance, it is easy to identify where the impact of these tasks is felt within a company.

Learn more about allocating resources for supply chain data management. Download our eBook, Budgeting for Compliance in 2019.

In a previous role, I served as the Corporate Director of Environment, Health and Safety, and Sustainability (EHS&S) for a multinational company. My duties included supply chain compliance. Each year, I requested budget to purchase a system that would automate many of my compliance duties, so I could focus on other important areas. I always received preliminary approval. However, when it came time to approve a final budget, I was asked to delay my system purchase because it appeared we were managing compliance requirements just fine as it was.

That was never the true picture.

My team was effective at collecting data and meeting our requirements, but the process was so manual and time-intensive that it forced me to largely manage from the office. In my role, I should have been spending more time visiting facilities, providing more direct support to my on-site coordinators, performing more on-site audits, validating compliance, and verifying that our corporate programs and policies were being properly implemented across our various locations.

When I did have the chance to get out of the office and do these things, I always found that while we were collecting all the required data, it was not always accurate and rarely told the complete story. From a company perspective, that translates into risk. Legal risk for non-compliance, liabilities, financial and reputational damages — all things I would have been able to mitigate if I had better systems in place to automate repeatable and time-consuming processes.

The cost of compliance could be seen beyond salaries and tools. We found that underfunding can impact other areas of the business and increase business risk. These issues are often overlooked in the budgeting process because they aren’t easily defined as a line item. The truth is, funding that improves the efficiencies of compliance personnel typically reduces costs and risks across the organization.

Ken Manchen is the former Corporate Director of Environment, Health and Safety, and Sustainability (EHS&S) of a multinational company. To learn more about budgeting for compliance from Ken and other experts, download our eBook, Budgeting for Compliance in 2019.

To learn more about automating supply chain data management, contact