The crisis induced by COVID-19 factors, the need for businesses to be flexible, proactive and have a quick response time. Every organization has learned to have adequate plans in place to ensure operations and core business functions.
Apart from the fear of critical systems going offline, internal processes or requests that were carried out in person before COVID-19 now need to be thought out more clearly. Be it high volume processes or requests, or even the entire workflows, everything should be mapped out and automated to maintain safety, achieve efficiency and maximize productivity and processing speeds.
Even Harvard Business Review (HBR) states that while organizations experiment with automation, it becomes important to deconstruct jobs to realize specific tasks that need automation.
In a construction industry, initially, projects were often executed as single transaction projects – which involved different contractors, vendors and engineering teams. When in-house personnel have abundant resources to participate in and manage, consistency and standardization were the lessons learnt from previous projects. But the landscape changed since organizations streamlined staffing.
When on one end, it becomes impractical to manage in-house staff and projects along with other responsibilities, project implementation methodologies varied among contractors and vendors, driving inconsistency. Even the constant churn of project teams at different sites lead to same execution problems, plaguing project efficiencies and productivity.
Without a planned digital transformation, such issues lead to long decision cycles, unclear responsibilities and a constant back and forth in activities, wasting the much-needed time for productive tasks.
An article by IBM states explains how intelligent automation balances operational inefficiencies and optimizes processes for better decision making – which is a better response to the emerging business trends.
With a technology partner like ASK-EHS, an organization can opt for a system that remains uniform irrespective of the teams altering at sites – with activity logs, trainings and proper checkpoints that eliminate problems of visibility and traceability. When technology is capable of being ‘smart’, ‘intuitive’ and ‘hassle-free’, why not augment and complement human capabilities for better learning.
Breaking down the silos
Instead of merely carrying out defined steps and processes, Business Process Automation (BPA) is capable of improving the regular ways and means of conducting work. New risks and potential disruptions should not impact tedious and manual activities – while process automation can take care of them, such transformation spins around the utilization of people from outwardly perceiving information on-screen to actually concentrating and moving that information for decision-making.
Key questions that an organization must assess in-house before opting for an opportunity of wholesale business transformation are –
- Is visibility maintained throughout?
- Can we manage change transformation?
- Are compliance and ethics addressed?
- If yes for all above, how to begin with change management?
For BPA in heavy engineering or construction (or any other industry), primary opportunity centers on subsequent automation of design, planning and management procedures, handling work-related issues (accidents and injuries) with software modules, providing E-learning and online training for skill-building and conducting audits and inspections with little-to-no physical contact, relying on updates through videos, photographs and other relevant data.
Proactive approach to tasks and activities onsite need digitized ways of managing forms and approvals, business rules, internal controls and work monitoring. A correct market research that is in-line with the market demands leads to a partner who has a complete understanding of the existing business processes and systems – thereby offering business benefits in an optimum time-frame.
Today’s situation demands that industries put people first and empower them to interact and communicate everywhere. A well-grounded approach that is both doable and cost-effective help organizations achieve their business goals and embrace technological transformation.
For this, they need to choose tools and technology to stay connected and competitive in the business parlance – traditional dependencies can be eliminated by collaborating with a digital partner that delivers value considering ever-present threats and contingencies.