In today’s dynamic business landscape, digital & business process transformation has emerged as the cornerstone of organizational success. Embracing digital technologies and reimagining business processes is no longer a choice but a necessity for companies seeking to stay ahead of the curve and thrive in an increasingly competitive market.
In today’s fast-paced business landscape, staying ahead of the competition requires embracing the latest technologies to streamline operations, enhance customer experiences, and drive growth. Salesforce offers a powerful suite of tools and capabilities designed to empower businesses to thrive in the digital era. However, as a business leader, you understand that with great power comes great responsibility.
In today’s business landscape, where customer expectations are soaring and competition is fierce, staying ahead requires more than just offering a great product or service. It demands a strategic approach that optimizes your sales processes, nurtures collaboration within your organization, leverages data-driven insights, and prioritizes exceptional customer experiences.
As businesses grow and become more complex, manual processes can become a bottleneck. Process automation is a solution to this problem, allowing businesses to streamline operations and increase efficiency. But what exactly is process automation, and how does it work? Here is a beginner’s guide to process automation.
What is Process Automation?
Process automation is the use of technology to automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks and processes. By automating these tasks, businesses can reduce errors, increase efficiency, and free up employees to focus on more important work.
Process automation can take many forms, from simple tools like email autoresponders and social media scheduling apps to complex workflows that involve multiple systems and teams.
How Does Process Automation Work?
Process automation involves several key steps:
Identify the Process to Automate
The first step in process automation is to identify a process that can be automated. This process should be repeatable and involve a series of steps or tasks that can be performed in a consistent way.
Map the Process
Once the process has been identified, the next step is to map out the steps involved in the process. This can be done using flowcharts, process diagrams, or other visual tools.
Choose an Automation Tool
There are many automation tools available, ranging from simple automation apps to complex workflow management systems. Choose a tool that is appropriate for the process you want to automate.
Build the Automation
With the tool chosen, the next step is to build the automation. This may involve configuring settings and rules, creating triggers and actions, or writing scripts.
Test and Refine
Once the automation is built, it’s important to test it to make sure it works as expected. This may involve running tests, monitoring performance, and making adjustments as needed.
Benefits of Process Automation
Process automation offers several key benefits, including:
- Increased Efficiency: By automating repetitive tasks, businesses can free up employees to focus on more important work, increasing overall efficiency.
- Improved Accuracy: Automation can help reduce errors and improve accuracy, resulting in better quality output.
- Cost Savings: Automation can help reduce labor costs and improve overall productivity, resulting in cost savings for businesses.
- Scalability: Automated processes can be easily scaled up or down as needed, allowing businesses to adapt to changing demands.
In conclusion, process automation is a powerful tool that can help businesses streamline operations and increase efficiency. By identifying processes to automate, mapping out the steps involved, choosing the right automation tool, building the automation, and testing and refining the process, businesses can reap the benefits of automation and stay competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment.
Digital transformation refers to the process of using digital technologies to fundamentally change how businesses operate and deliver value to their customers. It’s about rethinking business models and processes in the context of an increasingly digital world. In this blog post, we’ll explore what is digital transformation, and why your business should care.
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation involves leveraging technology to create new business models, products, and services, and to optimize existing operations. It involves using data and analytics to inform decision-making, and embracing new technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to drive innovation.
At its core, digital transformation is about using technology to create value for customers and stakeholders, and to build a more agile and responsive business that can adapt to changing market conditions and customer needs.
Why Should Your Business Care?
There are several reasons why your business should care about digital transformation:
Digital transformation can help businesses streamline operations and automate repetitive tasks, freeing employees to focus on more important work.
Enhanced Customer Experience
Digital transformation can help businesses better understand and serve their customers, resulting in a better overall customer experience.
Digital transformation can help businesses respond more quickly to changing market conditions, and to adapt to new business models and processes.
Digital transformation can lead to the creation of new revenue streams, as well as increased customer loyalty and retention.
Digital transformation can help businesses stay ahead of the competition, by enabling them to operate more efficiently and effectively.
In short, digital transformation is essential for businesses that want to remain competitive in today’s rapidly changing digital landscape. By embracing new technologies and transforming their operations, businesses can create new opportunities for growth, and better serve their customers and stakeholders.
Digital transformation is about much more than just adopting new technologies – it’s about fundamentally changing how businesses operate, and how they deliver value to their customers. By embracing digital transformation, businesses can become more efficient, responsive, and customer-focused, and can create new opportunities for growth and innovation. If your business hasn’t already started thinking about digital transformation, now is the time to start.
Sources for inspiration
More than 70% companies consider people analytics to be a high priority. People analytics involves the application of advanced analytics and large data sets for talent management. Today businesses are applying analytics to processes such as recruiting and retention, uncovering surprising sources of talent and counterintuitive insights about what drives employee performance. People analytics helps managers and senior talent leaders unlock the power of data to help reduce bias and improve performance.
