Pivot your digital transformation journey by focussing on building intelligent operations.
Enterprises’ digital transformation often focus on operations that directly touch customers. They build mobile apps for customers to purchase their products and services or answer inquiries and complaints through social media. No doubt these efforts are important. However, relatively few digital transformations zero in on operations such as supply chain, finance, and internal knowledge networks which can go a long way in improving customer experience and enhancing quality while boosting profitability even though customers may not have direct exposure to these operations.
Take the case of a mobile app that makes it easier for customers to choose and order a product. However, if the product doesn’t arrive on time because of broken supply chain systems and processes, the app usage will plunge.
The bottom line? Digital transformation must reach much deeper into a company’s operations in order to enable them to:
Predict demand patterns by product type and location, ensuring that warehousing and distribution can accommodate orders. Equally important, each customer order should trigger an appropriate internal production plan, including orders for raw materials.
Ensure staffing plans for production and distribution are adequate to handle the orders. In turn, this will require systems that track employees’ needs, availability, and other factors.
Identify peak and trough periods including seasonal variations to make sure supply can meet demand.
The good news? Data and the technology to make this possible are available in abundance. What happens behind the scenes in a company can be automated and enhanced with powerful digital technologies such as AI, cloud computing, and analytics. We call this as a machine-first approach to digital transformation.
What happens behind the scenes in a company can be automated and enhanced with powerful digital technologies such as AI, cloud computing, and analytics. We call this as a machine-first approach to digital transformation.
Creating intelligent operations with a machine-first approach
Let’s look at the three main elements in this approach:
Two factors make it possible today to take this machine-first approach to digital transformation.
Data-driven analytics and AI help identify opportunities for process improvements. For instance, identifying ‘hidden spends’ in millions of records in procure-to-pay processes.
Transform business processes by adopting agile and lean approach and embed design thinking to sustain innovation
Data at the core
Leveraging digital technologies to automate business systems and processes and tap into data
Taking a machine-first approach to building cognitive operations requires executives to move on three fronts:
Today, enterprise leaders can take advantage of machine learning, AI, and advanced analytics capabilities to identify operational inefficiencies and determine how to fix them. In many cases, this does not require a huge overhaul of business operations. Often, companies only need to fine-tune their business processes and thanks to automation see benefits in a short time.
However, leaders need to constantly eliminate redundant and outmoded systems and processes, while investing in more effective systems and processes.
Five quick wins businesses can get building machine-first cognitive operations
Firms we have worked with have experienced the machine-first advantage throughout their operations:
These examples show the power of a machine-first approach to designing important business-outcome focused operations and embedding them with automated intelligence. Companies that have adopted machine-first approach have unlocked new value from cognitive operations and leverage it as a competitive differentiator.