Do you run your business the old-fashioned way?
Most companies stand ready to deploy technology to run their enterprise, but when it comes to support functions within the organization, many still rely on outdated processes. You may have lost sight of how much time is spent on manual tasks to bridge processes that span multiple departments, business layers or locations. The “Band-Aid” solution is to get by with Excel-spreadsheets that fill the gap today; however, ask yourself if you are getting the most out of your people and your systems. Oftentimes, these manual processes are prone to human error and limit your company’s competitiveness.
Companies realize the need to run lean and to mitigate the risks of not having control of mission-critical processes. Reducing the impact of labor-intensive tasks has become a huge priority for leadership today. Companies at the forefront of their industry see the need to document legacy processes and then evaluate where it makes sense to apply technology to remain competitive.
So why are businesses hesitant to implement process automation? Many have misconceptions that the costs of implementing automation and soft dollars around employee time to document and automate. Take a look at the return on investment (ROI) on making these changes. What is the cost of not moving forward?
Businesses can no longer afford to waste employee effort on manual data entry and carrying forth tedious processes. For example, a company may need to manually transmit sales and inventory data to the corporate office. This process may require staff to gather the data and compile it for reporting. By replacing the manual procedures with automated processes, you can protect the integrity of critical data such as inventory stock and sales data. This same staff can now repurpose their time toward higher value tasks that drives innovation within the organization.
Take the first step. Start by looking at how you would automate your most simple processes and take baby steps from there. It may depend on what tools you have available to you. How well have you documented your processes? Have you standardized how everyone does their job? Once you complete that exercise, you can develop a framework to gradually address more specific process weaknesses with automation. Your goal is to strive for excellence in every stage of your operation. That will help you deliver on quality throughout your organization.
The secret sauce is right in front of you.
Tap into the full potential of your team. Start small and look at which processes are worth keeping. Then determine if automation is the right solution for your business. It is the key to competitiveness today.
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