Two important topics are still only cautiously raised in many German-speaking businesses: "digitisation" and "the cloud". Excuses which are often cited are "too expensive" and "lack of know-how" – know-how which is essential for evaluating the need, creating a specification, and finding a solution which covers (as far as possible) all potential applications. A tendering process follows, then assessment of bids. Eventually, a big, expensive project is launched. All this, however, applies to the classical view of "digitisation" as an all-encompassing internal IT project tackled with the traditional waterfall model. This may be the established approach for large projects, but not only is it not necessary, it can often actually be counterproductive. For disruptive projects, an agile approach and flexible tools are required. Using the Fabasoft Cloud, digitisation and automation of document-centred business processes can be achieved quickly and simply. What's more, the costs are so minimal that some projects can pay for themselves in no more than eight days. How come?
Speed and customer focus pay off
The current trend is for businesses to introduce a flexible cloud ecosystem. This means that services are unified, and new services can be straightforwardly attached. The key to success is to take processes with the customer into account in order to offer them an added value. All too often, communication with the customer has high overheads, and is unstructured and informal: via e-mail, telephone calls, meetings, etc. It might be that all the necessary information is simply stored in the account manager's head or his individual e-mail inbox; alternatively, all the project participants may be crossing their fingers that the account manager has entered all the relevant information for project development into the internal document management system – correctly, completely, clearly and on time. The result? Customer processes incur a high risk of errors cropping up, the customer becomes unhappy, and the company winds up having to process a complaint. Take a real-life example:
Customer orders without a cloud solution
Customer Z sends an order to a business. Six employees are involved in processing the order. The coordination of issues involving the customer is mostly made via e-mail. For internal development, there is of course an internal ERP system, but many internal decisions are still made verbally: who will send the design to the customer for approval – construction or sales, or when can the accounts department send off an invoice for the deposit, and so on.
There is potential for errors to creep in just about anywhere. To compound the problems, with no standardised processes, waiting times can end up being extended. However, there is another way:
Customer orders with a cloud solution
This solution is based on cloud-supported digital document management (e.g. for orders, designs), including associated data outside the organisation's own boundaries. A professional business cloud solution ensures that all communication and document management is protected, controlled and transparently processed, with the customer playing a key part in the process. Every employee can securely access all the information needed, whenever it is needed.
This significantly increases efficiency, which as a consequence rapidly reduces internal costs. Investing in a cloud solution can pay for itself in just eight days – as this example shows:
- Number of contracts = 25 per month
- Savings on communication and coordination: 6 employees x 25 contracts x 15 minutes = 37.5 hours per month
- Internal hourly rate = EUR 25
- Monthly savings = EUR 927.50
- Monthly costs for the Fabasoft Cloud = EUR 250
- One-off costs = EUR 0
- ROI = 8 days
Additional benefits for the company:
- "Pay-per-use" principle for monthly costs: only the services actually needed are paid for.
- Scalable solution: start off small, increase as required.
- Minimal or no investment: organisations, user permissions, workflows, etc. all come as standard in the Fabasoft Cloud "Enterprise" edition. For specific requirements or business processes, an additional workshop may be required.
If the added value of a cloud solution can be made apparent and comprehensible by such a simple business case, then coupling it to the internal infrastructure in coordination with the in-house IT department can bring even more advantages and benefits.