Driving Digital Transformation Through Automation

For businesses looking to increase efficiency and reduce costs, automation has long been a tool of choice. But the pandemic has forced leaders to think beyond the cost benefits to consider more boldly what automation can do for their organizations.

The dramatic impact of the pandemic on business has highlighted the importance of strengthening organizational resilience and reducing risk. If you’re preparing to transform your business to meet current challenges and look beyond, you’re probably considering a wide range of digital transformation initiatives including automation. The latter — and partners that can help you leverage it — may give you a competitive advantage.

Technologies can drive your transformation

Business process automation, workflow automation and robotic process automation (RPA) are some of the technologies that can drive your transformation. These solutions can:

  • Minimize risk: Tools such as digital document management, including managed print services and document imaging, help keep business-critical data secure and compliant. Documentation in the wrong hands can proliferate quickly and compromise your controls. With automated document management, you gain encryption and tracking across the process, ensuring that you maintain visibility and control.
  • Advance the user experience: Automating processes and document management can expedite your service delivery, eliminate cumbersome paper and filing tasks, and generate data-rich workflows to better serve your customers. It’s the first step to meeting the on-demand expectations of today’s consumer. But it’s also a differentiator in the race for talent. Digitized document management empowers remote work, making you a more attractive employer.
  • Improve your resilience: The increased control provided by automation allows your organization to adapt more quickly to sudden market shifts and seasonal demands. In our experience, there is a correlation between a strong digital automation strategy and resilience. One reason is that when you automate any business process, you remove the variability from human error, giving you more control, more predictability, and better outcomes.

Experienced service providers have expanded their capabilities to offer business transformation services such as digital mail, as well as supply chain services to increase performance in warehouse and distribution center operations.

Digitizing mail

As the nature of work transforms and hybrid models emerge, even the fundamental means of communication must transform. Forward-looking organizations are automating significant aspects of their communications by digitizing mail.

When a piece of mail comes into an organization, it enters the workflow as paper, and it proceeds at the pace of the mail service. But if it’s converted digitally, it goes at the speed of the company’s network. That typically is a dramatic difference.

Digital mail makes information actionable at lightning speeds by preparing it for your digital workflow, even when your workforce is remote.

Companies that use digital mail can see a dramatic reduction in the time to redirect information accidentally sent to the wrong party, without the risk of that sensitive information being lost or compromised. Customer service levels increase as delays disappear and response times become instantaneous. The wide-ranging benefits of digital mail also make it a powerful on-ramp for organizations just beginning their digital journey.

Expecting a seamless user experience

Today’s digital customer expects a seamless user experience and near-real-time delivery of goods or services. The pandemic has only amplified this expectation, and many traditional organizations struggle to satisfy it, especially in their warehouse, supply chain and operations environments.

One major manufacturer was struggling to get picked parts from the warehouse to the production floor due to increased customer demand. Costly delays piled up. An automated warehouse management system (WMS) that integrated seamlessly with the organization’s existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems helped maximize the efficiency of inventory management, eliminated time-consuming physical tasks, and reduced the incidence of damaged or incorrect parts.

The manufacturer saw significant cost savings and increased its automation footprint. Further enhancements to the process allowed it to store parts in “micro-warehouses” closer to the manufacturing floor; automate mail services; and sharpen safety procedures to reduce risk and increase productivity across the operations environment.

Automation can speed processes

Every business knows that automation can speed processes, save money, and help minimize risk. But savvy organizations are discovering that it brings much more to the table. Automating your business processes with the right solutions in the right places can make your business stronger, safer, and more customer-centric. And the right partner can help you maximize this opportunity.

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is a certified enterprise content management practitioner (ecmp) and director of corporate communications for Canon Business Process Services, a leader in managed services and technology.