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How no-code automation will propel the manufacturing industry

Perhaps no industry is more poised to experience the benefits of automation than manufacturing. From increased productivity to improved employee safety, experts estimate the financial impact of automation opportunities in manufacturing at nearly $2.7 trillion. By democratizing who can automate processes and removing the barriers to automation development, manufacturers can bring even their most complex operations into the 21st century. Google Cloud’s AppSheet combines the power of artificial intelligence (AI) with the simplicity and democratizing power of no-code development to give all manufacturing teams — even non-technical employees — the ability to quickly automate existing processes and workflows without writing a single line of code. The AppSheet platform is designed to help manufacturers tap into automation opportunities (with zero coding knowledge) so they can drive further efficiencies across their entire enterprise — from facilities management and inventory control to incident reporting and employee timekeeping. This month, we’re spotlighting no-code automation use cases by industry and this week’s focus is on manufacturing. Incident reporting When you least expect it, a safety incident can turn a normal manufacturing day into an emergency situation — one that requires an immediate response from management. That’s why it’s so important for manufacturing leaders to have a fast, reliable, automatic system in place for producing and submitting incident reports. With no-code automation, you can easily create dedicated reporting apps that put your incident reporting on autopilot. AppSheet’s no-code development platform makes it simple to include forms and fields for employees to share incident data, schedule interviews with involved parties, collect evidence like photos and documents, and quickly submit accurate reports and request signatures via SMS and email. By establishing an automatic, formalized process for incident reporting, AppSheet can help your team work safer and faster. Managing enterprise assets Manufacturers frequently have thousands of assets located across multiple locations, including human resources, machines, vehicles, network components, servers, and more. Maintaining visibility over all of these assets is crucial — and where the power of no-code automation shines. You can boost the ongoing stability and profitability of your company by automating your manufacturing operations. Using a no-code platform like AppSheet, any member of your team can easily build custom apps to track HR processes, manufacturing workflows, data management, inventory, and more, and merge them into a centralized reporting app to give you a true 360-degree view of your assets. That means you can track your assets from anywhere in the cloud and eliminate errors, giving you real confidence that you can act on today, tomorrow, and into the future. Inventory control Maintaining the proper balance between parts, equipment, and raw materials needed to meet demand for your final products is at the heart of inventory control. Doing it effectively lowers carrying costs and results in less waste and fewer delays. Digital transformation is already helping manufacturers improve the visibility, accuracy, and speed at which they control their inventory. And no-code development platforms like AppSheet give any member of your team the tools they need to automate these key processes to make them even more efficient, error-free, and fully optimized. In fact, AppSheet offers a number of free sample apps that you can easily copy and customize to get started. Explore them below, and say hello to the digital future of manufacturing: Manufacturing Inventory sample app Barcode Scan and Search sample app Deliveries For manufacturers, the job doesn’t end when your product leaves the factory or warehouse. It needs to arrive to your customers quickly and safely. With so many moving parts (literally), deliveries are another area where no-code automation can help manufacturers unlock valuable optimizations. AppSheet enables anyone to create apps that automatically notify and update customers when their order is out for delivery — sending push notifications to both you and them as an order makes its way to its destination. And with Google Maps integration, you can make sure your drivers always have the most optimized and up-to-date routes based on current traffic conditions, putting your dispatching and delivery routing on autopilot. Now, you can stay in total control of your products from the moment they’re made to the moment they’re delivered. Check out AppSheet’s delivery management sample app to try our no-code development today: Package Delivery Management sample app Workforce management Your employees are the most valuable part of your manufacturing operations. But collecting, managing, and processing their timecards and wages can be complicated and prone to errors. Reduce the strain on your HR teams and get your employees paid on time everytime with no-code automation. Forget manual time cards; now anyone on your team can quickly build apps that make it easy for employees to track their hours and log time in and time out, automatically calculating total wages and delivering all necessary information to HR so accounting is a breeze. AppSheet even provides a Timesheet sample app that you can copy, customize, and start using in your manufacturing operations right now, for free. * * * With Google Cloud’s AppSheet, manufacturing leaders and employees everywhere can automate their most mission-critical business processes with zero coding skills and technical background. Getting started with AppSheet’s no-code development platform couldn’t be easier, so start your business’s digital transformation today!

