Process optimisation and change management: Digitisation does not involve any magic tricks

Digitalisation is currently THE mega-topic. Those who use the latest technologies and apply them effectively will be successful. Those who ignore the digital transformation and forego the use of modern technologies are highly unlikely to survive in the competitive environment. Current technologies such as apps, augmented reality, Internet of Things or Big Data, can support the success of any company. Many companies want to use the latest innovations, but often get lost between all the technologies. We think this is the wrong way to look at it and see digitalisation quite pragmatically as: Process optimisation x change management = added value

Digitalisation is process optimisation

Process optimisation is not usually such a colourful and positive word. It is associated with flow charts, employees who do not understand new processes and mountains of documentation. However, digitalisation is essentially nothing other than process optimisation.

With the new technologies, it is generally not about spending miracles. In almost all cases, it is about improving an existing process (process optimisation). In our case, the analogue remote support process that has been handled via email and telephone for the past years and decades. Since e-mail and telephone have made their way out of necessity, this process has never been documented in a tangible way. Nevertheless, it remains an analogue process that we are digitalising and massively improving with RISE.

Digitisation is change management

If you digitise existing processes, the organisation and its employees inevitably have to be taken along. Ways (or processes) that have been established for employees in their daily work over the last few years are now changing all at once. We believe it is important to get staff excited about the change and convince them that the new way will first and foremost make everyone’s work easier. The support of management is just as important. Because for every new digital process, a certain initial energy has to be mustered to overcome the initial friction.

Does digitalisation mean new sales and business models?

Not digitalisation alone, but the improvement and simplification of existing processes creates significant added value. For a company, this can mean saving costs internally or creating new benefits for its customers externally, which can be billed.

Is digitalisation disruptive?

Often, in the context of digitalisation, we talk about disruption, i.e. a complete change of value chains (processes). From our perspective, digitalisation can undoubtedly be disruptive. In the area of remote support, the service performance of the technician is increasingly being transferred to the customer. New service revenues, fewer service calls and shorter maintenance times are the result.

And everyone benefits from this: the customer can use his machine productively again more quickly without having to wait for the service technician to arrive, the manufacturer saves on service calls with his already scarce service team in times of a shortage of skilled workers, and the experts, the actual know-how carriers, generate additional revenue through remote support. Field service as we know it thus becomes more centralised and processes as well as staff profiles change. In such a scenario, value is created in a new way. Old processes disappear and become obsolete.

In the end, digitisation, as described, is about optimising processes and establishing digital solutions in the organisation and among the stakeholders in order to create added value. This added value is created either in the form of cost savings or through new business models. Digitalisation will not sweep away entire value chains overnight, but it will gradually enable new value chains that are significantly more efficient. In our opinion, we don’t have to be afraid of this. Even if we live and love digitalisation every day: Digitisation is not witchcraft.

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