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09 Jun 2017

How to digitalise your business

Jurgen de Jongh Head of Pre-Sales at Ricoh SA
Managed Document Services

Go beyond technology deployments for digital efficiency

No two companies will digitalise in the same way. How, when and where they digitalise all depends on what they are trying to achieve and how they go about it – their strategies. However, companies function around the information they gather, use and share. Things like invoices, proofs of delivery (PODs), statements, cost estimates (CEs), tracking notes and many more just like those.

Examples of digitalising South African businesses

Waste Management
In the case of a Johannesburg-based waste management business its tip tickets and weigh bridge bills were most important as it sought to consolidate invoices by customer per month.

Commercial Property Management
For a commercial property management business it was the municipal statements, other bills-related documents, and contractual obligations for property under management were most crucial. That business also digitalised its list of suppliers for building maintenance and repairs, as well as the documentation associated with requesting quotes, assigning suppliers, and confirming jobs.

Fuel Industry
Another business, in the fuel industry, digitalised financial and other business records for regulatory compliance and efficiency purposes while simultaneously meeting its own high environmental standards for CO2 reductions.

It’s no good to give every employee a tablet or smartphone, or deploy some widely used software, and claim that your business has been digitalised. The key to successful digitalisation is examining the processes – those repeatable, trainable functions people perform for companies that collectively result in its service or product being delivered to customers for profit.

Services and products take time, resources, costs, and effort to arrive in customers’ hands so any digitalisation project or programme must focus on the ways businesses handle those factors. They must improve them. Make them more efficient. Digital technologies can make what companies do much better by making them faster. But if what companies are doing is fundamentally wrong then digital technologies won’t save them – they’ll make matters worse by making those companies do the wrong stuff much faster.

But digital technologies can, in some cases, change the way companies work. The waste management business, for example, used to e-mail an invoice per waste bin to each customer. Today it’s possible for customers to track online, live, a consolidated view of all their waste management activities. That’s the spirit of true digitalisation efficiency.

Let me know how I can help you become digitally efficient.

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