Recently I attended two separate events which were targeted at two different verticals, one in Houston for the Oil & Gas industry and one in New York for the Construction industry.
During these events it became glaringly obvious to me, that the resistance to change is as common as the need for change among these industries.
Every organization has the requirement to make internal processes more visible and efficient, whether they realize it or not. Both of these industries have common requirements borne from disparate work-forces who are commonly ‘on-site’. Both also share the common resistance to take the plunge and try to digitize their manual processes.
Of course, this is not 100% of these companies, but there is still a very high percentage. I would have it in the 'over 90% bracket' of those who have not even piloted a single manual process in digital format. It’s ironic that industries who focus so much on ‘time’ as a measure of delivery success (we’ll assume quality is top of the list), ignore a methodology who’s most common outcome is the ability to ‘give back time’, by reducing time spent on manual processes and thus add time to focus on the work in hand.
A quick example is a simple ‘Field Observation’ process, where work cannot start/proceed due to a particular circumstance. Photos need to be taken and a report submitted to supervisors, which in turn get forwarded for work items to resolve the issue and so forth. This can hold up work for days. The current format to deal with this is by email. No visibility, no automatic escalation, etc. Time wasted = money wasted.
Save Time and Money
A construction project that we are currently involved in has 76 digitized processes. Each one of these has freed up time to different degrees. The ‘Targeted Risk Monitoring’ process (again common among many industries) was calculated at saving over 30 minutes per inspection by a Health & Safety officer once digitized. The total savings are calculated at over $40k per annum for this process alone – which more than pays for the software. Even if the remaining 75 processes were simple ones, once you extrapolate the savings, you begin to see that it all adds up. What you do with those savings is in your hands, reduce costs, increase productivity, etc. – what a luxury problem to have!
We already see that filling out paper forms is a waste of time, as more often than not this information will not be digitally captured for re-use and/or included with existing data without admin work, etc. There is also a percentage of this data which will be transcribed inaccurately, leading to lack of data integrity. In reality, do you imagine people filling out paper forms in a few years time?
If You Never Try, You'll Never Know
So why not start digitizing now? It’s really simple to prove, at minimal cost. You probably already have the infrastructure of Office 365 in place doing all the heavy lifting anyway – so just try it!
There are many factors in business that you have no control over. So why not control the areas of your business that you can control – digitizing your manual processes is one of them! The plain and simple fact is that no organization who digitized manual processes regretted the decision and nobody has ever reverted back to a pen and paper.
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