Digitisation of business processes represents significant opportunity to transform future customer experience, reduce costs and deliver significant competitive advantages. However, there is a significant risk to businesses that pursue digitisation in isolation and fail to refine and improve their business processes before they start.
Digitisation requires significant commitment in funding, time and effort to achieve the benefits. Many organisations are currently building the business case and are weighting the potential benefits against the required investment. Whilst organisations decide the path they want to take with digitisation, it is easy to lose focus on the current state and the ongoing need to improve the way you work.
This approach may be short sighted as there are considerable gains still to be made through process improvement. A recent review we completed of a mortgage centre process achieved a 30% reduction in cost whilst significantly improving the customer experience without any systems investment required.
The key reasons for continuing to review your existing process are:
Remember that your competitors will not be standing still, they will continue to optimise their processes - organisations that stop continuous improvement have the potential to be left behind.
Optimising the current process can create the funding to digitise the process - reviewing the current process and creating cost savings can contribute to the investment required for digitisation and help build the business case for change.
For many processes the business case won't add up for digitisation as it simply won't generate the benefits required, however, it is still important to optimise and drive improvements for your overall business performance. Becoming distracted with digitisation for these processes and not optimising will see your business fall behind.
Reviewing the current state will create the baseline understanding of the process and help you focus your digitisation efforts. With finite investment funding available, you want to be sure that your are getting the most for every dollar you spend. Digitising the wrong processes may not deliver the savings you expected or need.
You want to ensure that you digitise the optimised process rather than the current state - you will achieve much better outcomes if you spend some time optimising the current process before you commit to having this automated. It's the old adage: garbage in = garbage out.
Digitisation has the potential to transform business processes and have a significant impact on how work is completed in the future. For many organisations embarking on digitisation it is a significant decision as it requires investment in capital and time, however, it is important that businesses don't stop improving their processes and wait for digitisation as they run the risk of stagnating and missing the opportunity for improving the way you work and the overall customer experience. Ongoing improvement of the the process today will ensure that you are continuously meeting the customers needs in the most efficient way and ensure that you ultimately reap the promised benefits of digitisation.