In this digital age, a business’ ability to unlock the value of its data can make a good company great. The UK’s big businesses know this: they’ve been capturing and analysing performance data for years to squeeze out every last drop of value and get an edge over the competition. Yet many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) still rely on spreadsheets and paper-based methods to manage their operations. If you’re one of them, this matters because it could limit your ability to identify profit potential and growth opportunities.
Those businesses that instead use a workflow automation system have instant access to a wealth of valuable data at their fingertips. And, when exploited, these nuggets of information give them a real competitive advantage.
What data can do for you
An automated system that pushes workflows around the organisation speeds up processes and ensures nothing falls through the cracks.
Businesses that use workflow management software can gain actionable insights (ugh, hate that expression) that, cumulatively, can lead to sizeable cost-savings. For example, when analysing store breakage and clean up statistics, the cleaning company for a well-known supermarket noticed a handful of stores were outliers, with an above average number of breakages. Investigations revealed that in this group of stores the shelves, which would normally have a slight backwards tilt to prevent products falling off, were completely level. Once the problem was identified, the shelving provider quickly fixed the fault at no cost to the supermarket and the store’s breakage figure is now within normal range.
Removes duplication of effort
When information is securely stored in a database, rather than a spreadsheet, it can be accessed by all those authorised to use it or automatically shared with other systems across the organisation so details need only be entered once.
By switching from old-fashioned paper-based processes you’ll not only save a shed-load of trees from being chopped down, but also reduce your business’ carbon emissions.
Improved customer retention
When you can bring up any performance figures you want in seconds on your smartphone or tablet, proving you’re meeting (or exceeding) SLA targets is a cinch. As is proactively identifying areas for improvement.
Having access to figures that show the true total costs of a contract, or a job means you can make informed decisions based on meaningful information, rather than a hunch.
Allocate staff where they’re most needed
If the data shows your washrooms are seeing a greater number of visitors at certain times of the day, you may want to divert some staff attention to the areas of greatest need in real time, rather than stick rigidly to a fixed schedule.
Test drive scenarios virtually
before implementation in real life. A workflow management system enables you to create a ‘digital twin’ – a virtual model of your physical assets. This means instead of spending countless hours weighing up the effect of proposed workplace changes, today’s switched-on facilities manager can jump to any moment in time within the building’s lifecycle and tweak elements to see how they influence the outcome.
Win more new business
When you know your costs down to the last penny, you can give keener quotes in response to tenders. Here’s a real-life example. The standard industry time allowed for a window cleaning drop on a skyscraper is 7 hours. Thanks to his mpro5 system, a customer in the window cleaning business discovered that the average drop actually takes five hours 40 minutes. So he was able to adjust his quoting accordingly, which allowed plenty of time for the window cleaner to do the job well, enjoy a cup of tea afterwards and still undercut the competition who are, even now, labouring under the illusion the job takes seven hours. Our customer is winning every job he quotes for and his business is set to turn over around £20m this year.
Greater buy-in from users
People naturally gravitate to something that is simple to use and we designed our modular, cloud-based system with this in mind. A small, practical example is the ability to report on a building’s performance by exception – in other words, to alert you only when results fall outside pre-set business parameters. It’s all about those minutes we can grab back for you.
If you’ve ever thought workflow automation systems were only for big businesses, perhaps it’s time to take another look.