The digital revolution is about far more than simply digitizing processes and data collection.
It’s really about extracting value from digitization and automation. Digitizing for its own sake can produce an anemic ROI, but when it’s part of a strategy of value creation, the results can be impressive, and show an ROI quickly. To unlock value creation with your automated workflows, you must consider four key dimensions:
- People and organization
- Data and analytics
- Business ecosystems
Your People and Organization
Top-down directives demanding digitization and automation will only produce confusion and frustration if they’re not part of an overall initiative led by in-house teams. After all, if you run, say, a publishing company, who is likely to know more about the shape that digitization and automation of the editing process should take than the actual editors?
Who will know where the most value can be extracted from automation of call logging than your call center workers? Digitization and automation can be bold moves, however essential they may be for a competitive advantage. That’s why it’s so important to include the frontline workers in automation initiatives from the start. They’re the ones who will be using the resulting automated workflows, and they should have significant input into how those workflows are designed.
Data and Analytics
How do you create value from data? The answer, of course, varies from one business to another. One place to start is by identifying pain points. Suppose, for example, a business has a high customer “churn” rate. The reasons behind higher-than-expected churn rates may be hidden in data, but the data may not be neat and amenable to analytics.
The good news is, you don’t have to launch a huge “big data” analytics project to start digging out the data that contains insights. You can start with a pilot project that collects relevant data about customers who leave: how long do they stay with you on average? Do they give reasons for going with a competitor? Do certain events (like raising prices) increase churn? When you identify indicators relevant to churn, you can learn how to manage those through your customer service workflows to help address the problem.
Technology advances so quickly that if your company took advantage of every brilliant new product, you’d be hemorrhaging money and would hardly be able to get anything done. Obviously, technology upgrades are necessary sometimes, but knowing when and how to upgrade technology, and the automated workflows associated with them helps you get the most return on your technology upgrade investment.
Some technology upgrades will be specific to your operations. For example, if the use of barcodes can result in significantly faster data collection, and faster execution of automated workflows that use the data, then it’s the type of technology upgrade that makes sense. Marginal or incremental upgrades in technology may or may not make your automated workflows measurably better.
As your business grows, it creates its own ecosystem of contractors, partners, and suppliers, and how you manage these relationships can unlock significant value creation. There may be cases when a technology upgrade of a partner requires your own technology upgrade. Strong partner relationships and good communication help you make the most of them.
Likewise, the things your company does to improve communications and transactions with partners, contractors, and suppliers in your ecosystem make your automated workflows that much more valuable. Therefore, it’s important when considering automation and technology upgrades that you understand how they will affect relationships throughout your business ecosystem.
Outstanding workflow software, like PerfectApps, undergirds your efforts to unlock the most value from automation. Because of its user-friendly interface, PerfectApps helps workflow users to have input into workflow changes that make their jobs more efficient and effective. And the flexibility offered by PerfectApps helps you maintain strong connections within your business ecosystem and adapt to technological changes with agility. Did you know you can try PerfectApps for free? Sign up for a trial and learn firsthand how PerfectApps empowers the kind of automation that sharpens your competitive edge.