Accelerating the Retail Experience with No-Code Automation

Time is of the essence in retail, where customer demands rapidly change, competition is fierce, and disruption is constant — making automation a necessity for any retail business to survive and thrive. This is especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic. Retail has had to re-invent the shopping experience in stores, implement curb-side pick-up, and pivot to online sales models. Based on changing government guidelines, retail outlets have had to change processes and employee protocol. According to McKinsey & Company, automatable activities account for nearly 40 percent of retailers’ time, and experts estimate that automation will add approximately $24.6 billion in value to the retail industry by 2025. While the challenges of digital transformation and applying automation technologies to business processes can seem daunting and out of reach for businesses without an army of engineers, that’s not the case with Google Cloud’s AppSheet. AppSheet combines the power of artificial intelligence (AI) with the simplicity and democratizing power of no-code development to give all retail teams (even non-technical employees) the ability to quickly automate existing processes without having to write a single line of code. The AppSheet platform is designed to help retailers tap into automation opportunities so they can drive further efficiencies across their entire enterprise — from customer experience and employee retention to inventory management and timely marketing promotion. Over the next month, we’ll be spotlighting no-code automation use cases by industry — starting with this week’s focus on retail. Customer Retention In a hyper-competitive industry like retail, it’s not enough to make a sale. You need to win a customer’s business repeatedly. With no-code automation, you can put the optimization of your customer retention efforts on autopilot. Establish automated workflows to send customers loyalty points or discount codes after they make a purchase, share special holiday and birthday offers based on customer data, distribute feedback surveys after a store visit to show you value their business, and more. No-code automation makes it possible for any retail business to provide their customers a personalized, high-touch experience that wins their loyalty and drives greater customer lifetime value. Warehouse Management “Do you have any more in the back?” is a question familiar to most retailers — and one that can take an enormous amount of time to answer. With a custom inventory app powered by no-code automation, you can give your agents on the floor the ability to quickly check inventory right from a mobile device without having to venture into the warehouse. And if an item isn’t in stock, they can use the app to quickly check the inventory of nearby stores and locations to refer customers to another branch to make their purchase. That means fewer lost sales, less time spent searching for inventory, and greater clarity for your business — all of which leads to a more positive customer experience. Workforce Training and Compliance The retail industry is always changing, which means keeping employees up-to-date on company policies, technologies, and protocols can be a full-time job. AppSheet can boost your efficiency and help guarantee organization-wide compliance by automatically triggering lessons and training based on workflows and parameters. Whether it’s a regular quarterly update or a net-new course brought on by a recent merger, market shift, or new legislation, you can automate your workforce training so no employee gets left behind. And by smoothly integrating all that employee data and content, an automated process can also help your HR team quickly identify employees well-suited for promotion and career advancement to keep your most valuable team members right where they belong — helping your company succeed. Merchandise Planning Experts estimate that retailers spend up to 20 percent of their time on merchandise planning. Despite this, inventory forecasting, sales and promotions, and pricing can be fraught with unknowns and risks. But with no-code automation, retail teams (including non-technical workers) can use powerful predictive modeling and analytics to study past, present, and future trends in order to make better-informed decisions about their merchandise and surface insights and opportunities they may have otherwise missed. With Google Cloud’s AppSheet, retailers can take the guesswork out of merchandise planning — giving business leaders the ability to minimize exposure to risks while making sure products and promotions always hit the mark. Inventory Management Like merchandise planning, proper inventory management is key to making sure you always have enough of what customers want on-hand, without the excess supply. A custom app powered by AppSheet can provide a 360-degree view of your retail inventory. You can use the app to understand which items need replenishing, which to stop ordering, and which to markdown in order to move. AppSheet gives you AI-powered predictive technology so you can build in functionality to prepare for unexpected spikes and drops in demand based on past and future trends — all with zero coding skills. Accounting Don’t tell your sales team, but accounting is the lifeblood of every successful business. By automating financial workflows such as accounts payable and receivable, payroll, and expenses and procurement, you can dramatically cut down on waste while speeding up your ability to get what you need from partners and suppliers. In fact, Google Cloud’s AppSheet offers an Expensing and Procurement Sample App that you can easily copy, customize, and use at your workplace — right now, for free! * * * With Google Cloud’s AppSheet, retail leaders and employees everywhere can automate their most mission-critical business processes with zero coding skills and technical background. Getting started with AppSheet’s no-code development platform couldn’t be easier, so start your business’s digital transformation today!

