Most managers know that all processes can be automated, so that employees have the time to create more value. Yet we see too few managers grasp the obvious potential of optimizing processes in order to free up staff resources.
Those companies that are most driven by comprehensive business processes are typically companies that grow quickly, are merged, have customers with large documentation requirements or are in an industry that is subject to government regulation. It can be a food producer, who needs to document the production processes to the authorities. Or a manufacturing company that has either lengthy or complex production, which creates documentation needs. These and many other types of businesses are at risk of wasting millions of dollars on extensive manual and non-value added work and should be aware of the possibilities offered by modern process automation.
Manual business processes will never create competitive advantages. Process automation means that you earn more money because you get a better overview of your business, you get more offers more quickly to customers, you can set the sharpest price, ensure the fastest production, delivery and the best quality. In short: By automating business processes, resources are released to create value and enhance competitiveness.
Most companies’ business processes are similar. Actually, 80 percent of the businesses processes are generally alike. If you are head of a production company, a commerce or a logistics business; you are leading an organism that works much like your competitors. Whether you produce Lego bricks or cans, you basically work with the same processes. It can be difficult to acknowledge that you are not 100 percent unique, but when it comes to optimizing the companies’ processes, it is an important acknowledgement in order to focus on the areas where you are unique.
Roughly speaking, the fact is that companies with a lot of manual business processes risk being exposed to at least three things that no company can afford for a long period:
- Wasting time, money and resources
- Dissatisfied customers
- Mistakes, accidents and frustrated employees
Therefore, a company should review its business processes continuously. How can you automate? How can you improve? How can you make it easier, faster and cheaper? If you don’t, your competitors will. This is the only way you can counter the above problems, improve productivity and streamline the business.
Automation of business processes thereby creates significant competitive advantages and when the world economy finally takes off, it’s about being ready to ride on the upturn. So get started by putting process automation on the agenda in the boardroom.
Thomas Honoré is Chief Executive officer and President of Columbus.