“Visibility without value is vanity” – Bernard Kelvin Clive
It’s simple. To do things, you need to be able to see them. This is true for every enterprise regardless of its size and industry.
Let me share one of my observations!
I often come across business leaders who are confident of their streamlined processes, the operational cycle that requires minimal downtime, the quality control team which ensures that their products are up to the set standards. In simple words – they are well-placed in the business world. Hang on, this is what they think without identifying and realizing the gaps in the end-to-end processes.
The decision-makers must understand that despite having streamlined operations, the key lies in looking at processes holistically to avoid any kind of disconnect.
Unveiling Various Aspects
- Comprehensive Dashboard: Think of your procurement operations, if it is a global enterprise, how do you wish to track each stage of your procurement process?
The solution can be a dashboard that can report and monitor your complete enterprise spend in real-time while notifying the right stakeholders.
- Spend Management: From an enterprise perspective, is the shared service center (SSC) or global in-house center (GIC) taking charge of your procurement process? Does this department control your procurements across multiple entities, countries, currencies and legal regulations? Let’s investigate the spend management module in your enterprise today.
•Do you have visibility into the overall enterprise spend?
• Is there an alignment between your enterprise spend and the estimated budget?
• Are you able to leverage your existing IT platform to capture business requirements?
• Have you been able to identify risks related to supplier relationships and have you defined ways to mitigate those risks?
Remember, an enterprise’s budgeting and forecasting trends are deeply connected with the procurement operations. Spend management investigates the cash outflow of an enterprise. However, ‘maverick spending’ a.k.a ‘rogue spending’ is where most of the enterprise’s deviation from the budget forecast comes into the scene. Maverick spending is the purchase that’s made outside of agreed contracts. And, there’s deviation because most of the purchase is done outside the system and the associated costs are mostly accounted under contingencies. These costs are very much unmanaged and non-compliant to standard operating procedures (SOPs) and could have various legal consequences.
- The Priority of Transactions: Also, your procurement professionals are highly focused on the high-value transactions, thus they tend to leave the low-value transactions to the respective departments. This, in turn, would have an impact on the financial position of the enterprise.
To avoid the issues that might impact your procurement operations in terms of the siloed application landscape and rogue spending, you must leverage a digital automation platform that can monitor your costs and facilitate you with a comprehensive dashboard for end-to-end process visibility . Furthermore, the platform allows enterprises to focus on evolving business requirements and changing regulatory compliance. This digital automation platform, with low code capability, also helps in automating simple departmental functions to complex enterprise-wide solutions, enabling business speed and agility.
Choosing the right platform is key to bridge organizational silos for achieving better process visibility and delivering a superior customer experience.
Do you track the number of notifications and alerts you receive daily? As customers, we receive multiple notifications from our service providers.
- Banks send account transactions, monthly statements, service updates, new schemes and offers, etc.
- Insurers share policy renewal reminders, payment reminders, new policy issuance notifications, etc.
- Telecom providers send us monthly bills, payment reminders, new plans, etc.
- Utility players send invoice details or other regulatory information
- And the list goes on.
Aren’t such notifications the most common interactions an organization has with its consumers? And yet, they do not contribute anything to a customer’s experience. They just serve an informational purpose.
According to a study, 95% of transactional communications are opened and read each month as they contain important financial information and usually require action. With such a high click and conversion rate, it is imperative for organizations to create a WOW experience for users through these notifications. Not only would this help organizations build confidence in their customers, but it would also help them gain an edge over their competitors.
With a modern customer communication management (CCM) suite, businesses can revamp these notifications to gain customer loyalty.
Following are some ways in which CCM can help in delivering customer delight:
CCM can send notifications through multiple channels such as SMS, email, WhatsApp, push notifications, or through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. These channels can be decided by building intelligent rules based on a customer’s preferences, demographics, or channel usage.
- Links to Access/Download Documents
It would save a considerable amount of time if people could access relevant documents along with the concerned notification. Consider a customer receiving a notification about his account statement. A link can be shared through SMS or WhatsApp which opens the statement in a responsive HTML format right on his phone screen, and further gives the option to download a PDF version. He no longer needs to go to the website or mobile app, thereby saving time and creating a wonderful experience.
- Enclosed Media with Notifications
CCM allows you to send images and documents along with app notifications, turning a mundane message into an attractive one. It provides the perfect opportunity for up-selling or cross-selling products and can inform customers about any ongoing offers and promotions.
CCM suite enables businesses to track each communication sent to consumers on multiple channels. It also analyzes consumer action by monitoring open rates, click-through rates, and bounce rates across multiple channels. This enables businesses to get a 360-degree view of all the notifications sent from different departments and their respective responses received from the customers.
It is important to treat these notifications as an opportunity to establish a personalized and long-lasting relationship with your customer. An effective CCM suite can go a long way in enhancing your brand image and delivering a superior customer experience.