The data we gather from product analytics tells us how users use the product. We purchase products everyday by reviewing various details to ensure the quality, cost and certain features/functionality meet our expectations. Companies use Product analytics to improve and optimize a product or service. Product analytics provides manufacturers with the deliverables necessary to understand and perfect the product. Similarly, the services analytics help analyze data generated from execution of services to improve and personalize a service as well as enhance the overall value chain.
Inefficiencies cost many organizations as much as 20 to 30 percent of their revenue each year. Data Analytics & Business Intelligence can shed light on almost every aspect of an organization or industry. Gathering data from your business processes and analyzing it can start to unearth some surprising insights. You can then use these insights to create process improvements, increase efficiency, reduce waste, and enhance profits.
Uncover who your patrons are (and aren’t) so you can make data-driven decisions and drive meaningful outcomes aligned with your company’s mission and business goals. Through the effective use of Business Intelligence & Analytics you can urn detailed behavioral information from every patron interaction into more profitable marketing campaigns. Today most companies are looking at the option of reshoring and to enable it Analytics can help make fact-based decisions about what’s right for your company and your global customers.
As a holistic consulting company, VFDC cab support any or all 4 pillars of your business i.e. People, Product, Process & Patrons towards building a comprehensive solution towards addressing your business problems through the use of data and analytics. Through “People analytics” we study the data-driven and goal-focused method of all the people processes, functions, challenges, and opportunities to achieve sustainable business success. Through “Product analytics” we help establish framework for your organization by looking at data and identifying high-value opportunities. Through use of Statistical Models, we help predict future actions or events thereby minimizing business risks and guiding business decisions. Similarly, in “Process analytics”, we combine big data analytics and business process flow to achieve overall business objectives based on better-informed decision-making techniques. We help build, deploy and manage integrated analytics services to help our clients maximize BI for their everyday work. As business grows and transforms in scale, integrating Big Data with Predictive Analytics helps you establish better relationship with their customers thereby building upon on our “Patrons”.
Using analytics to support all “4 Pillars of Your Business”, we aim to provide decision-makers with a competitive edge by digitizing the business, optimizing costs, improving quality, accelerating innovation, and redefining the customer experience. Today analytics is helping companies increase productivity and profitability of their operations by putting their massive amounts of data to work. Using machine learning models and data visualization tools organizations can uncover insights in their data, optimize processes, and maximize performance.
As Aristotle spread, “the whole is more than the sum of that part.” This ancient philosophy has recently become more accepted in marketing. According to this concept, a business is not a combination of several departments that must function separately. Rather, all departments need to work towards the same goal, and marketing needs to be integrated into all departments. This concept sees marketing as a very important factor that every member of the business needs to participate in. The end goal in most cases remains the same: Higher customer acquisition with a great customer experience along with a positive brand image.
Before we go any further, let us first understand the different principles of holistic marketing:
The strategy is to get acquainted with customers, employees, partners and competitors. Creating a Customer Persona is one strategy as we shared earlier. Many businesses are moving from a purely transactional approach to an emotion-based approach, from pure product communication to experiential selling.
This involves a unified message that a business sends to its customers involving product, pricing, placement, promotion and communication.
Internal marketing is turning an employee into a brand ambassador. This is a cross-departmental marketing form consistency, where each department speaks the same language for its customers. The common goals remain the same as those mentioned at the beginning.
Also known as socially responsible marketing, this aims to attract customers who want to make a difference with their purchases. Customers are also getting attached to products or services where part of the proceeds goes to a noble cause or/and are promoting sustainability.
Holistic marketing comes naturally to Small and Medium Businesses thanks to a flatter structure, faster decision making, a participatory interdisciplinary approach, closer interaction with customers, and multitasking in a smaller business. Another very important factor for SMBs is tighter budgets as compared to bigger brands. This compels them to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that can provide desired results without burning a hole in the pocket. Hence, rather than focusing on just one aspect of marketing their business such as social media campaigns, small businesses improve the customer experience, rethink pricing strategies, and connect them to current causes.
This quote by the late management guru, Peter Drucker, represents why most companies invest in data analytics. How can you manage or optimize your business initiatives if you are not measuring their outcomes? Just because you measure something does not guarantee that you will manage it, however, measurement is the starting point.
What is Data Analytics?
Data analytics is the science of analyzing raw data to draw key insights, draw valuable conclusions and take action to increase business efficiency. Techniques of data or business analytics can reveal trends and metrics that would otherwise be lost in the mass of information. This information is used to optimize processes and increase efficiency of a business or system. That sums up why data analytics is important.
Data Analytics Types
Data analytics is broken down into four basic types.
- Descriptive analytics describes what has happened over a given period. Have the number of views gone up? Are sales stronger this month than the last?
- Diagnostic analytics focuses more on why something happened. This involves more diverse data inputs and a bit of hypothesizing. Did the weather affect beer sales? Did that latest marketing campaign impact sales?
- Predictive analytics moves to what is likely going to happen. What happened to sales the last time we had a hot summer? How many weather models predict a hot summer this year?
- Prescriptive analytics suggests a course of action. If the likelihood of a hot summer is measured as an average of these five weather models is above 58%, we should add an evening shift to the brewery and rent an additional tank to increase output.
