Many organisations have opted for quick fix options such as scanning documents to a repository or document storage in an existing system as part of their ‘digitisation’ programme. Or businesses such as traditional bricks and mortar car dealerships have added ‘clicks’ to ‘bricks’ with an online presence to enable trading through lockdown restrictions.
Both overlook the efficiency and flexibility gains that digitising paper-based ‘back-end’ processes can deliver to trade more productively, flexibly, and safely, key features of a business looking to redress the negative impact of Covid and emerge more strongly.
Research conducted by Xerox identified that UK attitudes and policies are shifting in relation to remote working, with 80% more likely to have an increase in confidence a remote working model and 58% planning to change their work from home policy within the next year. This highlights the need for companies to support a hybrid workforce with the ability to adapt to future unforeseen crisis. The rapid transition to remote working in response to the pandemic proved difficult for most businesses, with only 28% saying they were fully prepared and 29% citing technology as their biggest pain point. (1)
Where businesses have got it right, they’ve realised that introducing automation and streamlined processes is where the magic happens, benefits that are out of reach for technology laggers making do with basic document storage.
This is something acknowledged by Leslie Savage, Director at Donnelly Group. “When we looked at mstore, we realised it was more than just a solution for storing paper. We realised that we could employ workflow which not only gets rid of the paper problem, but also brings lots more efficient processes into how you handle the business. It has brought so many efficiencies and time savings.” Watch the case study video here.
Working electronically has enabled another top car retailing group, Vertu Motors, to address the changing and unpredictable trading conditions of the Covid 19 pandemic, and reduce the cost of headcount in the long term.
"mstore has been of huge benefit during lockdown, enabling us to instantly disperse and continue our sales administration with our sales administrators working from home,” confirmed Martin Welch, Vertu’s Head of Risk. “We see it as fundamental to our operations as we emerge from lockdown. Everything needs to be electronic so you’re able to share resource across dealerships.”
As well as providing flexibility, digitising workflows such as the paper-heavy sales process has also impacted positively on the Group’s cost base with over 30% less vehicle administration colleagues required, which was part of their reported £10 million annualised saving (2).
“It’s all to do with the efficiencies we gained in admin,” confirmed Martin. “Lockdown probably accelerated some of this, and we used mstore to enable us to scale up as demand increased.” Read the full Vertu case study here.
Independent think tank, Harvard Business Review, warns businesses about the confusing terminology that can lead to missed opportunities and investments falling short of their potential positive impact.(3)
Digitising Isn’t the same as Digital Transformation. The former is mostly about enabling business as usual and 'staying in the game,' while the latter is about building real, long-term competitive advantage to succeed.”
Harvard Business Review
Also, taking a piecemeal approach to digitisation can store up problems for further down the line. Organisations are urged to avoid investing in a disparate array of systems that requiremultiple log ins, fragment workflows, limit system familiarity and require double keying of data that create more errors and hassles for users than benefits, and that ultimately hamper system adoption, efficiency gains and ROI. Instead, think enterprise-wide and system integration, capabilities that the mstore platform delivers.
Another business embarking on their digital transformation journey explained, “We needed to look at something to suit the whole business to try and reduce the paperwork that was being generated. I feel that mstore will give us a wider base. We see mstore and Arena as an integral partner to our business going forward.” Eddie Clarke-Edwards, Group F&I Support Manager of Motus Commercials. Read the full case study here.
With businesses aiming to make the most of growth opportunities coming out of lockdown, and bearing down on inefficient areas of spend such as administration that delivers no value to the business, consider how talking to the right technology partner can help shape and deliver a vision for going digital in a way that also protects the business from future risk where a more flexible, streamlined way of working can ensure business continuity – whatever lies ahead!
1. The Future of Work in a Pandemic Era, Xerox 2020
2. Extract from AM online article:
“Vertu has worked hard to drive efficiencies during H2 and Forrester said that the acceleration of technology designed to drive efficiencies within the business – not the impact of COVID – being the main driver of a cost reduction programme which reduced group headcount by 345 in the period, yielding expected annualised savings of £10m.” AM Online article
3. Digitizing isn't the same as digital transformation Harvard Business Review March 2021