In a nutshell, it is applying digital processes to existing business operations. In the same way that machinery enabled manufacturing processes to speed up, automation and standardisation of tasks can increase efficiency and free up staff to work on higher value tasks: such as things that ‘robots’ will never be able to do as well as humans… customer service.
How do you start?
Start with the simple things, such as automatic reporting. Most businesses know what’s important to their business – cash, sales, delivery etc. whatever it is, it’s the same every day. So many businesses rely on manual data entry, conversion and processing that can be automated.
An example is just about anything run in Excel. Excel is a great tool for creating models, but it is not a great tool to rely on for daily processing of data. Formulas get changed and macros break for no reason resulting in lost hours trying to get the Excel sheet running again.
At Rock IT, we used to run our financial dashboard out of Excel. We had to export the data from our accounting tool, import it into Excel, cross our fingers then hit REFRESH. Today we just receive an interactive report with all of the data we need to go about our day. It’s automatic and reliable.
Beyond report automation
Mapping out your processes is the first step to understand what can be automated and simplified. Look for any part of a process which is repetitive or requires manual ‘lifting’ (data exports/imports), and start with that.
Digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight and is an on-going and moving beast.
Talk to us today about how we can help you start the digital transformation journey.