Digital transformation is a complex process that changes how enterprises work and go to market. Work is no longer constrained by a physical place or specific time of the day. Distributed, empowered teams can access resources and collaborate, effectively and securely. Today work is less place dependent and time bound.
The digital transformation opportunity
Businesses today have seen technological advancement at a pace that drives them dizzy. Whilst many companies have taken up the digital challenge in some forms; many others have faced slow progress.
The common objective that executives often want to achieve is to go “paperless”. There is a perception that going paperless will somehow resolve much business pain. This is far from the truth.
It’s helpful to consider the Digital Systems Maturity model when thinking about a digital transformation journey and where your organisation currently sits.
Your digital transformation journey: Moving beyond systems of record to systems of engagement
Around 30 years ago, at Olympic, we began helping our clients to implement large scale ERP solutions. These can also be thought of as Systems of Record in the above model. An effective ERP solution enables organisations to accurately record transactions (or debits and credits). Whilst essential, these systems of record can also negatively impact the digital transformation goal because they are constrained in many ways; limited number of users, the knowledge of those users, ineffective reporting if this is available, system is difficult to access from other locations, and out of standard business hours.
This resulted in a dis-satisfactory result for our customers. And understandably so. An investment in expensive software applications with little evidence of return on investment and much frustration for users due to various factors such as poor user adoption, lack of functionality, manual interruptions in processes and so on. Stakeholders had hoped that going digital would reduce operating costs, streamline processes, increase efficiency and therefore increase margins and whilst some of these goals were partially achieved using a system of record, the extended benefits of being digital were not realised.
This model from IDC further illustrates the digital maturation journey and the transition from digital resister (usually due to previous poor experiences such as above) to digital disruptor. Every organisation is at a different stage in the journey and for those willing to commit to transitioning to the next stage, huge benefits can be realised.
We are still implementors of large scale ERP solutions. Most recently we have added Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Business Central to our solution toolkit. Whilst vast improvements have been made in some areas with this solution, namely 24/7 access from anywhere, many of the known limitations are still evident and the benefits or opportunities that we have created via our digital solutions are more obvious today than ever before.
From the knowledge we gained from this first hand understanding of the constraints of systems of record, and then layering on feedback from a wide range of clients and innovative approaches to the common problem set, we have developed a range of Systems of Engagement that drive organisations towards the digital transformation goal.
Woolworths Australia offers a real-life example of how we contributed to the creation of competitive advantage to this key client. Using our Trader platform, the Woolworths online teams grew online grocery sales in 2012 from $135m per annum to more than $2b per annum by 2019.
Another example. Using the DX2 EDI platform, Brother NZ Ltd and Antares (Burger King) send/receive thousands of digital documents every month from their supplier/customer systems direct to their own ERP systems. This saves thousands of dollars every year in staff expense spent entering these invoices manually and correcting mistakes.
Why simply digitising a process is not enough
It’s sometimes difficult for clients to really understand why simply turning paper documents into digital documents is not enough.
To give you an idea of this: Off the shelf ERP solutions have offered as part of their core, a digital purchase order system to their user base. Microsoft Dynamics GP is an example of an ERP that has offered this. And whilst there was some benefit to digitising the paper document, the constraints of the system meant that the true benefits of having a full digitally optimised, system of engagement could not be realised. Basic problems were; limited number of users able to access the system, limited ability for flexible workflows or approval chains, limited or no engagement with suppliers.
DX2 purchase offers an example of an extended purchase order solution which fulfils the need of the system of record, but also makes full use of a system of engagement by breaking down the barriers usually present in a standard purchase order solution.
Let’s briefly look at the three steps to digital transformation in this context:
1. Digitisation – Is turning physical documents into digital data. Often, companies proclaim that they have gone digital by eliminating the use of paper files and folders and resorting to storing data digitally. They may even automate some paper based manual processes using simple workflow tools. This is a good start but hasn’t helped much.
