On the way to becoming customer centric, data driven and digitally transformed, a surprising percentage of companies are still inefficient. That’s the conclusion of a recent Forrester Research report: “Refocus Process Automation To Rescue Your Digital Transformation.”
Understandably, many companies have focused their digital transformation efforts on customer engagement; sales and marketing; and other revenue generators, while cost centers such as HR continue using repetitive, time-consuming tasks to get things done. But over the next two years, Forrester predicts that companies will seek out ways to improve business processes company-wide, and put more emphasis on digital transformation than they do on driving down costs.
Whereas past waves of innovation might have been carried out by teams of developers hand-coding native applications, today a shortage of skilled developers, coupled with rising overhead, has many CIOs looking at options such as low-code and no-code platforms. Though once spurned as more of a lightweight approach to software development, low-code and no-code platforms have matured. And the use of drag-and-drop and graphic-centric development environments make them a compelling choice for less experienced developers, or business analysts responsible for optimizing operations.
Following are three companies that have benefited greatly from this development:
- Greater efficiency, less paperwork through enterprise content management
FPI Management oversees multifamily properties in more than a dozen states, with one-third of its business focused on affordable housing. Since the Federal agencies that FPI interacts with didn’t have an electronic application solution, completing the process was often extremely paper-driven. What FPI needed was a workflow process that could streamline the process, enabling applicants to submit their documents securely and route them directly to the auditors.
FPI’s solution was AODocs, a cloud-based document management platform compatible with Google Drive, which brings much needed gains in automation and efficiency. Now, auditors can key-in correction codes to indicate when particular items are missing from an application packet. At the same time, the ability to auto-generate invoices has eliminated 70 hours worth of auditing work each month. IT Director Kristin Hernandez anticipates that AODocs could also help track the processes that the company uses to generate monthly financials.
- Financial management solution adds up to shorter closing times, deeper insights
Legacy Healthcare Services needed an accounting software solution that could keep up with its rapid growth and day-to-day requirements for running more than 250 outpatient clinics across 11 states. With the company’s previous accounting software, every month the accounting team had to create 300 different financial statements by hand or in Excel. Plus the inability to create a general ledger made it especially challenging to generate financial reports.
Since moving to Sage Intacct, a cloud-based financial management software solution, the team has trimmed the amount of time it took to close the books each month by 60%. And financial reports can be generated in minutes instead of days. Intacct’s open architecture has also made it easy to connect with the company’s payment automation and expense and time reporting solutions.
- Collaboration, continued growth, more cheese with web-based project management
For more than 30 years, Cypress Grove Chevre has operated its goat farm and creamery in Humboldt County, California. And as demand for its award-winning Chevre cheese grew, so did the size of Cypress Grove’s staff and operations. After using on-premise software for many years, the company needed a web-based solution that was more accessible, collaborative, and easy to use.
Moving to Smartsheet helped the company’s employees more effectively manage operations, facility maintenance, and cheese making; helped the executive team oversee projects and the company’s overall strategy; and made it easier for employees to work together across departments and locations. And Smartsheets’ integration with Google Apps made it much easier for remote employees to access data, forms, and other files.
Cypress Grove marketing manager Jason Baxter says that the collective power of Smartsheet and Google Apps “reinforced [Cypress Grove’s] corporate philosophy of keeping it simple, being efficient in everything we do, and promoting personal responsibility.”
In a recent survey of its CIO jury, TechRepublic found that more than one-third are using low-code or no-code platforms such as Smartsheet to meet their needs, while others have it on their short list for future adoption.
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