Digital transition, digitization of processes… The technological revolution is underway, and companies are now taking full advantage of IT advances to optimize their operations and improve productivity.
In France, large companies and the banking and telecoms sectors are well aware of the benefits of digitizing their processes. Now it’s the turn of SMEs and sectors such as industry, distribution and agrifood to catch up.
To help these organizations make the transition to new technologies, here’s a short guide to successfully digitizing their processes.
Process digitization: the basis
Process digitization is defined as the automation by IT of recurring or simple tasks in a company’s workflow. The aim is to reduce the resources allocated to low-value-added operations, thus saving money while improving fluidity, speed and reliability.
This means defining the company’s various workflows, identifying each stage and evaluating automation opportunities.
⛔ Implementing software is not enough to digitize business processes: it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The benefits of digitizing processes
Automating simple, recurring tasks offers significant benefits for the company, in terms of increased productivity and profitability.
This is of course the main advantage of automation: all the time-consuming operations previously carried out by hand are carried out by the computer in just a few seconds and without delay.
This translates directly into productivity gains.
Simple recurring tasks are often the cause of the biggest problems: a lost delivery note, an order that hasn’t been processed, an invoice that hasn’t been sent…
Process automation not only ensures that all workflow steps run smoothly, but also enables you to quickly identify any hiccups. All this helps us to offer our customers a higher quality of service, and to build their loyalty.
Better internal communication
Interdepartmental exchanges can be a source of problems (delays and loss of information). Digitizing processes makes exchanges more fluid by automating them, guaranteeing rapid data sharing for improved collaborative working.
Better use of resources
Now that your employees no longer have to spend their time on tedious, low-value-added tasks, they can devote their time to more interesting tasks. In addition to saving time, your teams can
The time savings we’ve already mentioned free up skilled resources to play an active part in the company’s forward progress.
Pitfalls to avoid for effective process digitization
The transition to a digital workplace is not a smooth one, and you need to be well prepared to ensure that it goes off without a hitch.
It’s absolutely essential to know why you want to digitize your business before taking the plunge, to identify areas for improvement and assess the technical possibilities. At this stage, there are many questions to ask:
- What are the company’s strengths and weaknesses?
- Are workflows well defined?
- What tools are already in place?
- Does the company have the in-house skills to carry out this project?
- What are the priorities for improvement?
=> A poor assessment of the company’s real needs can lead to specifications that don’t reflect actual requirements, and therefore to a solution that won’t deliver the expected productivity gains.
Investigate a process using process mining: process mining enables you to analyze bottlenecks and gaps, and understand the causes, in order to improve processes. This makes it possible to monitor processes in real time, simplify them and then automate the tasks that can be automated.
Implementation of an adapted solution
Once the requirements have been clearly identified, it’s time to think about implementing a suitable solution.
When we speak of a solution, we may be talking about a market solution or the development of a specific solution.
What’s more, none of the software can be automatically installed and run from day one. Once your needs have been defined, it’s time to customize existing market solutions to suit your business.
Here are a few application examples:
- Invoice digitization: many publishers offer turnkey solutions that you can easily interface with your accounting system(Dext, libeo, Damaris, etc.). Accounting software publishers also offer this type of service (Cegid, Sage, Oracle, etc.).
- Automatic dashboard generation: business intelligence tools can generate automatic dashboards. Implementing tools such as Power BI or Tableau Software reduces the amount of unproductive time spent on producing dashboards.
- Development of a tool, a routine, a chain, a connection: the identification of recurring manual tasks with no added value necessarily leads to consideration of automation. This may involve sending an e-mail when a threshold (e.g. cash level) is exceeded. This may involve setting up a connection between 2 tools to avoid having to import DBs into a third-party tool. In short, there are many uses.
Implementing a solution is often a time-consuming process, involving all the different departments in the company, who must collaborate with the IT team. Good collaboration is essential to enable developers/programmers to understand the reality of the processes to be digitized, and to help operational teams familiarize themselves with the new tool.
⛔ Trying to save time by implementing unsuitable software often proves disastrous. The tool won’t meet business needs and won’t gain user acceptance.
This is a fundamental step, which is unfortunately often neglected by project teams. They are very familiar with the tool, but forget that this is not the case for other employees.
It is therefore absolutely essential to invest in user training, before final implementation.
⛔ If users are not self-sufficient, the company runs the risk of accumulating delays, or even being stuck for some time.
💡 Process digitization enables the automation of simple, non-value-added recurring tasks.
💡 Its implementation leads to a significant gain in reliability and productivity.
💡 This stage of the digital transition needs to be carefully prepared, planned, and followed through in its implementation.
All these steps are essential if you are to reap the full benefits of digitizing your processes. For a smooth and effective transition, it’s advisable to enlist the support of professionals who can share their experience and knowledge with you.
Altermès is at your disposal to help you with your digital transition and process digitization project.
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