Let us first understand manual information processing!
It is processing information outside the Business system (ERP/CRM). For example, if the Procurement manager disregards PO suggestions and manually manages the process. Similarly, consider the Sales managers process all leads outside the CRM manually.
There can be various reasons for manual processing—for example, business system issues, lack of training, gaps in the system’s capabilities. But, manual information processing comes at a cost. The following are its harmful effects on the Business. Learn how manual information processing affects your Business:
- Efficiency: Imagine the staff managing paper files, maintaining many spreadsheets and manual reporting. All manual processing affects staff efficiency.
- Dependency on the core staff: Manual processes often rely on a few core staff members for information processing. This reliance is an operational risk to the Business.
- Risk of data loss: The Business risks losing paper files, spreadsheets and other documents.
- Lack of transparency: Manual processing limits transparency. It is often not practical to genuinely report progress on manual processes.
- Incomplete data: Manual processing affects your ERP’s data quality and integrity. The lack of data completeness and quality further affects reporting and Business intelligence.
- Audit and operational risk: It becomes very challenging to trace the sequence of events. It is often not possible to conduct an audit for fraud or similar situations.
- Lack of scalability: With the declining staff efficiency, the Business cannot scale to the new opportunities.
- Cause of bottlenecks: Manual processes can be a consistent bottleneck within the organisation. It often delays the downstream processes.
- Effects on customer experience: All the issues due to manual information processing cause delays. It ultimately affects the customer experience.
- Restricts us to look at the big picture: As the staff remains too focused on dealing with the current demand, the Business often miss out on the big picture (objective, goal, mission).
Manual information processing is like a slow poison. Identify why your organisation is still manually processing the information? What is the root cause of manual processing? How does it affect your Business? What can you do about it?