Four digitisation initiatives. Successful thanks to process automation!

Web portals and APIs. Better user experience. Get products to market faster. Reduce costs. Achieve all goals with process automation.

Survival in the digital world: web portals and APIs. Better user experience. Getting products to market faster and reducing costs. With process automation, you can achieve all four goals simultaneously.

In our last blog post we showed why process automation is the foundation for a sustainable digitization strategy.

Many companies are pursuing one or more of the following initiatives as part of their digitization efforts:

  • Web portals and APIs - expanding
  • User Experience - improve
  • Time-to-Market - shorten
  • Cost reduction - enforce

The targeted and consistent process automation supports all four initiatives simultaneously (see Figure 1). A distinction is made between the following procedures:

  • Workflow Management: Form-based workflows to support manually executed work steps. This increases the efficiency and quality of employees' work.
  • Automation: Repetitive work steps should be automated by means of IT. This guarantees the shortest response times and relieves employees of routine tasks.
  • Process control: All work steps of a process should be coordinated and monitored by an IT system. The user or customer can thus influence the process via a web portal or mobile app.
Figure 1: Process automation supports digitisation initiatives

In the following, we explain how process automation supports the individual initiatives and is a key success factor.

Process automation for web portals and APIs

A customer has booked flights, hotels and rental cars online for a family holiday. He needs a visa for the destination. However, the online travel agency only accepts visa requests by e-mail or telephone because this is a manual process. The web portal only offers processes that are fully supported by the internal booking system. A competitive disadvantage.

When a service or product is offered via a web portal or API (for mobile apps), typically numerous processes are affected. These processes cannot all be delegated 1:1 to an existing business application. Manual intermediate steps are often required.

Workflow Management can be used to address these intermediate steps. Manual processes can also be provided via portals and APIs. The customer is pleased!

Process automation for user experience

The customers demand high comfort. They expect that they can use the services and products

  • at any time (no business hours, but 24×7)
  • professional (without errors) and
  • immediately (without waiting for a long time)

can use. In addition, customers expect to be able to track processes, such as ordering a service or product. In a furniture store, the customer wants to be informed about the delivery after buying a piece of furniture. As soon as the delivery date is known, he may want to postpone it via web portal or mobile app.

Workflow management can be used to speed up manual work steps and reduce the error rate. The improvement is often astonishing.

Thanks to process management, control over the entire process is delegated to an IT system. This system can continuously inform the end user about the current status via web portal or mobile app. If necessary, the customer can react.

The postponement of a delivery date is automatically forwarded to the logistics company. In the past, a clerk had to call the logistics company's call center.

Process automation to reduce time-to-market

As a manufacturer, we must be able to quickly identify and implement changing customer requirements. As the degree of automation increases, this recognition becomes more difficult as direct and personal contact with the end customer decreases.

By coordinating and monitoring the individual work steps throughout by means of a central process control system, changes can still be detected immediately.

When processes change, retraining employees is often the biggest challenge. Intuitive, form-based workflows make it easier for the affected employees to adapt. The effort required for training is reduced. Process changes take effect more quickly.

Process automation for cost reduction

Cost structures are always an issue. With digitization, this topic is moving even further into the foreground. Start-ups often have very light-weight processes and thus more advantageous cost structures compared to established companies. This is precisely where process automation can greatly relieve established companies.

Manual work steps can be supported with workflow management via online forms. Each team processes the pending tasks conveniently via corresponding worklists. Complex coordination between the teams is no longer necessary.

The central collection of data with the workflow management also facilitates the automation of repetitive work.

Read how Helsana can act faster on the market thanks to process automation.