80% of CEOs see digital automation as the answer to sustained growth but is there a hidden message?
Without a shadow of a doubt, technology advancements in hardware, coupled with innovative automation software, has and will continue to deliver incredible levels of sustainable efficiency for many businesses throughout the world.
All areas of our companies now benefit; from the PA/receptionist who has got every meeting and availability slot, for every manager neatly packaged into an on-screen application in front of them, through to the sales and marketing departments using 90%+ automated CRM software to manage their prospects/customers, through to the Executive level, who have instant access to all key metrics and operational performance at their fingertips, brought to them in high-speed wifi, securely and in a visually appealing way.
And that's without even talking about the 'shop-floor' which features metaphorically in most organisations (where most of the key 'grunt' work is done) where technology has had by far it's largest positive effect.
However, we are surely missing something to think that digital automation is the answer to sustained growth. We are surely under-estimating the biggest asset within the business and the sheer power that it can bring - the people.
There are two ways to grow a business in the short-term:
Cutting costs and adding value to the customer. Cutting costs for many involves reduction in headcount, which may or may not be the correct thing to do long-term, however, when coupled with being replaced by technology that automates what was previously done by human involvement, this strategy is usually seen as a successful one.
But it is NOT a sustainable growth strategy. It's a short term tactic - nothing wrong with that if the business model demands it and as long as the Board haven't lost sight of the fact that once the headcount reduction stops, so does growth.
The only sustainable way to grow, is to continually improve. And to improve we need to be continually enhancing value to the customer. Whilst technology can bring many things, without human intervention, it certainly won't bring sustained, continuously increasing value to the customer.
And this brings us back to the point of this article.
Its oft said that an army gains its strength from its numbers. Your team is exactly the same. This is not referring to the size of the army/team itself but with the power and success that can be achieved by being aligned, focussed and dynamic.
A cracking piece of automation software. That new hardware that cuts out the need for four heads to move a product from A to B. These investments are often very welcome features onto a company's bottom line but what is also very likely, is that without investing into your teams in terms of development, clear communication of company targets and the focus on delivering a Lean Culture, the likelihood of such investments on their own, creating sustained company growth, is highly unlikely.
Large, complex organisations packed full of inefficiency, non-value adding activity and waste are commonplace. These are very often the same entities that invest very heavily in digital technology 'transformations' and see some significant gains in doing so.
However, whilst notwithstanding the fact that engaging and developing employees towards becoming waste intolerant and focussed only on adding value to the customer is a specialist skill in itself, it cannot be ignored.
Human beings are pre-programmed to take the shortest route, which often involves cutting the corners. When a majority of employees are operating in similar fashion, inefficiency for the organisation is rife - new technology or not.
Invest wisely in the latest technology that will boost efficiency and performance of course but do not forget to invest time and effort into your army too. The sustained growth of your business depends on it.
Our experience will get you there.
Call us today on 0207 412 8995 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org your questions about Lean and how it can help transform your business.