6 Automation Apps You Can Build Today

Your time is valuable. That’s why Google Cloud’s AppSheet is combining the power of artificial intelligence (AI) with the simplicity and democratizing power of no-code development to give all employees (including non-technical people) the ability to quickly automate existing processes without coding. We call it AppSheet Automation, and it lets you remove the barriers of legacy systems, manual processes, and resource constraints so your organization can accelerate its digital transformation. With Google Cloud’s AppSheet, data security is easily governable and enforceable, which means IT can ensure proper oversight and data protection while still encouraging “citizen development” among line-of-business workers. Here are six automation sample apps you can easily copy, customize, and use at your workplace, for free. So go ahead — take a look under the hood, experiment and play, and start envisioning what you can do with the power of AppSheet Automation! Procurement and Expensing Automation App Expensing and procurement are the bread and butter of any business. But manually generating and processing stacks of purchase orders takes time and effort, and mistakes can lead to missed payments, insufficient inventory, and a lack of budgeting clarity. That’s why our Procurement and Expensing Automation Sample App manages the whole expense and procurement process for you. It lets you easily create purchase orders and expense reports, and automatically triggers your tailored approvals workflow, so the right people can provide the appropriate approvals in a quick and timely manner. Start exploring the Procurement and Expensing Automation Sample App: Anomaly Detection App Data anomalies are important inflection points for businesses. They happen when a data point deviates from that dataset’s normal behavior, and they can indicate many things — including red flags. Perhaps a critical event like a technical glitch or a failure has occurred, or consumer behavior has suddenly changed, creating a time-sensitive business shift or opportunity. With our Anomaly Detection Sample App, your team can automatically receive notifications when anomalous data is detected — giving you the power to quickly act and respond. The app uses three different methods to detect and report anomalies: Static Bounds. Users can manually set acceptable limits for user data, automatically marking anything beyond these bounds as anomalous. Dynamic Bounds. If a data entry achieves standard deviation from the norm, the app automatically triggers a custom workflow you can establish. This method adjusts over time as data changes, allowing the threshold for standard deviation to drift as your data does. Machine Learning. Designed to be predictive, this method uses machine learning to analyze historical data and flag anomalies, setting future boundaries based on its learnings. Start exploring the Anomaly Detection Sample App: Sequential Tasks App Many business processes must occur in a specific order, one after the other. For example, when an anomaly is detected, it must first be investigated by a data analyst. If the anomaly was caused by a failure, IT must begin the process of fixing the problem or repairing the hardware; if the anomaly was caused by a shift in consumer behavior, line-of-business leads must determine and make the proper operations, marketing, and sales adjustments. Our Sequential Tasks Sample App provides sequencing capabilities, letting you design custom automated logic that expedites your workflows and helps eliminate time wasted waiting for tasks to be advanced along your organization. Start exploring the Sequential Tasks Sample App: Hierarchical Approvals App Much like Sequential Tasks, many business processes must receive approval from multiple stakeholders as they move up the chain of command. A decision a marketing manager makes, for example, must then be approved by their director, then a VP, and then perhaps the CMO. Fortunately, our Hierarchical Approvals Sample App lets you quickly and easily define a series of required approvals for specific tasks. It then automatically executes them, notifying the appropriate users when their approval is needed. Start exploring the Hierarchical Approvals Sample App: Event Management App For field personnel, easy event management can make all the difference between a huge success and a huge headache. From scheduling to registration to building contact directories and more, event management is a complex task. But not with our Event Management Sample App! Quickly schedule events, create custom maps and directions, and even build in reporting workflows so the chain of command at your home office always stays in the loop and can act on opportunities and respond to challenges right away. This is easily customizable copy-and-paste event management made a reality! Start exploring the Event Management Sample App: Automated Messaging App Make it easy for users to register in-app to receive automated updates and notifications from your organization. Let them opt in to receive product news, promotional offers, policy changes, and more — unlocking powerful self-service experiences automated by the app. Now your one-to-many communications are fast, simple, and fully customizable! Start exploring the Automated Messaging Sample App: With Google Cloud’s AppSheet, anyone can build custom applications and automated processes for the business with zero coding skills. And with the customizable sample apps above, there’s no reason to delay your digital transformation. Start creating your business’s next automation application today by copying and customizing the sample apps in this post. Or start AppSheet for free by connection your own data:  

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