How to stay productive on your automation journey

by Ricoh Australia 30 Mar 2020

When productivity is more important than ever, it’s important to take a problem-solving approach to process automation. Even if your automation is urgent, it’s important to know what problems you’re solving and that automation can be an iterative journey.

 

Automation may be the secret weapon for businesses looking for quick productivity gains. The good news is, process automation doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Your organisation can start with one process and grow your process map when it suits planning and spend.

Your business carries out data-driven tasks manually every day. It’s costly, inefficient and risks process failure or human error. Process automation improves the customer journey by simplifying interactions, speeding up processes and reducing costs.

Here’s our guide to getting your automation journey going with minimal risk to your productivity.

Start with security and governance

No amount of process automation will help if you drop the ball on compliance. It’s non-negotiable; are your existing manual and digitised services meeting accessibility and legislative requirements?

If you’re not sure if an automated solution will continue to satisfy compliance demands, get advice from an experienced automation specialist. You risk fines and legal action — and a huge blow to your reputation and customer loyalty.

Compliance first, then productivity and growth.

Improve the everyday

For most organisations, paper documents and files are part of everyday business processes. And they’re one of the biggest sources of staff frustration and customer friction.

As businesses look to shift workforces online, automated processes can play a big part in not only keeping up, but boosting productivity. When you’re looking at your automation plan, start with what will make a small but positive difference right now. How do you find out what that is? Ask your people, then listen and act on their response. No one knows your business processes like your own workforce.

Automate the money

Accounts payable and receivable are ripe for automation. Because the change can deliver a quick win and demonstrable ROI, it’s often a kickoff point for automation. Automating AP and AR will speed up your accounts processes, reduce human touch points that have a risk of error, and improve visibility over processing times and reporting.

Up your customer service game

Start with the basics. Where are the obvious bottlenecks? What do customers complain about? Automated customer onboarding and transactions free up frontline staff for more personalised customer experiences. So, customers that need a human hand can get it without waiting times that eat up brand goodwill.

The other key to service is how your systems are talking to others. If your automation focus includes APIs or other secure integration tools, you’re ahead of the game in bundling up seamless customer experiences. Your customers can be routed to an automated backend process — without leaving your channel.

Support your HR hot spot

If we accept that people are our most important asset, it makes sense that the HR function should be an automation hot spot. HR staff have skills beyond creating, copying, distributing and locating the same documents multiple times per day. With real-time access to CVs, contracts, performance and superannuation information, everything gets simpler and faster. Give them the tools to stay compliant, collaborate and the time to do fulfilling work — and then watch them shine.

Help your HR team spend less time retrieving records, chasing up signatures and managing documents — and get them back to their core responsibilities of attracting, training and retaining talent in a tight job market.

Work backwards from a problem

Most businesses could easily list a range of processes to automate. But where to start must be determined by a mix of budget, operational need, and what will retain and boost productivity in the workplace.

Work backwards from a specific problem. If there’s a high complaint rate about form errors — look at how smart forms could reduce inaccuracies and put the onus on customers to supply accurate information.

Get your data on the same page

If you’re sitting on mountains of paper kept for compliance or caution, you’re sitting on a goldmine of data and business intelligence. Through some smart digitisation automation moves, you can migrate all your legacy system content into a common format. And all your data together is stronger than the sum of its parts.

Make a plan

Just because you can break off a chunk of automation needs and start anywhere, doesn’t mean you don’t need an automation roadmap.

As you’d expect, we’re partnering with best of breed providers, like Nintex. Nintex manage, automate, and optimise your processes with no code - so process mapping and changes are simple and intuitive.

 

Our Ricoh Specialist team can get you started with a Content & Workflow Assessment to define a precise path to automation that doesn’t sacrifice productivity. Empower productivity with intelligent automation.

Call 13 RICOH.