5 Tips for Maintaining Work-life Balance
We now have worked from home for months, with varying degrees of freedom to move around. Depending on which country you are based in, you may be totally confined to your home complex or are able to run your errands in the city. During this time, the world has experienced some more things,
- Many more COVID-19 infected people, some even in our known circle
- Many losing their jobs or having reduced incomes
- Economy taking a hit, as people are spending money on essentials only
- On the work front, a lot more time being spent in front of laptops and mobile devices
All these changes can bring more stress to our lives. Negative energies of these financial, emotional, and work pressures can impact your health. We need a balance in our existence to survive and thrive. Here are five quick tips for maintaining this balance,
- Exercise more – Start your day with some physical exercises, yoga, and meditation. The combination can be very peaceful and calming for your being
- Shorter meetings – Set 15-minute or 45-minute meetings instead of 30- and 60-minute ones. A lot of times, the meeting only requires that much productive time
- Frequent breaks – Take frequent breaks. Do not be shy to take 10 minutes here and there to look away from the screen, spend time with the family, or just stretch
- More video calls – Video calls will bring additional dimensions of a conversation, which makes meetings more dynamic and enjoyable
- More ad hoc calls – Do not let your calendar drive your day. Allow for ad hoc calls with your colleagues to mimic hallway chats or water cooler gossips
The idea is to pace ourselves, before these long hours start creating fatigue. Set an end time for your day. Unless something is urgent, close your laptop at that time, after which it is your family and/or me time. More importantly, use your weekends to revitalize for following weeks. The COVID situation can last for months. In this digitally connected new world, we owe it to ourselves and our employers that we stay healthy both physically and emotionally by maintaining a work-life balance in our lives. Maintain social distance, stay safe, and stay healthy.
Why do we need to transform business operations?
Change is a continuous process. Your business undergoes frequent changes due to market dynamicity, competitive landscape, and futuristic strategies. Standard operating procedures and business processes undergo constant improvements to enhance productivity, ensure compliance, and help businesses operate better.
In such scenarios, technology acts as a backbone for visualizing business efficiencies and achieving your desired outcomes. You need to orchestrate business process reengineering (BPR) to upgrade your technology infrastructure and keep up with emerging trends in order to support your organization’s vision.
What are the potential risks involved?
BPR could seem like a daunting task, with multiple risks looming overhead while planning an enterprise-wide transformation. In general, the various associated risks can be categorized into the following:
- Longer time and cost to realize the change
- Unpredictable outcomes
- Possible reskilling of resources
- Business adaptability to change
The role of BPM
Business process management (BPM) automates process control and simplifies performance monitoring with the help of an agile platform.
BPM de-risks the challenges associated with long-term and unpredictable BPR.
- BPM breaks the long-term objectives into a series of sequential short-term objectives called as milestones
- Milestones cover a small area of the business process and the impact is comparatively limited
- Each milestone has its own measurable end results ensuring the path to the overall objective is as predicted
- Any challenge can be corrected and modifications can be implemented within the milestone zone with ease
Enhance Lean Projects
The teams working on lean projects can make full use of the BPM program capabilities. This will allow you to design new ways to run the business and have a focused group of people addressing business needs. The system will become more customer-centric, maximizing the value and minimizing unnecessary elements from a process. BPM also improves process visibility through a dedicated dashboard that helps the project owner optimize the value chain to derive better results.
Improve and Ease the Transition
You can improve your business processes either with a holistic model or by adopting a series of steps, like pre-defined milestones, that can be set up with BPM. The advantage of the latter is that it helps your organization gradually adjust and adapt to the changes, making for an easy and seamless transition. BPM aids continuous process improvement with a systematic approach and facilitates testing waters at frequent intervals for course correction. This can help you isolate and reduce any risk arising due to the planned changes.
To conclude, BPM-based process improvements prove to be more reliable and successful due to its model of milestone-based change management, reflected in better user experience, scalability, adaptability, and continuous incrementable business benefits.
The importance of robust processes and high-level security in managing organizational records and data cannot be overstated, especially for government organizations. Governmental organizations require various security and access control functionalities in order to ensure compliance with corporate information security guidelines. Further, they require records managers to aggregate records from multiple channels while adhering to dynamic guidelines and compliances.
A records manager facilitates document acquisition from multiple sources while arranging them in a predefined, hierarchical file plan—indexing, archiving, searching, and maintaining the integrity of the records by not allowing any sort of modifications to documents, marked as records. They also work to define filing and retention rules to keep records active for a stipulated period, including rules for naming, storage, and hierarchy management, among others.
Such detail-driven and complex records management processes are nearly impossible when executed manually, especially with the sheer volume of incoming records within government organizations. Digitizing and automating the records management process is the key to sustaining a high quality of work, without sacrificing efficiency, security, or compliance.
