Gaining productivity through process digitization

Digital transition, digitalization of processes… The technological revolution is underway and companies are now taking full advantage of IT advances to optimize their operations and improve their productivity.

In France, large companies and the banking and telecommunication sectors have understood the benefits of process digitization. It is now the turn of SMEs and sectors such as industry, distribution and agri-food to catch up.

To help these organizations to take the turn of new technologies, here is a small guide to successfully digitize its processes.

Process digitization: the basis

Process digitization is defined as theautomation of recurring or simple tasks in the company’s workflow by means of IT. The objective is to reduce the resources allocated to low value-added operations in order to save money while improving fluidity, speed and reliability.

This means defining the different workflows in the company in order to identify each step and evaluate automation opportunities.

⛔ Implementing software is not enough to digitalize business processes: it is only the tip of the iceberg.

The advantages of this digitization of processes

The automation of simple recurring tasks offers significant benefits to the company, resulting in increased productivity and profitability.

Time saving

This is obviously 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.

Gain in reliability

Simple recurring tasks are often the cause of the biggest problems: a delivery note that has been misplaced, an order that has not been processed, an invoice that has not been sent…

Automated processes ensure that all workflow steps run smoothly, and also allow for the quick identification of potential hiccups. All this allows us to offer a higher quality of service to our customers and to build their loyalty.

Better internal communication

Interdepartmental exchanges can cause problems (delays and loss of information). The digitization of processes makes exchanges more fluid by automating them, thus guaranteeing rapid data sharing for better collaborative work.

Better use of resources

Now that your employees don’t have to do boring, low-value-added tasks, they can spend their time on more interesting assignments. In addition to saving time, your teams

The time savings we have already mentioned therefore free up qualified resources, which can actively participate in the company’s progress.

Pitfalls to avoid for an efficient process digitization

The transition to digital work is not a smooth one, and it is necessary to prepare well to ensure that it goes smoothly.

Needs assessment

It is absolutely necessary to know why you want to digitize your company before you start, to identify areas for improvement and to evaluate the technical possibilities. At this point, there are many questions to ask:

  • What are the company’s strengths and weaknesses?
  • Are the workflows well defined?
  • What tools are already in place?
  • Does the company have the internal skills to carry out this project?
  • What are the priority areas for improvement?

=> A bad evaluation of the real needs of the company may lead to a specification that does not reflect the real needs, and therefore to a solution that will not bring the expected productivity gain.

Investigate a process thanks to process mining: process mining allows you to analyse blockages, gaps and understand the causes in order to improve processes. This makes it possible to monitor the execution of processes in real time, to simplify them and then automate the tasks that can be automated.

Implementation of an adapted solution

Once the needs have been clearly identified, it is necessary to ask the question of the implementation of an adapted solution.

When we talk about a solution, it can be a market solution or the development of a specific solution.

Moreover, none of the software can be automatically installed and run from day one. Once the needs are defined, it is necessary to customize the existing market solutions to fit the company’s operations.

Some examples of application:

  • Digitalization of invoices: many publishers offer turnkey solutions that you can easily interface with your accounting(Dext, libeo, Damaris, etc.). Accounting software publishers also offer this type of service (Cegid, Sage, Oracle, etc.).
  • Automatic generation of dashboards: business intelligence tools can generate automatic dashboards. The implementation of tools such as Power BI or Tableau Software allows to reduce the non-productive time spent on the production of dashboards.
  • Development of a tool, a routine, a chain, a connection: the identification of recurrent manual tasks without added value necessarily leads to a reflection on automation. It can be the sending of an email when a threshold is exceeded (cash level for example). It can be a connection to be set up between 2 tools to avoid having to import databases into a third party tool. In short, there are many uses.

Implementing a solution often takes time and involves different departments in the company that must collaborate with the IT team. A good collaboration is essential to allow the developers / programmers to understand the reality of the processes to be digitized and to help the operational teams to become familiar with the new tool.

⛔ Trying to save time by implementing unsuitable software often proves disastrous. The tool will not meet the business needs and will not be supported by the users.

Training of teams

This is a fundamental step, which is unfortunately often neglected by the teams in charge of the project. They know the tool very well but forget that other employees do not.

It is therefore absolutely necessary to invest in user training before the final implementation.

⛔ If users are not self-sufficient, the company may run into delays or even be stuck for a while.

In Brief

💡 Digitization of processes enables automation of simple, non-value added recurring tasks.

💡 Its implementation leads to a noticeable gain in reliability and productivity.

💡 This stage of the digital transition must be carefully prepared, planned, and followed through in its implementation.

All of these steps are essential to reap the full benefits of process digitization. For a smooth and effective transition, it is advisable to be accompanied by professionals who can bring you their experience and share their knowledge.

Altermès is at your disposal to help you with your digital transition and process digitalisation project.

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