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Understanding workflows is critical to effective digital transformation


Effective digital transformation makes life easier for customers, employees, suppliers and stakeholders. It speeds up processes, reduces errors and improves access to information.

But digital transformation can only be effective if it is designed with the needs of its users in mind, in line with how the organisation operates. That’s why understanding workflows is critical to the success of any digital transformation project.

How much time can automation save?

What’s often surprising to organisations is just how much time can be saved through automation – as much as 50%. Imagine if your employees had 50% more time in their day. Even an extra 10% or 20% could have a significant impact.

The extra capacity could be used to deliver better customer service, provide vulnerable customers with better support or increase the number of customers you can serve. All without having to hire any additional staff.

Plus, managers would have more time to lead their teams and focus on business development instead of getting tied up with repetitive admin tasks.

Which workflows can be digitised or automated?

Any process with defined steps can be automated, meaning you could unlock capacity across any department, from service delivery, finance and HR to marketing and sales. Furthermore, if you have paper-based or spreadsheet-heavy processes these are often prime candidates for business process automation / digital transformation. Here are some examples of where automated workflows can increase efficiency.

Payment processing

Most people have used some kind of online payment portal, whether to order a takeaway, pay a bill or book a holiday. As such, many customers now expect online payment options for almost anything with a cost attached. Businesses that don’t offer online payments could actually be missing out on sales.

But payment processing goes beyond just the payment portal itself. You can automate invoices and payment reminders, collect direct debits or set up recurring payments, and easily reconcile transactions with customer accounts, triggering further actions such as issuing a receipt. Most accounting software is designed to integrate with all kinds of web apps.

If you supply a physical product, you can automate your entire fulfilment process.

Mobile Service Delivery

If your company delivers services to it’s customers, you’ll likely have employees on the road installing, fixing or delivering items and services.  Allowing mobile workers to receive and update jobs on the go whilst keeping the customer in the loop with progress can be hugely beneficial to an organisation.

Client onboarding

Most client onboarding processes start with data collection – often a form – and data collection can be digitalised.

A paper form can get lost, misplaced or damaged, but a digitalised form can’t. But that’s not the only benefit. Digitalised forms / processes can be accessed on any device, and progress can be saved along the way if users need time to collate information.

You can also add compulsory fields, dropdowns and further information pop-outs, so no details get missed. And you can make it easy for customers to add attachments or upload photos whenever needed, keeping everything together, so nothing gets misplaced. Plus, you can allow for forms to be signed electronically.

Once a digital form and any attachments are submitted, the data can be automatically extracted and sent to the relevant databases. Notifications can be sent to the relevant departments and subsequent workflows triggered.

Enquiry and complaints management

In much the same way that client onboarding can be automated, enquiry and complaint management can be automated too.

Once an enquiry or complaint is submitted, the relevant people can be notified and tasks allocated. You can also set escalation protocols so that managers are informed if a task isn’t completed within a certain time.

Email or SMS responses can be automated, letting customers know their enquiry or complaint has been received and giving them details on what to expect next. Case updates can also be updated, notifying clients of any developments or new information around their case.

Data processing

We’ve already discussed the benefits of digitalising forms, but processing the data from those forms can also be automated.

Data can be automatically extracted and added to all relevant data sources. This significantly reduces the time spent on manual data input and the risk of error.

Centralised CXM systems allow you to keep track of all customer activity and information. Access levels can be set so specific information or sensitive data is restricted to those with authorisation.

System Integration

In the modern world, software systems that specialise in a single specific function can be integrated into a wider solution that can offer great time and efficiency savings.

For example, rather than a customer emailing or calling to request a product return, you can allow them to request this via an online form or portal & then fire the request directly into your logistics partner’s system to schedule the collection.

Procurement and vendor management

Purchasing processes can be lengthy, and this can be frustrating for employees when they need something urgently.

Fortunately, your purchase order process can be fully automated, so staff can raise a purchase order online and send it for approval. The approver will get notified of any POs awaiting approval.

You can set approval limits, so purchases under a certain amount only need one level of sign-off, whereas higher costs need multiple sign-offs. You can also delegate sign-off to other people, so there are no delays when approvers are out of the business. You can also set time limits on approval; if the PO isn’t approved within that time, it will escalate to the next level of sign-off.

Your approved supplier database can be linked to your purchase order system, so only approved suppliers can be used. You can receive notifications when vendors need to resend any documents (such as insurance policies). And you can set the system to send POs directly to suppliers once approved to speed up the ordering system.


Manually collecting data and compiling reports is time-consuming and inefficient. Managers have to rely on their teams to provide the information needed in a timely fashion.

When your processes are digitalised, it’s much easier to run real-time reports. This can be invaluable for making business decisions.

Templates can be designed for any kind of report, and these reports can be scheduled to automatically arrive in an employees email inbox at a set date/time. This means managers no longer have to rely on their teams to provide reports.

Simplifying workflows with Meritec

When your systems are linked and integrated correctly, you reduce the number of duplicated tasks and processes. Data from one system can be pulled through to another to speed up the next stage of a process.

At Meritec, we specialise in digital transformation and have a range of agile, flexible solutions that have been deployed for private businesses, local authorities and housing associations.

Our low-code digital platforms join up systems across your organisation to give you a “single pane of glass” view of your business, allowing you to automate and streamline your workflows and processes. Designed to be completely compatible with our innovative CXM 360 and a range of software modules, as well as integrating with your existing systems, our digital platform is the ideal way to future-proof your organisation.

If you’d like to find out more about our digital transformation services and see for yourself why so organisations across the UK already trust Mertiec, please get in touch.