The phrase “Digital Transformation” is definitely trendy these days. It’s all about getting your business to leverage the possibilities of technology in every possible way and make it one of your core strategic advantages: a completely new business model, a new way to reach customers…
However, when you narrow it down to the “Process Digitization” space, your target is mostly efficiency on an operational level : you want to have your people redesign their way of working in a more efficient way thanks to these technologies. This is where custom software come into play.
Eye On The Future
If you want to grow your business, you need a scalable business model. And if you grow, the tools you use need to scale with you. Canned softwares are not the magical solutions to all your problems, they will just help you in storing and communicating bits of what you do for common tasks, if your team actually use them. But when it comes to efficiency, whether you operate in a very traditional industry or in the high-tech business, the most important things to keep in mind to perform well are your processes. They are very likely to be unique, whether because of the type of data you have to handle, or because of particular workflows. Optimizing and monitoring them to make sure they are applied in the best possible way can result as a huge competitive advantage.
Keeping Everybody On The Same Page
Pay attention to what your teams complain about, they probably do it for a reason. Whether you use a spreadsheet synchronized thanks to a local server or a “modern” Google Sheet synchronized in the cloud, the tool remains a spreadsheet. Hey, we won’t try to explain you that this is old-school. Figure it out by yourself. We don’t hate Excel though. We see it as a great sort of MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to start understanding what kind of data you will need to complete your workflows. It will help you understand your business on a few important topics. But as you grow, this will probably become the biggest cause of your synchronization problems within and across departments.
Facilitate Repetitive Tasks In Your Complex Workflow
If you run a manufacturing company, you want the production department guys to start right when the marketing department guys closed a deal. You want to have all the information about your products sorted in all your documents. You want to know what’s happening at every level, at the click of a button. You want to know when your machines can be used. You want the quality department guys to produce reports on the quality of every batch you produce. You want your shipping team to ship the products when the clients wants them. Or you may want it another way.
At least, that’s how we made it function when ISMAT chose us as a partner. For manufacturers, fully tailored ERPs are a great option to achieve such efficiency. We’re not talking about having a ton of fancy stats and reports. You already know what you need : make sure people do their job in the most productive way and track their performance to ensure your customers remain happy. So the fancy word for it is “process digitization” and we believe everyone should consider it, especially if you have pretty repetitive tasks in a complicated process.
Do your teams a favour! Ease their repetitive tasks so that they can focus on what is truly important for your customers: the quality of your products and services. Have you ever heard Microsoft Excel being awarded for being a critical partner for the growth of a company ?
You Tried Canned Softwares And It Just Didn’t Work
You probably already tried some “canned software” (the ones you can download or subscribe to at the click of a button, like Slack for chat, or Basecamp for project management, mostly developed by startups). They may not be exactly fitted to what your company’s workflow is. As a result, you may be using both a software and paper. Did that sheet of paper follow you everywhere ? Still, you may have used a tool like Evernote to digitise it and make it accessible by everyone in your organisation. Or, if you’re a bit of a geek, you may have tried to synchronize two different canned softwares using Zapier, an automation tool. Did this workout ? If this was scalable and highly efficient to you, you can stop reading this article right now
Use Tools That Fit Your Business
You may find a highly targeted “canned software” if you have pretty standards processes : for instance if you’re a restaurant manager, you can use plenty of solutions; Try to find yours and experiment with it it before developing something new. These tools, if they are well designed and used properly, will truly help you have a global overview about what’s going right or wrong in your business. They will automate your repetitive tasks as much as possible.
Also, if you have a really precise but common task to get done, there are plenty of tools that you should actually use, whether for project management, social media, design, and the list goes on. You know it, “there’s an app for everything”.
But what if, after weeks of trying and experimenting, you still feel like your business needs something different ? Your tools arent truly automating your processes.
A whole lot of tech startups tear themselves apart these days to solve the world’s problems. But still, you may feel something is wrong with these standard tools and your business. You know you have your own problems and your own idea about how to solve them. We’d love to hear your ideas.