Digital business processes are not only helpful for decentralized working but are also enabling companies to develop new business models in the long-term. So how should companies approach digitization? Discover more about it here.
In times of social distancing, numerous employees were sent by their employers to the home office from overnight. Working from home has become normality these days - but the question is, how successful is it in practice? Work processes that used to be of negligible importance are quickly turning into an obstacle in the home office. For instance: contracts that need to be printed out and submitted to the management for approval. Or personnel files that are displayed on the desk. Now, what lessons does the crisis teach you? The answer is that in addition to collaboration and communication tools, it is above all document-intensive basic processes in the company that make work easier for employees - if they are digitalized.
Many processes are initiated in every business on a daily basis: These include incoming goods, customer orders, outgoing or incoming invoices, personnel processes or even production. Usually, these processes are highly standardized and run according to fixed sequences. It is crucial that documents and data from all these processes end up where they are needed.
Enterprises are confronted with an enormous amount of data and documents every day. These can be invoices or contracts, but also requirement notifications, delivery bills, material or customer master data and the like. The transfer of this data also differs greatly in some cases. Some of it flutters as a paper document on the desk of the human resources department, much of it is communicated and sent by e-mail, there are PDFs, Office files, multimedia files or other electronic formats. This colorful mix of paper and electronic documents of all kinds must be managed efficiently. Because some contain business-critical information, other documents are subject to legal retention and deletion periods.
During the processing of this information, companies are confronted with major challenges, such as a high expenditure of time, the risk of data loss, lack of legal security, traceability of changes, no continuous access and media discontinuity.
The willingness to digitalize business processes is there. However, the implementation is sometimes still hampered, especially for small and medium-sized companies: According to a Bitkom study on the status of digitization in medium-sized businesses in 2019, only 19 per cent of medium-sized businesses feel well positioned for the digitization of their processes in terms of software. The figure for large companies is already 86 per cent.
Many a manager still likes to make decisions based on gut feeling. But their own intuition can be deceptive. Therefore, important decisions should be made on the basis of data rather than by intuition. All information and data are already available in the company and are just waiting to be read, interpreted, compared and put into context. Digital business processes are the basis for this.
In contrast to paper, documents and information within digital processes are secured and protected against data loss. Digitization software can also be integrated with an archive system that automatically complies with retention and deletion periods using defined workflows.
Consider a text, a contract, a concept paper or an offer - anything - that you can work on together with a team of many people. You always know who was on the line, who changed what and who will release it in the end. You don't have to constantly check the status, instead, you are automatically notified about every change. And at the end of the day, your supervisor signs the document with a digital signature - all without having to print, make time-consuming phone calls or confusing e-mail communication.