ELIMINATING “WASTE WORK” FROM YOUR TEAM

The term “non-value-added work” may be unfamiliar, but its meaning is all too familiar: those pervasive, time-consuming, repetitive, yet critical tasks that you and your team can’t avoid, yet are pained to perform. Spending too much time on these tasks and processes leads to decreases in efficiency and productivity.

The good news? Automation can help you banish non-value-added work now, and on an ongoing basis. Automating non-value-added work provides 5 MAIN BENEFITS that translate to overarching business benefits.  

1. MANUAL HOURS SAVED ANNUALLY

Allowing talented, knowledgeable employees to spend their time on non-value-added tasks prevents them from being able to use their skills to the fullest, in the function you hired them to perform. Consider this case study, based on a team of 5 people in a small company. The 5 employees spent 3%, 20%, 25%, 30%, and 70% of their time respectively on repetitive tasks. After implementing an automation solution, the percentages were reduced to 3%, 10%, 15%, 15%, and 10%. With the removal of non-value-added tasks, the employees were able to reallocate their time to making better products, providing better support or services, and concentrating on customer satisfaction. The benefits in this bucket are incredibly tangible:

  • Reduce overhead costs
  • Grow business without increasing headcount
  • Free employees to innovate and focus on value-added tasks

Business benefit: Increased business mobility and scalability.

2. ERROR REDUCTION

The impact of a single error can be astronomical, affecting businesses from data cleanliness to customer satisfaction, and ultimately all the way to the bottom line. And when you connect a cost with an error, it becomes abundantly clear just how much of a problem errors create. When you automate your non-value-added work, you take the possibility for human error completely out of the equation, executing tasks perfectly every time. With error reduction, you’ll also see:

  • Reduced variance in process execution
  • Net improvement on downstream workflows
  • Increased confidence in data integrity

Business benefit: Increased business intelligence and agility.

3. STREAMLINE MISSION-CRITICAL PROCESSES

Hiccups in business initiatives can’t be tolerated, and “bottleneck” has become one of the dirtiest words in business vocabulary today. Why? Because while you’re hiccuping, your competitors could be enjoying the cool, refreshing water of revenue from customers that could have been yours. Automating steps in mission-critical processes gives you the opportunity to:

  • Reduce execution time of processes vital to business operations
  • Reduce process bottlenecks
  • Improve employee morale and customer satisfaction
  • Reap efficiency gains resulting in improved end-to-end business metrics

Business benefit: Improved company value proposition.

4. IMPROVE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE/MORALE

It’s no surprise that employees are more fulfilled and satisfied with their jobs when they feel they are doing work that contributes, make a difference, and provides a level of intrinsic value. Research shows that the average employee spends in the vicinity of 10-25% of his or her time performing repetitive, computer-related tasks—tasks that don’t feed their creative inclinations or actually solve problems for the business. As business complexity increases and more technology is introduced into their environments, this percentage only increases, and correspondingly, so does employee dissatisfaction and potentially attrition. By unburdening employees through use of automation, you can:

  • Improve quality of work
  • Reduce task inundation
  • Increase employee efficiency
  • Decrease employee turnover

Business benefit: Improvement in productivity

5. IMPROVE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

An error in a customer quote or order can be costly, particularly if you have to pay the ultimate price: losing a customer’s loyalty completely. ALOM, a global leader in supply chain management, explains this concept well in one of their whitepapers focusing on shipping errors. They note that these errors that affect customers eat significantly into profits: an error rate of just 1% translates to an overall profit decrease of 7%. By automating processes that eventually could affect customers (ordering, shipping, fulfillment, support, etc.), companies can:

  • Improve customer experience, perception, and rate of return
  • Hedge bets for better product and service reviews
  • Create positive buzz in the market

Business benefit: Improve business reputation and public sentiment