Enhancing Business Processes for Efficiency

Partnering for Increased Application Connectivity


Tumultuous times driven by the coronavirus are challenging everyone as digital pain points are ruthlessly exposed through the real time stress testing of critical processes. Same could be said of corporate leadership skills, especially the duty of care to employees, customers, and suppliers, but all of us must find a way forward and critically must free time to focus on areas involving business continuity.


Shock economic events always differ in magnitude and can be local, regional or global in nature. As with this coronavirus it takes time for a sense of calm to prevail over any initial panic, before the situation settles down into a new business norm. After that one can more methodically evaluate and work through the ongoing key issues.


Priorities will be different for all verticals so what follows further below are broad areas being focused on by corporates today that also take into account their continuing onward journey towards greater digital enablement. This process will see them utilize various combinations of applications, apps and x-app process flows that will allow them to remove their immediate problematic frictional transactional process barriers, whether they be outwardly or inwardly focused.


Human Resources: The underlying foundation of all businesses are its staff, but many corporates have yet to fully focus on developing the underlying HR system, due to the broader interdependencies. Reasons for this are varied; the fact that HR system reach all staff, so a large project scale reaching everyone is always involved; that some staff will work @anywhere @anytime, and therefore there is a need for end to end cybersecurity to be thought through, often within HQ mandated regulated guidelines as to the how; some entities prefer native apps to responsive web applications, with the former requiring more time to build the required iOS and Android variants, noting that each type has pros and cons; and lastly the fact that processes can be both quantitative as well as qualitative in nature, where systems for the latter have taken time to reach todays point of being commercially practical, flexible and viable enough for specific task execution.


Employee Self Service extends core functionality to be operational @anywhere @anytime, although some will deploy this functionality as in-office only, at least for phase 1. Worthy of note is that corporates of all sizes can be at very different stages of their Employee Self Service platform or HRMS roll outs.


Typical areas tackled with ESS include: Expense Management; Appraisals; Procurement (core and sundry purchasing); Time & Attendance across varying locations perhaps leveraging a combination of bluetooth and/or ultra-wideband [UWB] technologies for better power consumption cf GPS / wi-fi, better location accuracy to mm’s and improved security, noting that UWB is less prone to man in middle attacks; Timesheets for billing, including those used across multiple projects; Learning & Development; Bias monitoring in compensation management,  all which continue to be rolled out for in-office and remote use, together with their appropriate actionable contextual single or multi-level approval flows, plus any overall segmental reporting considerations.


Process Workflow Automation (Processtech): This technology today solves the two core underlying issues that historically have caused friction within your transactional flows, and these are practical execution speed / compute power to drive the second which relates to achieving ultra-granular transformational capability to get to an intended end reporting result. These flows can be focused on different functional areas within a corporate i.e. operational, financial, human resources etc and each flow can operate across multiple applications, so that all decision support, controls, and management activities can be handled as appropriate.


Typically existing transactional friction is not within an application, but across different systems, as data needs to be combined, transformed and presented in specific ways to achieve an intended outcome. Also see the comments below re actionable and contextual workflows that can make these outcomes more workable on an ongoing proactive basis.


Inter departmental process flows were typically the end result in many historical workflow implementations, but today you can achieve both inter and intra departmental flows that have compliance controls such as segregations of duty, single or multi-level contextual approvals, as well as including relevant contextual, actionable supporting documentation for execution purposes.


Actionable & Contextual workflows form the basis of decisions but first needed the two issues of speed and transformation to be solved as per above, and this capability is very nascent in the market. Deeper technologies help this process further by being able to drive these workflows based on events at any stage of a flow. Not only that, but any result can be driven using data ranking so that attention can be focused to those critical areas first.


Ranking is another example where speed of execution is important due to the underlying mathematical flows. An example might be ascertaining optimum product sales mix under a variety of circumstances; cash flow modeling; what-if questions etc etc.


Automations targeted at reporting can release time, but for flows involving monthly reporting then time savings magnify this as they can be made at each and every stage of the end to end process.


To illustrate this, a typical scenario would see subsidiaries sending reporting packs to a regional office, who then consolidate and send final documents to HQ. Within the monthly reporting process there are many variables that need to be deeply transformed with consistency. Once achieved the system can deliver repeatable & auditable financial statements with ranked variances at entity or group level. Automations to subsidiaries can be driven 1, 2, 3 or 3, 2, 1 depending on preferences. 


Additionally all financial statements can easily be accessible by sub group’s ie geographical, business nature, reporting segments etc. This is particularly relevant for balance sheet reconciliations, and rolling forecasts etc.


Digital enablement can free time but in a world where departmental corporate resources have been aggressively constrained or even reduced, this has meant that making such changes is not so easy to successfully pull off. Critically system integrations and data transformational barriers are often underestimated during the planning stage, leading to project failures. For execution you need to have the solution and integration capabilities at hand to help you reach that next stage of business process enhancement, thereby allowing you to incrementally remove your transactional related operational pains, a process that does need your buy in to facilitate any underlying change management. To make it happen, engage a strong partner to help you with the heavy lifting. Partnering for change, a game changer!

FlexSystem is a business software vendor to 1 in 10 Forbes Global 2000 operating at the intersection of new technologies and business software to provide opportunities for value creation that will drive both economic and social development.

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Apr 20, 2023

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