Digital is No Longer Optional—It’s Imperative!
Take, for example, the custodian of national records and heritage need to digitize the operations of all government entities related to the archives to build a modern records management system. To successfully execute this vision across all the government agencies and entities with governmental stake, the custodian will have to define the regulatory guidelines and standards, to be adopted within a pre-determined time period.
For organizations like these, digitization is truly the only way forward. In an increasingly digital and technologically-forward world, they must be prepared to deal with documents and data in any format—be it analog or digital. Perhaps more importantly, governmental organizations, have a responsibility to maintain comprehensive and secure records, to easily manage those records as needed, and to remain on the cutting edge.
That means going digital.
Bumps in the Road to Digital
Digital places a variety of demands on government organizations, making it a challenge to fulfill requirements in time for compliance. Furthermore, adhering to a long-term vision requires organizations to look beyond compliance requirements, at the future impact of immediate steps.
Some of the specific challenges faced by governmental organizations include:
- Unique compliance items, each with its comprehensive requirements
- Managing electronic and physical records using the same platform
- Managing metadata continuously across any record’s lifecycle
- Maintaining information per the standard guidelines
- Balancing user experience against system complexity and compliance requirements
- Updating the system in the future based on new, and continuously changing, retention schedules
- Maintaining information security across various systems
Looking to the Horizon
While the goal for compliance is a short-term requirement, it is important to understand the long-term vision for digitizing records and correspondences by:
- Treating information as an asset and exercising tight control of the record’s end-to-end lifecycle, from creation to disposition (and archival), to ensure integrity and accountability
- Ensuring that processes, as well as end-products (records, documents, correspondences), are digital, for effective governance and visibility
- Making all records accessible, given the requisite authorizations, to immediate stakeholders, the broader community, and other departments and agencies
- Building a system that is not only sustainable and scalable, but also secure and compliant with the applicable standards
The Path to Digital
Record managers and policy administrators can define the lifecycle of physical and electronic records within their system. The system then facilitates, (1) the definition of rules for the tracking and movement of records across users and, (2) the setting of rules for record archival and final destruction. To progress down the path of digitizing their records management process, organizations must move through certain stages:
- Getting ready
- Define their strategic and operational plans
- Examine the organization’s records, inventory, and taxonomy
- Assess the policies and processes pertaining to records management
- Establish retention schedules and disposition requirements
- Making it happen
- Establish a technology platform with digital capabilities
- Implement end-to-end digital records management by leveraging a robust platform
- Moving beyond compliance
- Embrace the future with extensible records management
- Leverage cutting-edge technologies
- Scale and build adoption capabilities
Speeding into the Future
Digitization of national and state records is a critical achievement. However, it is more apt to consider it a series of ongoing steps, rather than a concrete milestone. These steps will continue indefinitely to achieve an efficient, secure, connected, and cutting-edge government ecosystem.
When we were chalking out business plans in the board rooms, COVID-19 struck, affecting businesses globally and disrupting manual or partially automated processes. By now, we have learned to live with the pandemic around us. We’ve embraced the new normal of remote working. But are we as effective as before? Are manual processes hurting our business operations and customer service?
Thanks to technologies like robotic process automation (RPA) that came to our rescue during these testing times when survival meant the rapid adoption of digital. Automation of routine, mundane, and template-based processes with bots acted as a quick-fix in enabling smooth remote operations and maintaining business continuity.
RPA: A savior for businesses
RPA has made it easier for organizations to go digital and deliver uninterrupted services without compromising their speed and quality. Bots can work round the clock tirelessly and accurately, freeing up our valuable resources to take charge and talk strategy.
Further, RPA is enhancing business resilience by:
- automating back-office activities
- auto-generating responses to customer queries
- reducing dependency on individual employees
- scaling operations based on varying supply chain demands
- and more
Let’s take a look at three industry-specific use cases where RPA is helping organizations survive and thrive in the new normal.
- Faster loan disbursement
Financial institutions are leveraging bots to automate their loan qualification and validation processes, making disbursements more efficient. This is also helping them streamline their inbound loan processing and existing underwriting approvals.
- Streamlined employee health screening
Government agencies and private organizations alike are deploying bots to send out periodic surveys through multiple channels with questions about their employees’ health and travel history, among others. Based on the responses, the bot creates a risk score to assess whether a person is fit to physically attend the office or not.
- Intelligent resource allocation
Hospitals are setting up bots to maintain a log with details about healthcare workers who are in good health, need quarantine, or have been exposed to or infected with COVID-19. This helps them allocate resources efficiently and ensure timely support for both the medical staff as well as the patients.
This is just a glimpse of how RPA has been enabling a secure, touchless environment to help businesses stay afloat through this crisis. RPA is the clear choice for organizations to stay current and gear up for the digital-only world.