Why Now is the Time for Business Optimization
As if our world wasn’t changing rapidly enough prior to 2020, Covid-19 has now wreaked havoc on economies, workplaces and consumer expectations. Leading into this year, companies were busy trying to leverage innovative technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, advanced analytics, IoT, 5G data networks, augmented reality (virtual, extended, mixed) and blockchain, to name just a few.
In the midst of the chaos that 2020 has brought, it has also allowed for moments of reflection and examination of how our businesses operate. Our recent experiences have altered our perception of a common barrier to optimization efforts: willingness to change. We now know that not only are significant changes possible, they are necessary.
So now, as we strive to stabilize and thrive in a new business environment, we must ensure that our organizational foundations are strong and efficient. We must examine our internal operations and identify how to become more effective while offering exceptional services to our customers. We must recognize that the unique challenges of this current environment make it the right time for an emphasis on Business Optimization.
So, what is Business Optimization and how should companies approach these types of initiatives? Business Optimization can be defined as activities to achieve effectiveness by improving the efficiency, productivity and performance within an organization. At Cimphoni, we focus these initiatives around what we refer to as the VCVE : I Metrics:
- Volume – the number of transactions are going through each step in a process,
- Conversion – the percentage of transactions that successfully complete each step in a process,
- Velocity – the time it takes for each transaction to complete each step in a process (vs. sitting idle at a specific process step…frequently also referred to as cycle time and essential to improving overall time to revenue),
- Effort – should be examined from two perspectives:
- Internal Effort – the internal effort required to complete transactions within each sub-process,
- Customer Effort – the effort required by customers to complete transaction steps (new designs may make sense internally, they may also create unreasonable burdens for customers), and
- Impact – what is the value or benefit of current and improved operational performance (VCVE).
An unspoken but assumed requirement of each of these metrics is Quality as any of these measures would be invalid if transactions were processed incorrectly.
We then identify areas within a company’s business operations where improvements in these metrics deliver the greatest Impact, represented as the last of our five key metrics. As we examine current state process flows within these target opportunities, we forecast how various innovative technologies can transform and improve VCVE : I metrics. These transformational initiatives typically align around some of the following key business objectives: operational efficiencies, revenue growth, quality assurance, compliance adherence, customer experience and employee engagement. These objectives can be improved by leveraging a variety of technologies including:
- Business Process Discovery, Modeling and Management
- Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI and ML)
- Marketing Automation
- Omni-Channel Interactions
- Natural Language Processing / Natural Language Understanding (NLP / NLU)
- Workforce Optimization (WFO)
- Text and Speech Analytics
- Business Intelligence and Advanced Analytics
- Systems Integration
- Microservices, Orchestration, Containerization and DevSecOps
Through effective utilization of these technologies, organizations can transform their internal operations by implementing:
- Feature-rich enterprise applications
- Integrated systems ensuring streamlined workflows
- Automation of predictable, rules-based activities
- Pervasive data strategies leveraging internal and external data sources for critical operational and market insight
- Seamless, omni-channel interaction platforms for prospects, customers and partners
- AI solutions elevating self-service capabilities, identify hidden areas of value and triggering customized customer and prospect engagements
- Real-time customer input and feedback mechanisms
- Workforce optimization technologies ensuring that operations utilize the ideal resources in the right manners
- Overarching orchestration tools that align all of these solutions and ensure that all are working effectively together
There is a wide array of vendor solutions that can optimize companies’ internal and customer-facing business operations. By investing in initiatives to optimize organizational foundations, companies will have a strong, sustainable and scalable foundation in place that will then allow them to focus on other areas. And, as this core strengthens, it will deliver improved profitability and operational consistency. These initiatives will also continue to demonstrate that a culture of change and continuous improvement is not only possible, it is a requirement in today’s business climate. This foundation then allows organizations to focus on a complementary cultural attribute that is also essential: Business Agility. Cimphoni has the experience and expertise to help on both of these key strategic fronts.