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There must be a number…a set of criteria… a tipping point that is reached... the point where businesses realise they need to change.

It’s a familiar story to us:

“The business started out, became successful very quickly, the volume of work grew, we employed more people to process the work, this became costly, unsustainable, actually less efficient and inflexible, and we recognised the need to automate.”

There’s been a lot of discussion and commentary about the tipping point between intelligent automation and manual work across commerce as a whole, but how does that translate to your business?  What is your company’s tipping point?

The majority of established firms will, at some time, encounter a scenario such as that described above. Recognising that employing more people isn’t the answer to increasing workloads, and that effective management of tasks - focusing humans on tasks that require their expertise and automating repetitive and manually intensive tasks - creates greater efficiency, reduces costs and increases colleague and customer satisfaction. This is more keenly recognised by those in fixed fee environments where process efficiency and customer experience are essential to successful operations. 

Savvy companies don’t need the same push – customer service, efficiency, lean operations are often drivers they recognise at the outset.  They efficiently employ skilled individuals and teams for high value tasks and automate wherever they can. A new company being launched now would look very different than one being set up 5-10 years ago.  Indeed, one in ten start-ups will begin life with more digital workers than human ones. 

As Forrester Vice President & Principal Analyst, J.P. Gownder recently commented “Today’s most successful companies generally operate with fewer employees than those of the past.  In 2019, we predict that one in 10 start-ups - operating in a more agile, lean and scalable fashion - will look at the world through the lens of tasks, not jobs, and will build business models around automation-first principles”.

What we witness is a squeezed middle (to coin a political phrase) competing against leaner, new starters and larger organisations who were perhaps quicker to automate and whose brand leverage typically means they have a lower cost of attracting new clients.

To add further to our criteria, customers themselves are driving the need for change.  Customer loyalty is increasingly based on experience rather than brand alone. To take Conveyancing as an example, homebuyers have made it clear they want to see improvements in the conveyancing process. A survey by InfoTrack showed that 55% of homebuyers said conveyancers could improve their communication and give more clarity.

Some believe the process could be improved by using online communication methods instead of mainly relying on phone calls and letters. In InfoTrack’s research, it was estimated that 34% of firms should be discovering and trialling new technology in order to be efficient and effective and to meet the demands of homebuyers. 

Whilst firms strive to improve customer communications and on-board customers more quickly, a new app or portal is only as effective as the systems and data that sit behind it.  Firms are naturally hesitant to provide customers with greater transparency if that exposes processes that don’t meet their expectation. Front end systems need agile data and processes behind them in order to function and to communicate effectively with clients.

There is clearly the need to anticipate change and to start building effective document processes before the pain creeps in…  Successful firms will strive to deliver more for less in an increasingly competitive market and recognise the need to stay agile with scalable and flexible operations that can adapt to changing markets. 

 

What next?
Our wealth of experience means we can see where the opportunities lie within your business and work with you to develop a roadmap that can systematically and continually optimise your document processes.  So whether you’re a fledgling firm wanting to take an automate-first approach, or an established firm that has perhaps acquired a variety of different systems, we can enable you to reap the benefits of Intelligent Automation and more streamlined document processing.

 

Further reading

Countrywide Conveyancing Services - Our Automation Journey