The future: not easy to project oneself into it while the current crisis is still going on. But as difficult as it may seem, this is the best time to take a serious look at it. It must be admitted that COVID has shown us how vulnerable most companies are because they are ill-prepared for a crisis of this magnitude. And while they have more or less succeeded in limiting the damage by making rapid progress in their digital transformation, it is now time to look further ahead and prepare for the future.
Please understand that it is through the choices and actions you make today that your future and that of your company will depend on. The next crisis is not an eventuality, it’s an inevitability. There is no doubt that reliving such a situation is not an option. To do so, it is essential to prepare in the best possible way, taking advantage of the experience gained during VIDOC, and to put in place the necessary measures to be better equipped for the future.
Automate your business processes
Process automation is the use of technology to perform recurring tasks or processes in your business where manual effort can be replaced. This, with a view to optimizing a company’s internal procedures and practices in order to increase productivity and optimize revenues accordingly.
As long as a task does not require human decision making and includes a series of steps that can be adapted in computer logic, it can be automated.
A process is a candidate for automation if:
- it is repetitive, time-consuming, and represents a large volume of work,
- it does not require logical thinking or human intervention,
- it has a significant impact on other processes and systems in your company,
- a mistake can be costly.
As with any project, it is essential to conduct a detailed analysis before any initiative. Of course, there is no single way to implement this type of project. However, you can use these few points as a basis for planning your own:
- understand what exists and what needs to be done,
- clearly define the objectives,
- see the big picture and plan the integration of the new process with those already in place,
- favour a progressive approach: moving forward step by step,
- take a long-term perspective: ensure that the process is flexible enough to allow for easy and quick modification to adapt to potential changes,
- preferring tailor-made solutions if necessary,
- then invest in the training of your team.
3 processes to automate in order to survive the next crisis
A wide range of processes are still manual or semi-manual, which still limits companies in their daily business. Opting for an automated solution will allow your company to be more resilient to disruptions during difficult times.
Here are three processes that you can automate to be more resilient in the future:
This ranges from processes such as invoicing and deliveries to inventory and order management. In general, this includes processes involving the use of paper and data entry. With the right tools, you’ll have the ability to efficiently complete these tasks quickly and error-free. Although essential, these tasks are often time-consuming and of low value. You will therefore gain in efficiency and time that you can devote to more important tasks.
The paperless goal does not only benefit the environment, by digitizing and automating your operations you will have a centralized platform that will simplify your daily life. Of course, there will always be human intervention at the end of the line for final approval, but by then the bulk of the work will already have been done.
Data is one of the most important assets for any business, and in the dawn of 4.0, data will have an even more prominent place in the smooth running of your company. It is therefore essential to optimize data collection and management processes in order to have quality data that, if properly exploited, will give you a significant competitive advantage.
Automating your data collection and management processes offers various advantages over manual processes (which can range from spreadsheet coding to verification, etc.). Indeed, an automated data collection and management system will allow you to:
- Improve the quality of your data: erroneous data can cost you a lot of money, and incomplete observations can bias your interpretations,
- Reduce the cost of data acquisition and management in terms of time and resources that will be allocated to higher value-added missions,
- Increase the amount of data at your disposal: you will no longer miss important data due to lack of time or resources.
The collection and management process integrates seamlessly into the decision-making process in your company. Indeed, the greatest utility of data is the exploitable information that can be drawn from it, in order to use it as a basis for making strategic decisions.
Thanks to an automated system such as Business Intelligence, you will be able to optimally exploit the large amount of data available to you and extract information from it on which to base important decisions about your company.
In times of crisis, you will have to make important decisions quickly and regularly. With an automated process, you will be able to respond to the various challenges you will have to face efficiently.
The goal of automation is not to erase humans from operational processes: rather, it is to use machines in tasks where they are good (calculations, processing large volumes of data), and assign humans to tasks in which they excel. Automating processes is not a luxury, but a real necessity in order to prosper in normal times and get through difficult times. And since we don’t know when the next crisis will arrive, it is essential to prepare now.
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