So data analytics is important because it helps businesses optimize their performance. Adopting analytics into a business means better business decisions and better understanding of market trends. This means better products or services made available more efficiently & cost effectively.
Analytics is a powerful tool in today’s marketplace. Industries and organizations are generating vast amounts of information which has heightened the need to interpret and analyze that information to gain competitive advantage in the market. According to a recent study by MicroStrategy, companies worldwide are using data to:
- Boost process and cost efficiency (60%)
- Drive strategy and change (57%)
- Monitor and improve financial performance (52%)
Research also shows that, over the next three years and beyond, 71% of global enterprises predict their investments in analytics will accelerate.
These statistics further ascertain why analytics is important for organizations of all sizes. Another way to look at it is to evaluate what it would be like to NOT have information on your business. The following quote by Arthur C. Nielsen, the founder of ACNielsen, highlights that any investment made in Business Intelligence & Data Analytics will be less than the price you’ll pay if you don’t know how your business is performing. Consider the missed revenue opportunities and potential cost savings you would be giving up.
President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into a law on March 11th, 2021. Officials of the administration and leaders of various associations have claimed that the $ 1.9 trillion plan should be transformational. The key will be to fully utilize all provisions of the American Rescue Plan for Small Business.
I had the opportunity to attend a White House Briefing organized by Small Business For America’s Future, Business Forward & other partner organizations. The briefing included a conversation with Bharat Ramamurti, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council. The conversation focused on American Rescue Plan for Small Business. One highlight was that spreading the information was most essential for the success of this law.
I have tried to put together all relevant information and benefits of the American Rescue Plan for Small Businesses & Startups. Let us start with some highlights:
- Enhanced budget of $15 billion for Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance
- Fresh allocation of $28.6 billion for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund
- Fresh allocation of $100 million to establish a Community Navigator pilot program
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
UPDATE: PPP LOAN DEADLINE EXTENDED TILL MAY 31 2021.
Paycheck Protection Program commonly known as PPP is a loan offered by the Federal Government. Purpose of this loan is to incentivize small businesses to continue paying wages to their staff. The scheme comes with a high possibility of loan forgiveness if the funds are utilized as desired.
PPP loans were originally being offered till March 31st, but both the House & Senate have passed the PPP extension act. This has also been signed by the President pushing the deadline to May 31st.
The American Rescue Act opens PPP to more underserved business with the following changes.
- Revised funding formula for sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals.
- Allowing small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions to access PPP.
- Allowing small business owners with student loan delinquency to access PPP.
- Allowing the use of Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) by non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents to access PPP.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan
This is a low interest loan designed to help businesses take care of their running expenses and other fixed liabilities. This is targeted at businesses who have suffered severe loss of revenue because of the pandemic.
All small businesses including qualifying agricultural businesses (less than 500 employees) and nonprofit organizations in the United States are eligible for this loan. Following are some highlights.
- Loan amount
- 24 months of expenses or maximum of $500k for loans starting April 6th, 2021
- Provision for loan increase in case for prior approved cases
- Maximum term of 30 years
- 75% APR for Businesses & 2.75% APR for Nonprofits
- No pre-payment penalty
- Funds can be used for
- Working capital
- Operating expenses like heath care, rent, utilities, servicing debt etc.
- Collateral is required for loans above $25000
- The loan is NOT forgivable
Shuttered Venue Operators Grant
This is a grant, not a loan, designed to rescue venue operators that were in operation as of February 29th, 2020. The grant can be equal to 45% of gross revenue up to a maximum of $10 million. You must be one of the following to be eligible for this grant:
- Live venue operators or promoters
- Theatrical producers
- Live performing arts organization operators
- Specific museum, zoo, or aquarium operators
- Motion picture theater operators
- Talent representatives
- A Business entity owned by one of the above
These funds can be used as working capital, running payroll and to take care of fixed expenses including marketing expenses.
IMPORTANT: Venue operators who have availed PPP will have this grant reduced by the loan amount.
SBA Debt Relief
SBA is authorized to pay six months of principal, interest, and any associated fees that borrowers owe for all 7(a), 504, and Microloans reported in regular servicing status (excluding Paycheck Protection Program loans). This debt relief to borrowers was originally dependent on the loan being fully disbursed prior to September 27, 2020 and does not apply to loans made under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
Refer the official website for more details: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/sba-debt-relief
Restaurant Revitalization Fund
This will be offered as a direct grant to restaurants and other qualifying food businesses. More information is awaited and expected within the next 7-10 days. The administration is hopeful to start accepting applications within the month of April 2021.
Community Navigator Pilot Program
This program is designed for SBA to engage with states, local governments, SBA resource partners, and other organizations in targeted outreach for small businesses underserved communities.
SBA is implementing this initiative by building upon its extensive network of resource partners across the country. To ensure the Community Navigator Pilot Program reaches communities across the country in the coming months, SBA will soon be announcing a new grant funding opportunity that will be open to proposals from SBA resource partners, states, tribes, units of local governments, and other nonprofit organizations.