Digitalization and automation for business managers: top processes to optimize

Jesse Meijers

Improving performance: isn’t that what every business aims for? You know that there are ample points for improvement when it comes to your processes, but it can be difficult to put your finger on them.

Say, you’re a company operating in the chemical field. Raw materials prices determine the price of your semi-finished product. Therefore, you gather information on these prices, maintain an overview, and ensure that the correct overview reaches the intended recipients. Although a tedious and extremely time-consuming process, it is critical to conducting business. Here, digital improvement and automation can unburden you significantly. It is a less cumbersome endeavor than you might think, as you already have the information you need. All you require is the right method and tools.

What types of processes qualify for digitalization and automation

If you want to optimize your processes effectively, you need a starting point. Here are some examples of processes that would benefit greatly from digitalization and automation:

Repetitive tasks

Tasks that are repetitive in nature are rarely popular, as they tend to be and feel like the embodiment of inefficiency. If, for example, you have an onboarding process in place for new employees, you will regularly need to go through the same steps: set up a new email account, create a personnel file, and provide the new employee with a copy of your company regulations. Now, if you create an application which takes care of all these steps, including a checkmark list that ensures you won’t forget a single task, you will save a great amount of time and work much more efficiently (there is a free Triggre template for it, by the way).

More insight, happier customers

Making your customer’s ordering process more efficient is a great way to improve customer experience. No matter which part you’d like to automate first, digitalization provides the answer in virtually any respect. For example, you can build a web portal showing customers the current status of their shipment 24/7, which will unburden your customer service department while greatly increasing customer satisfaction. After all, you’re offering an additional service, which will be appreciated by your customers. They may be used to a similar portal when buying from big players but the majority of companies are only at the start of the digitalization process and can’t provide them with such benefits. Luckily, low-code and no-code platforms now allow business owners to create advanced portals without extensive technical knowledge, greatly enhancing their digital capabilities.

Manual data entry work

This one should be the number one contender for digitalization where possible. Manual data entry work takes up a lot of time that you can spend on more important tasks. For instance, if you provide exams and participants need to register for them, it saves a massive amount of time when they register through an application instead of email; even though email is already digital, the data would still need to be entered manually into the exam application. This case from one of our customers is a good example of streamlining data entry for incoming goods by scanning barcodes.

Deadline-sensitive processes

If deadlines must be met, it is crucial to avoid unnecessary delays. Suppose your quoting process involves multiple employees who must approve certain aspects of a quote, such as the price and delivery time. The last thing you want is to keep the customer waiting. Remember that each product follows a different workflow that has its own specific business rules. The latter can be used to differentiate processes. If you digitalize the process by making an application that sets approval deadlines and sends out automatic reminders, it is much easier to provide your customer with a quote very quickly.

Tip: always think of ways to break up a process into small steps and delegate actions to people who have an interest in completing them where possible. For example, if you want to digitalize your supply chain, break up the process into inbound and outbound and start from there. The inbound process can then be split up further, such as linking purchase orders to existing shipments, automatically selecting the most cost-effective carrier, or determining personnel planning based on the expected workload.

Every step that is digitalized will create an advantage. There is no need to implement an all-encompassing solution at once. By focusing on key processes, you can significantly improve your business performance, enhance customer satisfaction, and free up time for more strategic activities. The Business Process Automation Cycle framework can help greatly with this.

Start your digitalization and automation journey today, and watch your business thrive in the modern, competitive landscape. For further ideas and a business case estimation, check out our free Quick Scan tool.

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