Today, business takes place online and on mobile all around the globe, 24/7. Automating everyday business processes and workflows has become hugely important in 2018 as many companies realize that … Continue reading These 5 Global Trends Will Influence Business Automation in 2018+
Over the last 20 years, manufacturers had to learn to compete at the “Walmart price”. Service providers were largely unaffected. After all, you couldn’t manufacture a cab ride or a hotel room in China. How things have changed. No matter what you do, technology and automation are creeping into every area of your business and there are dozens of startups with the brains and funding to compete.
Every business must now learn to compete at the “Amazon price” but also at “Google speed”. In this environment, manual processes simply don’t stand a chance. You must automate or die.
Automation isn’t coming; it’s here and it’s the opportunity of a lifetime
From travel bookings and maps to online banking to highway tolls, we are already using automation in our daily lives. For your business, automating routine, day-to-day operations will make a fundamental difference. We’re talking about 50% efficiency improvements and literally changing what employees do. It’s heady and scary stuff.
Five things to keep in mind
Where to start? I.T. is overloaded, mobility requirements are soaring, there’s a serious skills gap, security is a concern, and data integration and scalability are challenging. It’s enough to make ones head spin. Nevertheless, you must get started TODAY!
1. Start small but Start NOW
“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.” – Bill Gates.
The best advice I can give you is to get a quick win. Don’t try to automate everything or get bogged down in I.T. committees. Find one everyday workflow – ideally it’s repetitive, with simple routing and reasonably frequent – and gain that first success.
2. Set goals and don’t be shy.
“If you don’t know where you want to go, then it doesn’t matter which path you take.” – Alice in Wonderland
The potential ROI of automating routine workflows is astounding. Shoot for at least 25% cost savings AND similar productivity gains. Don’t be surprised if you end up seeing even more.
3. Focus on the User Experience. Especially, on Mobile.
“How come my $5 smartphone app is easier to use than your $5,000,000 system?” – Every Millennial
Usability should be your #1 concern. For many people, especially millennials, their smartphone is the hub of their lives. You cannot drop them into jarring, old-style experiences and expect adoption. Your shiny new application needs to look fantastic and work fast. Modern, workflow automation platforms make it easy.
4. Involve your people from A-Z
“We humans have a love-hate relationship with our technology. We love each new advance and we hate how fast our world is changing.” – Daniel H. Wilson
Get your people involved early. They’ll be more invested in the solution if they’ve had a chance to impact it. They might also be concerned: is this automation going to eat my job? For the vast majority, the answer is no. It’ll help them do their job better and make them more valuable. For example, should teachers be spending time recording absences, getting travel or leave approved, filing reimbursements? Or teaching?
5. Analyze everything
“Data is the new oil.” – CEOs everywhere.
Your proprietary data is your most valuable asset. If your daily workflows are manual, you don’t even have access to your most valuable asset. With automation, you can collect data, analyze and refine it into useful, actionable information so you can do things like over-deliver on customer service, and rollout new business initiatives in response to changing business conditions.
Still need convincing?
Neither AirBnB nor Uber existed 10 short years ago. The world is changing and changing unbelievably fast. Will your company’s products and services in 2020 only be marginally better than they are today running on manual processes with workarounds and redundant work? Or will they be smart, personalized, automated and offered at price points unimaginable today?
Get started now and you too can reap massive benefits from automation. Download this white paper to learn more.
… or Amazoned or AirBnB’d? Think about it. When was the last time you went into a travel agency to book your flight? Printed out directions for your road trip? Walked into the bank to write a check for cash? We can’t remember either.
Automation isn’t coming; it’s here!
Just look around you. See those core business processes. One way or another, they’ll be automated. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime and it’ll change your organization.
Automating these core processes isn’t just about driving 5% cost reductions but 50% (or more) in parts of your operations. It’s about changing and enhancing what your people do, Monday to Friday, 9 to 5.
You have to start TODAY!
Manual knowledge processes do not stand a chance. In a world of “Amazon cost” and “Google speed”, you have to automate. But how? I.T. is overloaded. Where do you start?
Download this white paper which discusses workflow automation, how your organization can benefit, and how you can evaluate and deploy a visual, low-code platform like frevvo for your automation needs.
Visit our website to learn more and sign up for a free trial.
Are you wondering if you should automate your routine day-to-day approvals? You’d be amazed at the Return on Investment. Let’s do a quick analysis. Approval workflows are usually at least 3 steps long and, often quite a bit longer. For now, let’s consider a 3-step workflow:
- Performed by an Employee, for example, asking for a Travel Authorization or Purchase Requisition. Maybe a Salesperson is trying to get a PO from a Client and needs Manager approval for special pricing. Let’s say this employee costs $80,000/year including benefits, vacation, taxes and other costs. Typically this would translate to a salary of about $60,000.
- Performed by a Manager who essentially checks the request, approves it if it is valid or sends it back for corrections. Let’s say the manager costs $100,000/year inclusive of all costs.
- Performed by an HR or Finance person who essentially updates an internal system and does the equivalent of filing the request away (email folder, network drive, paper filing cabinet, document management system). Let’s assume this person costs $60,000/year inclusive of all costs. Maybe they work part-time.
