Secure successful automation with business process management.

Shared services and transformation were top-of-mind for global business center professionals at the Shared Services & Outsourcing Week in San Jose. Conversations with industry experts reinforced their intention about embarking on a process automation journey.

Be smart about business process automation.

Those organizations interested in automating their business processes should proceed only if they know they can automate intelligently.

It is possible to manage, automate and optimize your business processes without having to write code, when you have the right software.

The part that trips many organizations up, is the planning required to do it well. By being well-prepared you can be sure of the buy-in of your people, and be confident that you know which hurdles to expect along the way.

Interestingly, very few attendees had considered the importance of laying a solid foundation to ensure their automation success.

Launching into automation without doing the preparation is a bit like building a house that has no foundation.

Get a visual.

Automation will set your organization apart from the competition, as long as you are well-aware of what you can expect to find once you go down the automation track.

By getting teams to capture the processes they use every day, you get an accurate visual of the as-is state, so you can identify potential pain points and opportunities to introduce intelligent tools like forms, workflows and document generation. With those identified in an end-to-end view, you get a good idea of what the final outcome could look like.

By using system tags you can identify and label those parts of your processes that could present a challenge during automation.

Forewarned is forearmed. By having all the information at your fingertips, your organization can make informed decisions about what to automate, how quickly to make it happen, and where you could encounter stumbling blocks.

Capture and review processes prior to implementation.

In many ways, the conversations we have with clients reveal that their challenges are not that different to those facing attendees at SSOW in California, although they may not strictly be related to automation.

Understand what is actually happening in your processes before you try to improve them. That knowledge comes from the ‘shop floor’ where the people using the processes – or not using them! – can give input about what works and what is waste. When you know what the impact of the change will be, your organization can save on time, money and effort.

For instance, when a nutraceutical manufacturer invested in an Oracle ERP system, they spent the next two years trying to implement it. After repeated delays, it became clear that success hinged on being better prepared for the implementation.

Although processes were in place, they weren’t standardized across departments or updated, leading to confusion and lack of engagement from teams.

After searching for the right solution, they have now invested in Nintex Promapp to get them on track and help them solidify the basics first.

The benefit of using software to successfully manage business processes is keenly appreciated by our clients, not least because of the help it provides during system implementations. For instance, Christchurch Airport successfully used Nintex Promapp to implement their ERP system, minimizing disruption, time and cost.

Similarly, a leading soft drink manufacturer also experienced a lack of team engagement in their process improvement.

After a recent conversation with one of our U.S.-based account executives, their transition finance manager attributed that to the fact that, as the Visio specialist, he is responsible for mapping processes but they aren’t easily understood by people on the front line who actually use them.

Poised for automation success.

By prioritizing process excellence, your organization can see a visual, end-to-end process that details all the relevant touchpoints, so potential hurdles can be anticipated.

When you have your business processes well under control, you can undertake your automation initiatives with the assurance that you have been thorough in your attempts to mitigate risks and set your organization up for automation success. 

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