Is your business operationally resilient?
Are you able to adapt, change and harness techniques that will enable people, processes and informational systems to evolve?
In the current climate, it is essential that as a business you are operationally resilient; the market is constantly changing at the best of times, more so in the wake of a global pandemic.
In the wake of altering industry conditions and patterns, it is pivotal that you are able to take a change on board; alter your operations and either ramp up or slow down the way you work, without negatively impacting on the output or service of your business.
Being operationally resilient more important than ever before.
Every business strives to have a competitive edge where they can quickly and efficiently modify their processes as the market evolves. Yet, what the recent COVID-19 pandemic has revealed is a number of flaws in systems and processes.
Whilst in general, businesses who have robust automated processes and the proper software have been able to make the transition to WFH and socially distanced environments easily; others haven’t been so lucky. In fact, there have been a number of companies who have struggled to make the transition and as such haven’t been able to offer their customers anything approaching the same level of service. Instead, their customers have had to deal with regular disruption whilst their workers have been negatively impacted by the situation e.g. through a loss of hours, jobs, etc.
What does this mean for the future?
If we are to learn anything from this recent crisis is that in order to survive long term you need to be operationally resilient. You need to be equipped to handle any changes that may occur so that you can continue supplying your services and offering jobs to your employees.
What can you do? What can you take from the COVID-19 situation and use in the future?
Customer Contact Doesn’t Have To Be In Person
There is more than one way to communicate with your customers and keep them satisfied. Utilising chatbots, customer portals, FAQs and other digital processes can ensure that your customers can access support 24/7 without them having to phone or email your office during business hours. Instead, they can use these systems to get the answers they want:
- Chatbots – these can be programmed to answer basic queries and point customers in the direction of the correct department (if the question is more complicated).
- Customer portals – design these right and customers can retrieve their own basic account information independent of your business.
- FAQs – similar to chat robots, FAQs can provide answers to your customers’ most common questions, freeing up your team to handle more specialist queries.
- Digital Processes – you can make the lives of your customers easier by providing them with the tools to fill in their own renewal/claims forms without them having to go through a lengthy phone call or reach out to an account manager. Instead, you can provide auto-fill features that will instantly fill in their basic information, saving them time.
Improve Your Cybersecurity
Secure data storage when working from multiple locations – hackers evolve at the same pace as technology; however, with the right cybersecurity strategies and technologies, you can enjoy instant access to data from multiple locations (thanks to VPNs and the cloud) as well as greater security.
Blockchain and smart contracts are a prime example of how businesses can effectively protect their customers’ data; they are immersed in intricately developed code.
Reduce Double and Triple Keying
Going from multiple computer screens in the office to working from a single laptop screen at home comes with its perils - primarily the risk of duplicate data. Add into the equation the fact that entering data multiple times while using just one screen can be incredibly time consuming and this situation may be frustrating for all.
Middleware can help eliminate the risk of human error, as it can easily bring data together from one program to another without an employee or supplier having to physically enter it into a device. Instead, middleware can handle it all for you, making remote working just as efficient as working from multiple screens in an office. (and besides, why are we typing in triplicate anyway? Surely it is a waste of valuable time?)
Automate, Automate, Automate...
With the numerous companies being forced to furlough or reduce their staffing due to costs, loss of custom, illnesses, etc. many have had to adapt to having less manpower. Yet in light of this, they have found ways to boost their efficiency.
Automation of routine operational tasks existed long before the arrival of COVID-19 and has proven itself to be an effective office addition. Financial and professional service companies in particular regularly use automation to help complete their mundane administrative activities e.g. data entry, data management and document generation, as it allows them to free up their team to focus on high-value activity.
In the current climate, this is an incredibly handy tool to have as automation can handle all your mundane, day-to-day tasks in a compliant and traceable way whilst the staff you have available can deal with specialist activities that require a genuine human touch.
Centralise and collaborate
Cloud storage or other centralised and accessible storage methods allow everyone to work on the same files even if they are in different locations. With the right applications, your team can work collaboratively on documents and projects in real-time.
Create a single source of truth rather than you having to hunt back through emails to find the latest version of a contract or document. Instead, you’ll have instant access to the most up to date copies of documents and communications trails.
Create safe and trackable employee access with a login from any device. This is great in the current situation as it allows your team to securely work from home, with the same level of security, traceability and accountability afforded in the office.
Addressing weaknesses in operational resilience is a huge stride that your business can take to ensure its long term survival during COVID-19 and beyond. For more advice and information on how to implement the best digital processes, software and technology, contact our team at Stunn today. From automation and straight-through process design, working in the cloud to cybersecurity; our professionals can help you to cover all your bases.