2. Digitalisation – Using the digitised data to augment the process so that it becomes so much more than just the data itself. You've taken what was once a paper document in a very manual process and you've digitised the paper, then used that digital data in a truly digital, optimised process. In the DX2 context, this process includes; transport, tracking, collaboration, approval, distribution, analysis, tagging. The result is an augmented process.
3. Digital Transformation – Is the result of the two processes above being in place. The outcome? Optimised performance, an enhanced business experience for your staff, your customers and your suppliers, reduced operating costs and better business performance.
Olympic’s digital transformation solutions for your organisation
Before we jump into the digital transformation solutions that we have developed, it’s important to note that we understand that every organisation and its needs are unique. We have worked with hundreds of organisations from all types of industries. Therefore we have engineered flexibility into our solutions to enable you to meet the needs of your organisation.
Without further ado; here’s some examples of the solutions we have developed to help to digitally transform your business at the pace that suits you.
- Interested in digital transformation of your business? Our DX2 workspace offers the opportunity to radically transform your buying and selling processes.
- DX2 is an online shared workspace for the secure (private) exchange of documents and related messages between internal staff and/or external suppliers/customers in a business process.
- Dx2 provides your workers a mix of physical, digital and immersive technologies to transform their workplace, enabling you to evolve toward a quicker, virtual, borderless and task-oriented mode of operation.
- Dx2 provides a flexible and highly connected working environment enabling mobility, collaboration and access to the resources that workers need to contribute and innovate, effectively and securely, with speed and ease.
- Dx2 provides a digital network that augments and automates work, creating new opportunities for value creation within your business. It is fundamentally people-driven and powered by technology to create experiential work.
DX2 Capture & Approvals and DX2 Purchase, enables organisations to automate the accounts payables process and cut administration costs. But it is also offers so much more than that. By digitising physical invoices and purchase orders and being able to send them through a digital process that includes transport, tracking, collaboration, approval, distribution, analysis, tagging. You are digitally transforming a key part of your business. DX2 Procurement offers a new and innovative approach focused on engagement, digitising paper, user adoption, and simple, intuitive processes that work.
Although it is a very sophisticated solution with lots of functionality for creating purchase orders, turning invoices into digital data and getting approval of purchase orders and invoices; it is also simple to deploy and simple to use. DX2 Digital Document Exchange is an alternative to traditional EDI. Your digital progress is no longer constrained by the digital capability of your customers and suppliers. DX2 rationalises the multiplicity of formats, be they PDF, EDI, CSV, or manual forms, into a universal and common digital format. Thus DX2 offers a bridge to the future on your digital transformation journey.
Trader Ecommerce is a large, scalable ecommerce solution that helps you to anticipate what your customers need before they know they need it; and deliver it at the right price quickly. This is crucial in the ecommerce space for organisations seeking to gain competitive advantage through this very important sales channel. We have crafted ecommerce solutions for some of Australasia's biggest companies, and we understand how critical it is to get it right. We also have experience of creating portal solutions for clients for their use with customer and/or suppliers. To further the digital transformation theme, we can also look at what to do with the sales data once the sale is complete. How does that flow through to the ERP system, or CRM system. Would it be beneficial to use a catalogue or Punch Out functionality? Whatever your ecommerce needs, we can help. Find out more.
Go Timesheets, Expenses and Leave for Large Organisations
Go is an online and mobile timesheet, expenses and leave solution for large organisations. We have implemented Go for large organisations such as; The Ministry for Primary Industries (2,200 staff and contractors), Quotable Value (200 staff) and Otago Regional Council (180 staff). The beauty of Go is that it's able to be integrated to any backend financial ERP or Payroll system. Invoices can be produced off time entered by staff into timesheets and this information can then be integrated to the ERP system. Staff love that they can track their time and expenses on the go (online or offline) which increases compliance in this area. If timekeeping and expense tracking is a critical part of your financial operation then talk to us about Go. Find out more.