For many organizations looking to digitally transform, automation is key. But it’s a broad concept, and the best way to do it depends on the size of your organization and the industry you’re in.
The first step to implementing the right automation strategy is to understand the business processes running in your organization. For that, you should consider a process automation center of excellence (COE), which usually consists of line–of–business leaders tasked with improving the processes in their departments.
A center of excellence is set up to:
- Map out processes across an organization
- Decide which processes should be optimized
- Spot inefficient processes and remove or improve them
- Integrate processes from disparate areas of the business
- Reduce information silos
EMA research showed that while only 7% of organizations have established a process automation COE, 50% were planning to create one within the next 12 months. Let’s explore how a COE can benefit your business.
1. Process visibility
Identifying inefficiencies or issues in your current business processes is the first step to effective digital transformation. Process mapping is key here. Once every process is mapped and visible, it’s easier to identify which processes can be optimized and automated.
The COE team works closely with senior management to get to the root of how processes work and whether they work well or poorly. A COE team studies processes to eliminate unnecessary and repetitive steps. This improves process efficiency and frees up employees’ time so they can concentrate on higher-value work.
2. Keep up with technical advances
When a recent study asked businesses to name the most important needs driving automation, more than half of business users listed “adapting to the rate of change.” Technology’s evolution is a vehicle for innovation and workplace efficiency, but only if employees are kept up to speed with the changes.
The COE team can ensure your business keeps up to date with the latest technology, ensuring your IT environment is fluid, flexible and ready to integrate with other business solutions. Process mapping, for example, helps you identify inefficient or ineffective processes, which in turn helps you minimize problems that can arise when introducing new technology.
3. Improved collaboration
As companies grow, processes often become inadequate or obsolete and must be modified or replaced with new ones. Collaboration across the entire organization helps ensure that every team is in sync as the business expands.
A process COE can facilitate this collaboration by creating links among business units. Visibility and communication are essential for productivity and employee satisfaction — 99.1% of employees prefer a workplace where people identify and discuss issues truthfully. COEs centralize information so that employees can access the data they need to create tailored solutions to problems.
4. Improve customer satisfaction
Customers are the backbone of any business, so it’s vital to provide great service that matches the quality of your product. You can have the best product in the world, but customers have high expectations for the brands they choose. They want positive and personalized experiences.
With the COE team’s oversight, you can map all the processes relating to customer interactions with your business. Process maps show you why it takes several steps for customers to get from A to B when it should take just one. When you understand the customer journey, you can improve it to maximize satisfaction and their value to your business.
5. Reduce costs
Businesses can be put off by the startup costs associated with establishing a COE, but having one can save significant sums of money over time.
Think about a large company. It may have hundreds or thousands of processes in place across the organization. A COE team can identify and analyze these processes to help you streamline them and minimize the time it takes for employees to achieve objectives. The speed and efficiency of a project’s design and execution improve, as does the quality of service.
A Gartner study showed that COEs can save an average of 30% in time and expenditure on application integration and cut maintenance costs by 20%, while also enabling better service, faster time to value and greater productivity.
Choose Nintex to build your center of excellence
Processes underpin everything we do at work. They are the methods through which we deliver the outcomes our jobs require. But you have to take a step back to see opportunities to improve. Putting in place a process automation COE is a great way of doing this. And the Nintex Platform is just the solution your COE needs to hit the ground running.
For example, Nintex Promapp® provides a simple and easy-to-use solution that enables your COE to understand, map, and manage processes. It’s simple, intuitive, and involves no code. Our solution provides visibility over the processes you own and changes that are made to processes you are involved in.
When change is communicated across an organization clearly, it makes change easier. The Nintex Platform is built to support your organization’s process automation evolution, providing all the tools you need for success in digital transformation.
If you’d like to kickstart your digital transformation and establish your process automation center of excellence, contact Nintex.