You know how to make yourself covid safe, but how do you make your business processes covid safe?

  • Mask, check.
  • Wash hands to the tune of happy birthday, check.
  • Hand sanitiser, check.
  • Download NHS Track and Trace app, check.
  • Leave contact details for Track and Trace, check.
  • Feel covid secure, err, semi-check.

Go to work, forget about most of the above.

Go to work, but don’t go to work, go to work, as Matt Lucas would say.

Adapting Business Processes to Covid

We’ve spent most of this year adapting and changing business processes (and our lives!) to fit the constraints of the virus, the technology and the changing rules and regulations.  However, paper-pushing is still an inevitable part of most business processes.  The obvious risk of pushing documents between co-workers, hand-filling forms and providing wet signatures is putting your employees at risk.

Quality checks, invoice processing, checklists, class registers.  You name it there’s a paper form for it.  A lot of businesses failed to move fully electronic prior to the pandemic and have thrived, others have moved quickly during the pandemic and reaping the rewards now.

In a blog we did some months ago we discussed preparing for a second peak and how firms like Piccolinos were innovating.  Back during Chancellor Rishi’s Dishes, when we all thought things were going swimmingly and normality was returning.  I noted the online ordering straight from your phone to your table that of a lot of bars and restaurants now do – Rishi’s fave Wagamamas was of course really good.

There is a mindset with a lot of businesses that the cost of these projects is really expensive and it’s just not for them.  Whilst that was previously true decades gone by, that’s not where the technology is now.  There are now a lot of automation and workflow tools that are cheap or in many cases, you already have them!  PowerApps for example, is part of Office 365 and you’re just not using it!  We discuss this in a blog about Digital Process Transformation.

Even where paper-pushing has been replaced with email attachment forwarding, you’re still not covid proof. Okay, you’re not going to be spreading viral loading on pieces of paper – but you are not working efficiently.  I’ve seen people transition to working from home, sending masses of email attachments between each other, using domestic printers for scanning and printing.  Expense bills of ink are sky high and those scanners are so slow!

The opportunity of new technology to make your Business Processes Covid safe

Covid like may economic disruptions presents an opportunity as well as a threat.  We’ve all had niggles about the way things are done in our companies.  Like many things in life, business or whatever – there’s never a good time to do many things.  However, sometimes you’ve just got to get on with it and do it.

Where we can reassure you is the cost of workflow automation projects is not as much as you are thinking.  The benefits are huge, payback for most of the projects we’ve carried out recently are in a matter of months too.  The projects are also very low risk  – most software licenses are now month-by-month consumption software-as-a-service on the cloud.

The major investment is your time and input to work with advisors like Unleashed to align what the technology to what makes your business what it is.

I am a great advocate of removing spreadsheets, emails of files between each other and using the new affordable, low-code and no-code Business Process Management tools – like PowerApps or KiSSFLOW.  The greatest benefit of these tools is knowing at what stage in the workflow any piece of work is.  Who is it stuck with, what’s the issue with it etc.  This gives you new information to run your business, that you simply can’t get by sharing files and forwarding emails to initiate tasks.

Other benefits of making your business processes covid safe

  • Removal of many spreadsheets to run your business – no more files everywhere and different versions!
  • Automation of mission-critical processes – things happen without human input!
  • You can create one of these workflows / business processes in as little as 30 minutes with the low-code or no-code solutions
  • You can improve the approval processes and governance
  • Reduce your paper and printing costs
  • Customers save around 40% over manual processing – most of our solutions we provide are cost neutral

If you want to find out more – a quick chat or want to see something tangible, then reach out to us we would love to hear from you!