Technology is a wonderful thing!
The beauty of technology is that it has the unlimited potential to enhance our daily lives and to create jobs and business opportunities, among other things. Technology also gives us the ability to automate the processes we deal with in our daily lives so that we can be more efficient and productive in and out of work.
Automation is not a new idea but it does seem that many are still reluctant to adopt Automation for their business processes or miss the point on why it is important to do it right in order to see a return.
What makes Automation such a valuable option?
Luckily, the Perceptive Content product was built to allow for custom automation to optimize common business processes such as Accounts Payable (AP) and Human Resources. Automation can benefit your organization by,
Optimizing employee time – Automation removes the tedious, time consuming tasks such as data entry or matching invoices to purchase orders or onboarding a new employee or student.
Speed up processing – By automating the tedious tasks, users are more productive as they can process more invoices or files daily.
Data accuracy – automating tasks like data entry ensure more accurate data. Fewer mistakes lead to less time taken to resolve errors which again leads to higher productivity.
Cost savings – each of the above benefits can ultimately lead to a substantial cost benefits and organizations typically see a return on their investment quickly with automation done right.
Let’s consider common reasons why an organization might be reluctant to adopt Automation or just general hurdles that we encounter around the Perceptive Content ECM product.
Lack of understanding of current processes and how they work
User buy in
As a leader, you are likely always looking at the productivity of the employees you are responsible for and for ways to make them more efficient. You are also busy with your own tasks so may not fully understand or know every aspect of the processes or users’ daily tasks related to those processes.
Peter Drucker, writer and management consultant said, “The productivity of work is not the responsibility of the work but of the manager.”
This is where a manager might look at bringing in experts to help identify and map out your business process and user interaction with that process and suggest automation opportunities and how they will help the organization save time and money.
Why is it important to have a full understanding of your business process? Bill Gates was quoted as saying, “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
Any consultant company can come in and put a band aid on some pain points an organization might have, but it would be just that, a band aid. Without identifying and understanding the process and how users interact with that process, automation may cause more problems and less efficiency as it would not be applied in a manner that addresses the real problem. All processes have pain points but knowing and understanding what causes those pain points is the first step in fixing the issue and adding automated process where they will make the biggest impact for your organization.
Once we have a clear understanding of the process and pain points and how to fix them, we need to get user buy-in. Sometimes, system users may not like extra steps or mouse clicks or be concerned with change, as even small ones can seem monumental from a user perspective. For a manager or organization, this can be a large hurdle to overcome as no organization wants to invest in something they do not think they can get the users to buy in for. This is when a good consulting company can help as well. You understand your users and we understand the product and benefit of automating processes. Working together to come up with a strategy to help users understand how this will benefit their process rather than just forcing change on them is usually the difference between a successful project and just an implementation that doesn’t get used.
Finally, cost is always a factor with any enhancement to current processes. We discussed earlier in the article the benefits to taking the time to understand your current processes and automating the right processes in the right places. Cost savings come in the form of greatly reduced downtime and data loss due to manual data entry which in turn lead to delays in invoices getting paid or applications not being processed on time. Additional savings can be seen from reduction in operation costs from users not having to perform manual and routine tasks that can be handled through automation. When you crunch the numbers, the benefits of automating your Perceptive Content business processes highly outweigh the costs.
Were does Shamrock come in? We are experts in our field. Our consultants will sit down with your organization and review your solution so you have a full understanding of how it works on the front and back end, and where automation would be beneficial. We then will draft a design of the new process and help you get support from your users so that your organization can benefit from higher productivity at a lower cost.
Jeff Jones, ECM Consultant