Both external and internal business processes can become very complex as your organization continues to grow and expand especially if you have opened up multiple locations or outsourced a variety of your company’s needs. In order to better understand how to change your business methods and address their complexities, you will need to both define exactly how your business processes work and learn why the digitization of business processes is so important. Below we outline exactly how internal and external business processes work.
1. What is a Business Process and how does it Work?
Essentially, a business process is a collection of multiple tasks conducted by people in a specified schedule to develop a product or services for a certain set of customers. Internal business processes take place at every level of a company, but may not be visible to consumers. To better understand business processes, you may want to visualize a flowchart where activities and tasks take place in a sequential manner and use data to continue down a particular path.
By implementing internal and external business processes, your company should gain greater success such as greater customer satisfaction and faster ability to react to changes in your particular market. This type of organization within a company will also allow departments to work more effectively between each other.
When you are beginning to develop a business process, you should start with a specific objective and end with the desired results or achievement that leads to some form of value for the customer. In addition, business processes should have a specific individual acting as the process owner. This responsible party makes sure the methodology proceeds as expected from the beginning to the end.
There are three types of business processes, which are operational processes, management processes, and supporting processes. Operational processes entail the core of your company’s objectives and includes developing a value stream like manufacturing products or taking orders from customers. Management processes consist of methods meant to oversee things like employee and budget factors and corporate governance. Lastly, supporting processes are part of managing the core operational methods and involves things like technical support, safety training, and recruitment.
Now that we have covered the definition of a business process and how it works within a company, it is vital to discuss the importance of modernizing and the digitization of business processes.
2. Why Modernization and Digitization of Business Processes is Necessary
If you have not understood why modernizing your day-to-day tasks and why the digitization of business processes is so important, you likely have not spoken to your customer base. Today, customers want a quick and easy digital experience including a seamless user experience, according to a paper from McKinsey&Company.
Companies like Amazon and Apple have set the bar high for reaching your customer base and most people now expect the same type of digital experience when obtaining products or services from each and every business. For example, consumers like to be able to log onto their account from their electricity provider to see how much they used on a monthly basis. In addition, customers who buy a new cell phone expect that they should be able to set it up immediately once taken out of the box.
Along with these expectations, your clients will likely not approve of being asked the same questions multiple times and will not understand why a bank may need salary slips for proof of income when money is deposited into that same bank account every month.
Since a wide net of more traditional companies may not be able to meet the demands of the latest customer, this allows more innovative organizations that take advantage of the digitization of business processes to compete successfully in the market and deliver exceptional digital products and services.
Many customers today are seeking companies that have overhauled their business practices and implemented user-friendly interfaces, constant availability, and customized services. Many are looking for companies to include instant satisfaction and solutions, no errors, and global consistency. Essentially, customers seek a superior user experience. This is why modernizing and the digitization of business processes is so vital in today’s world.
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3. How to Accelerate the Digitization of Business Processes at Your Company
In order to meet customer demand, you will need to move beyond merely automating an existing business process. Essentially, you have to reinvent the entire method including cutting the number of steps needed and the amount of paperwork involved. You will also need to develop automated decision-making steps and manage regulatory issues (see how technology and data analytics boost operational efficiency).
When it comes to developing new data models, you will need to rebuild to ensure faster and easier decision-making, customer insight, and oversight of performance. You may even need to hire employees to fill new roles such as a user-experience designer and a data scientist.
There are significant benefits to digitizing information-based business processes such as cutting costs by as much as 90 percent and improving turnaround times for both managers internally and customers externally. For example, one bank has been able to reduce their preliminary approval for loans from several days to just one minute by incorporating the digitization of business processes.
Another example of this comes from a shoe retailer where a digital platform was built to track in-store inventory that allows sales staff to immediately find whether a shoe type and size is in stock. This greatly saves time for both the sales staff and customers.
In addition, by removing manual processes and paperwork in order to replace it with software, companies can automatically collect data that can then be mined to seek out better performance, the cost drivers of a company, and potential causes of risk. In addition, customized dashboards and real-time reports can help business managers to fix any issues before they become truly serious in terms of company growth.
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One of the key steps toward digitization includes starting at the end of your desired goal and working backwards. Instead of focusing on setbacks in the current system, you will need to design the future state you are seeking for a particular process. Once you have addressed the desired state, then you can work backwards to address each individual constraint. You can work with regulators and customers to uncover ways to resolve certain challenges.
“Start at the end state and work back. This will make it easier to discard processes along the way. Then look at the process in terms of the end-to-end customer experience,” reports an article from Laserfiche.
You will also need to manage the end-to-end customer experience in order to create a truly seamless system for the user. When designing a seamless customer experience, it is useful to have feedback from the end customer. Some companies are investing their time in “creating start-up-style, cross-functional units that bring together all colleagues—including IT developers—involved in the end-to-end customer experience,” according to the McKinsey&Company paper.
Essentially, a team effort is undertaken where colleagues open up lines of communication to create a seamless user experience (look here an article about the importance of creating a Culture of Experimentation). Additionally, companies are seeking to develop in-house capabilities. Hiring and training staff who are skilled in technology is vital for more quickly digitizing business processes. When selecting supervisors to take part in this transformation, these individuals must be carefully chosen and well trusted.
The McKinsey&Company report also discusses how digitizing end-to-end business processes one by one can actually lead to better performance in only three to five months. While moving quickly is not always possible, it is beneficial for IT development. In addition, your company may want to bring in a new organizational unit to manage designing digital processes and then bring in current employees into the unit while raising the volumes handled in this department at the same time.
Taking these steps will go a long way toward accelerating your adoption of digitization of business processes. Time management software products can also play a major role in expanding the implementation of innovative, digitized business processes.
4. Time Management Software Boosts Digitized Business Processes
Time management software products such as Runrun.it software can improve the user experience and automate certain business processes that were previously managed manually. For example, the Runrun.it time management platform can automatically track the amount of time employees spend on specific tasks and projects throughout the day while also providing deadlines to ensure work is completed.
In addition, Runrun.it software provides customized dashboards and reports to outline the metrics regarding the results behind a project. For instance, a user can view the metrics to see how often a document was sent back for revisions. This can simplify business processes and provide more data for more extensive feedback from managers and team members. If you would like to see whether Runrun.it time management software is the right product for your team, please click here for a free trial.