Business processes digitization allows teams to automate and free up tedious tasks. Rather than relying on email chains for approvals and routine functions such as inspection signoffs, business process automation enables staff to focus on real priorities.
Digitalizing core business processes delivers the immediacy that customers demand. For example, digitizing a mortgage application decreases the time to preliminary approval and cuts costs.
Identifying the Right Processes
Business process digitization is not just about economizing work. It also increases productivity, eliminates error rates and frees people to focus on more important tasks. Administrative routines, such as booking invoices, preparing applications and searching for information, take up valuable time. Frequently, these processes require manual input and often suffer from high error rates.
A business must take a comprehensive look at its processes to find areas for improvement. Companies should not just automate an existing process but reinvent it, which may involve reducing the number of documents, developing automated decision making and dealing with regulatory and fraud issues. Existing operating models, roles and organizational structures may have to be redesigned to fit the reinvented process.
To ensure the success of the project, it is important that employees who will be working with the digital tools are involved in the design process. Teams should include representatives from each function that is involved in the end-to-end user experience, such as sales and IT.
Identifying the Right Technology
Identifying the right processes to digitize is essential. Then, you must find a technology solution that will provide an optimal outcome.
This could include a workflow management system that will allow you to automate routine tasks and reduce paperwork and human error. It could also include an analytics solution that will help you monitor performance and address potential issues before they become critical.
Rather than migrating every existing process to the digital world, successful companies are reinventing processes, building them using cutting-edge digital technology. For example, instead of creating technology tools that allow back-office employees to type customer complaints into their systems, leading companies have created self-serve options for customers. This is more efficient than traditional methods, and it also provides an enhanced experience for the user. It’s important to communicate this to your team so they can embrace the changes and see how their work will be improved. This will make the transition easier for them and will give them a sense of ownership over the process.
Creating a Workflow
The next step in business processes digitization is to create a workflow. This process involves breaking down each of the company’s manual business processes into smaller, more manageable steps and then creating a digital path for those steps to follow.
Digital workflows reduce the scope of human error and ensure that all steps are completed properly and in a timely manner. They also save time by automating repetitive tasks and eliminate redundancy by centralizing all of a company’s information in one location.
Once a digital workflow is in place, it’s important to monitor the results. Make sure that all team members understand how to use the new system and that it is functioning as intended. This may mean holding periodic meetings with department heads and team leads to discuss how the system is working. It may also be necessary to re-evaluate the process priorities if it’s not performing as expected. By doing this, you can ensure that the system is improving over time.
Implementing the Technology
A key challenge to successful business process digitization is integrating the digital system with legacy systems. This can be difficult if the new solution is very different from existing systems and radically changes the process workflow. It is important to have a plan for how to handle this in a way that minimizes disruption, costs and time.
One option is to create a cross-functional team that can handle the end-to-end user experience for specific processes. This team should be comprised of the various department heads and team leads involved in those processes. Using a start-up style approach, this team can work together to build out the necessary technology quickly.
Using a process digitization solution that facilitates flexible system integrations can help to break down the data silos that slow productivity and hold back improvements. Streamlined, automated workflows allow teams to focus on getting work done and communicating with each other instead of finding documentation or navigating legacy systems.