Now, assume that the time savings are 10 min, 3 min and 3 min respectively in each step. That’s pretty conservative given there’s no printing, signing, scanning etc. involved. Finally, assume that there are 400 approvals per month of all kinds (Vacation requests, Sales Orders, Time Sheets, Travel Authorizations etc.)
How much do you think you will save in costs? You might be shocked:
You’ll save ~$50,000 every single year or 57% of your costs and see net positive ROI in just a bit over 2 months.
It’s amazing how much the paper/email process actually costs you – close to $85K per year. And that doesn’t even take into account the time spent trying to track down emails, chasing down managers for signatures or, perhaps of greater importance, the Opportunity Cost of delayed approvals.
Try it yourself by clicking the button below.
It’s often hard to see how much those paper/email workflows are really costing you. Visit our website to view customer success stories and signup for a free trial.
The HR Department usually has broad reach within most organizations and often deals with a high volume of processes and policies. Yet many HR specialists still routinely manage requests through email, phone calls and paper forms. In fact, 40% of their time is spent on administrative work such as entering data from one systemto another.
“Just shoot HR an email”
Employees are used to it but even for relatively small organizations, the workload on HR can quickly multiply. Automating your routine HR processes makes a huge difference. Systems like Workday and PeopleSoft have specific HR workflows but they’re extremely expensive and are hard to fit to your business needs – implementations routinely run into 7 figures.
Many of our customers have successfully automated their HR processes literally in a matter of days at a tiny fraction of those costs. The forms and workflows exactly fit their business requirements and are easy to design/customize using our browser-based designers. Here are 5 common HR processes that we see customers automating.
1. Employee On-boarding & Off-boarding
Ensure that your new employees go through a consistent on-boarding experience. Collect accurate information with online forms that perform validation. Employees need to enter data just once and sign just once. Automatically generate Government PDFs like a Federal W-4. Notify relevant departments such as I.T. (procure a smartphone or laptop, access to network drives).
2. Vacation Request
Reduce administrative overhead, ensure regulatory noncompliance and prevent lost productivity due to unscheduled absences. Accurately capture approvals and dates for leave requests with complete, traceable documentation.
3. Travel Expense Report
The most painful part of business travel for many employees. Avoid the usual to-and-fro emails between employees and managers for pre-authorization of travel and expense reconciliation. Capture approvals and expense quickly and accurately using an online workflow even on-the-go on a mobile device.
4. Time Sheet Tracking
Managers typically spend several hours per week sorting through employee time sheets. Using email for this process is guaranteed to be frustrating for everyone concerned – a slow, arduous, error-prone process that’s impossible to track. Automate this process to ensure accurate fully-validated time sheets that just work.
5. Annual Performance Review
Streamline the usual Word documents or Excel spreadsheets with an automated performance review process. Reduce completion time, ensure accuracy and consistency, integrate electronic signatures and let employees see where they are in the process. Ensure compliance with your organization’s HR policies.
These 5 HR processes are just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens more from Employee Status Change to Benefits Enrollment to Change of Personal Information, Hiring & Recruiting, Absence Records and many others.
Try frevvo’s Cloud Workflow for HR free for 30 days. There’s nothing to install, we take care of security, uptime and performance. Your system will automatically work on all devices and we offer lots of build-in guidance as well as many forms of no-obligation help.
Contact us to schedule a customized demo and to learn more.
I came across this article yesterday and was amazed by the numbers. JP Morgan Chase uses software to perform a routine task in seconds instead of 360,000 hours. Imagine the ROI on this automation?
“The push to automate mundane tasks and create new tools for bankers and clients — a growing part of the firm’s $9.6 billion technology budget — is a core theme as the company hosts its annual investor day on Tuesday.”
Not everyone is as big as JP Morgan Chase. Automating your routine day-to-day tasks isn’t likely to save you that much but investing in technology, especially to automate routine tasks is an absolute must in today’s world. It’s amazing how much this waste actually costs you. Automation brings huge benefits and return on investment.
If your people are wasting their time on routine stuff like moving information from Point A to Point B, your company should be investing in automation. As we’ve said many times: is it better for your employees to focus on customers or chasing down an approval for that purchase order? Should teachers and faculty focus on students or on getting signatures for that conference travel authorization?
“People always talk about this stuff as displacement. I talk about it as freeing people to work on higher-value things, which is why it’s such a terrific opportunity for the firm.”
Like JP Morgan, which spends 9% of revenue on technology (double the industry average), you can’t sit around and wait to know what the endgame looks like. The environment is simply moving too fast.
Purchase Order Approval is one of the most common day-to-day workflows.Many customers choose Live Forms to digitize this and other routine workflows. Automating purchase order approvals is easy and provides several benefits:
- Pre-filled forms and automatic calculations eliminate errors & omissions.
- Workflows are conditionally routed based on business requirements.
- Purchase Orders are approved and completed on-time.
Watch this short (3 min) video to quickly see how digitizing this routine workflow with frevvo can help save you time & money.