The Forgotten Side of Process Automation
Process automation means streamlining tasks to save time and money. It allows the organization to become faster; do more, reduce errors, ensure compliance, reduce overhead, and increase profits. This is all great for the organization, but…
What happens to all of the people?
They are not needed to push paper around so what do they do? Do they leave? Do they become unemployed? Do they scramble to update their resume?
Most people immediately begin to worry when they hear about process automation projects coming their way. They shouldn’t. They will learn new skills that are knowledge based. This allows them to add more value for themselves and for the organization. Organizations should encourage them and help them develop their new skills. After all, the organization benefits greatly by not having to hire replacements. The current team already has the knowledge that takes months or even years for an organization to acquire.
- They can focus more on the mission of the organization
- They will enjoy their work more because they are delivering instead of pushing paperwork
- They learn new, value adding skills
- They help the company grow faster or provide more services
- They deliver higher quality with fewer distractions
Imagine if you could have one more salesperson instead of a paper pusher. What would that mean to the organization? Or, if you could have more people on the front lines delivering your services? Or if you could take on more projects with the same number of people? You could even pay people more. I have never heard anyone complain about getting a raise. Higher pay encourages retention and helps repeat the incremental improvement cycle.
Efficiency is a competitive advantage. Look at what Walmart and other have done with their highly efficient distribution systems. They no longer compete with Kmart, Sears, Montgomery Wards, and the list goes on. Even non-profits must compete. They compete for funding. Would you rather deliver more or hire more people to manage inefficient processes?
How many people do you know that took a job in the field of their choice just so they could spend 20-30% of their time filling out and chasing paperwork? Let’s see… too many to count, right? One of the most buzz killing aspects of any job is having to deal with unnecessary and inefficient paperwork.
So, what are you waiting for? Don’t just sit there reading this blog, go make things better. You just might find your job description now includes expertise in process automation and that is a great thing!
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