Automation pays off – a lot

7 most important benefits of digitizing processes

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ccording to leading research agencies, companies that automate their business processes spring far ahead of organizations that fail to invest in doing so, perhaps not even seeing value in such an effort. Why are digitization and process automation so important and what are their long-term benefits? Here are the 7 most important benefits of digitizing processes that you should know.

For years, a growing number of companies have been placing digital transformation at the top of their priority list. The COVID-19 pandemic turned out to have a significant impact on this trend, making entrepreneurs and enterprise CIOs alike aware that the use of modern technologies to digitize processes is extremely important for ensuring work continuity, improving communication between employees and increasing their work efficiency. Such efforts have the added benefits of a significant reduction in operational costs.

What is digitization? It begins by supporting a business process with the help of information technology. It usually involves moving away from paper documents (or simple email messages, which are thought of and managed much like paper documents) and perform the process digitally, from behind a computer screen or a mobile device. Once work is digital, technology can perform previously tedious or error-prone tasks, and over time, it becomes possible to yield more and better results with less effort.

Why is it Worthwhile to Digitize Business Processes?

The results of the Forrester’s report entitled The Total Economic Study Impact ™ of WEBCON BPS showed that digitizing business processes accelerated performance by up to 87%, resulting in differences in savings/earnings in the multi-million range. During three years, surveyed employees saved over 21,000 hours, which they could spend on more creative and value-driven activities from their organization’s perspective. And that is only a part of the benefits.

“An important role of digitizing processes is to facilitate management boards’ making and enforcing decisions effectively. Digitization makes it possible to collect data on how changes affect the company and make any resulting course corrections. Thanks to this, even in difficult or crisis-level conditions, it is possible for companies to gain market share. However, we must remember that the tools we use to implement digitization are incomplete unless they can enable agile reconfiguration – without waiting, without costs, without freezing the current way of functioning; it’s not acceptable for the costs of agility to put a kind of muzzle on business development,” – says Łukasz Wróbel, Vice President and CBDO at WEBCON.

The 7 Most Important Benefits of Digitizing Business Processes

What benefits can companies expect to see when they decide to digitize their business processes? There are many more, but these seven are particularly significant:

1. Increased productivity

Process digitization allows you to speed up and improve repetitive, time-consuming, and often monotonous tasks such as processing vacation requests, accepting cost invoices, settling business trips, processing contracts or granting credit decisions. As a result, employee productivity increases, and that dividend of time creative potential can be applied to more ambitious activities, bringing greater added value for the company.

However, it is not only about greater efficiency in performing tasks – the automation and digitization of processes provides much better access to important, up-to-date information on an ongoing basis. This doesn’t only make it easier to quickly make the right operational decisions, it also assists with identifying areas for further optimization. This results in a more long-term increase in productivity that fortifies the company’s infrastructure.

2. Time savings and reduction of process costs

As mentioned previously, an automated process can be completed by up to 87% faster. Such an increase in productivity saves employees time and significantly reduces the cost of each process. One shouldn’t ignore that this also affects morale and satisfaction among the employees, who not only spend less time on administrative work, but also tend to appreciate the support of new technologies when carrying out their daily duties.

3. Better quality of work and reduced risk of errors

To make mistakes is human, but employee mistakes can cost a lot; – certainly time and money, but in serious situations mistake can even damage the company’s reputation. Digitization minimizes the risk of making mistakes, especially the so-called “human mistakes”, which can easily occur while doing simple, routine tasks based on paper documents that are repeated every day. The result is that employees not only get more done in less time, but the quality of their work and process execution is also much higher.

4. Better insight into business processes

Applications that standardize business processes, while ensuring their transparency and auditability, are a treasure trove of valuable information for management. Knowledge about the course of processes taking place in the company allows them to make better decisions, ranging from tactical optimizing and “bottleneck” reduction to strategic course changes regarding the further growth of the organization.

5. Flexible and effective prototyping

Creative business divisions provide ideas on how to improve and distinguish the company from the competition, which products are worth introducing to the market, and how to develop existing and create new business models. Not all of them will turn out to be a hit, so it’s not worth creating a dedicated application for every stated idea. However, a company that’s well-prepared to digitize processes should try to make prototyping fast, cheap, and readily available for trying out any such concepts. Thanks to this approach based on Proofs-of-Concept, Rapid Prototyping, and Failing Fast, we can effectively support new ideas for business development – without incurring significant costs or financial risks.

6. Improving the quality of customer service

According to research by American Express, 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better shopping experience. Satisfied customers are also loyal customers, strongly associated with a brand’s products and services. Thanks to automation, the customer handling can be made faster and more reliable, with the risk of making a mistake minimized. The company’s employees also benefit from this, and because they have access to all contextually relevant information about the relationship with a given customer, and hence are able to better respond to their needs – all the while handling a much larger number of customer inquiries.

7. Improved cooperation and internal communication

E-mails, spreadsheets, phones, chats – unstructured communication can cause chaos and hinder the efficient implementation of projects. Employees often try to find ad hoc solutions to improve cooperation in their team, which often ends in even greater chaos resulting from the simultaneous use of many different communication channels.

Business applications come in handy as they collect all the tasks of a given user in one place, automatically assign them to the right people, and enable managers to monitor their realization on an ongoing basis. Why is it important? Because probably each of us has a tendency to focus on our tasks and when our part of the work is finished – we do not monitor whether other people involved in the process continue it, let alone whether they do so well. That is why it is worthwhile to guard the effectiveness of business applications that will ensure the efficient implementation of each process by all its participants from beginning to end.

Digitization is an easy buzzword, but a hard commitment

Putting digitization at the top of the priority list is not a new trend. However, research shows that the degree of implementation of this strategy has often remained insufficient. The reason was usually the fear of the difficulty of implementing digital transformation; IT projects are associated with high costs, long implementation times, and the need for significant collective organization-wide effort. However, modern technologies are changing the face of digitization.

“Thanks to low-code platforms, it is possible to quickly launch digitization projects, reduce business involvement, shorten the implementation time, and significantly reduce the cost of owning business applications. All because subsequent solutions can be built on a single platform that is well known to end users and the IT team. In addition, applications are created, with virtually no coding, using drag-and-drop mechanisms. It’s like a set of Lego bricks, with the help of which we can build everything that an organization needs at a given moment,” Łukasz Wróbel explains.

Low-code platforms are a real revolution because they give companies the ability to build dozens, or even hundreds, of applications within a single platform, using the help of an internal IT team and/or a selected implementation partner. IT means a massive reduction in the cost and risk of digitization.

“The implementation of the WEBCON BPS platform allowed us to avoid the costs of approximately USD 1.17 million, which would await us if we had to purchase, implement and maintain alternative, ready-to-use solutions available on the market to automate individual processes,” indicated an IT director interviewed by the Forrester during the implementation of The Total Economic Study Impact ™ of WEBCON BPS.

The best low-code tools are focused not only on the speed and ease of application development, but above all on the smooth management of inevitable changes to business requirements.

“We can introduce changes to applications supporting business processes almost immediately – and our clients have many reasons for changes: new legislative requirements, reorganization of internal procedures, transformation of the business strategy under the influence of market expectations, and changes in the business environment. A perfect example was how effectively they responded to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” adds Łukasz Wróbel.

This is why WEBCON’s platform is chosen by industry leaders from Europe to North America and beyond. Companies such as Siemens Finance, Pratt & Whitney, Societe Generale, Mitsubishi Electric, and Haddad Brands use WEBCON BPS to support internal processes like cost invoices, contracts, holiday requests, and business trips, as well as applications that fit a grander array of processes critical to the development of their businesses.

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