Could you tell us a little bit about FlowForma and what it offers?
FlowForma is the leading provider of enterprise-class, no-code business process management and automation tools, dedicated to making intuitive and affordable process automation tools that empower businesspeople to work smarter and faster. We are business process management, automation, workflow and digital transformation experts that enable business users across all sectors to digitize, transform and automate complex business processes without software code.
Our solution, the FlowForma Process Automation tool, is an award-winning, 100% no code, app for Microsoft Office 365, that is revolutionising traditional workflow management and digital process automation. The three-in-one tool (forms, workflow, document generation) uniquely empowers businesspeople to rapidly digitize business processes, without any coding and minimal IT involvement.
Are there any digital process automation trends you’ve noticed developing and how do you envisage this will change in 2022?
Over the past year we have discussed at length with prospects, clients and during events, about how 2021 has been the “year of killing paper”, due to problematic paper, spreadsheets and email chains. Moving into 2022, process automation remains just as crucial and critical for businesses and organisations. It’s no longer a nice to have, it’s imperative for companies to continue to survive and thrive. With this in mind there are three areas that I see becoming ‘hot topics’ for the year ahead. These are:
- Digitizing For Impact
I’ve noticed a trend amongst our customers and community that they are focusing on digitizing for outcomes, they’re not just digitizing for the sake of it. Our customers are digitizing strategic cross departmental processes, that are delivering increased productivity and driving better customer and employee experiences. Our customers can measure their return from digitizing and it is causing a snowball effect across their organisations.
- Digitizing At Speed
No IT team can keep up with the demand for digitization. No code process automation is trending in 2021 and will only continue to grow in popularity. Businesspeople want to be empowered to seamlessly digitize, adapt and improve their processes. Agile automation is the new norm and businesspeople are the super powers to ensure rapid and agile automation.
We’ve observed an increasing trend within our community, our customers are integrating FlowForma Process Automation with more and more existing systems and databases. Our community can connect their business processes to hundreds of apps, so the possibilities are completely endless from setting up triggers, to kicking-off processes with data from other apps or sending data from FlowForma Process Automation to your teams favorite applications.
To what extent do you think automation is an important part of any digital transformation strategy?
‘Forrester’s Q2 2021 Global Digital Process Automation Survey’ tells us that the primary reason for process automation and optimisation now and two years from now, is to accelerate digital transformation. I acknowledge that a lot of organisations don’t always know where to start on their digital transformation journey, which is why I say that digital process automation is an ideal place to start. With a no code tool like FlowForma Process automation, organisations could have >50 process digitized within 12 months, with results that speak for themselves.
How can digital process automation help drive business efficiencies and cost saving within organisations?
There are several benefits of process automation that are vitally important for the growth and sustainability of businesses, but one that applies to all is saving time and money. However, many organisations have yet to make significant inroads on their efforts to digitize their processes. Paper and email continue to be a burden in many key business processes. The cost is significant.
Delaying digitization is ultimately costing you worker productivity time, money, lack of real-time process data/decision making and ultimately poor experiences. The risk of not automating your business processes is having competitors become more agile, responsive, and innovative. Failure to make the move to digital will mean you risk missing important competitive opportunities to enter new markets, capture new customers, and innovate with new products and services.
To give you an example, a large European hospital removed 915,000 sheets of paper a year by bringing patient referral letters online with associated savings amounting to nearly a quarter of a million euro! From just digitizing one process the returns are staggering.
What advice would you give to any companies that are about to begin implementing digital process automation?
Getting kicked off with a process automation solution is much easier than what people may think. First and foremost you need a clear idea of what it is you want/need to digitize – start small, you can scale bigger after you notch a quick win under your belt. Once you have that idea of what success looks like, I always tell clients the three best practices to consider when beginning their journey. These are:
- Don’t be afraid of change.
The pain of change is less than the pain of staying the same. Embracing process automation may sound scary, but once you get through the change the resulting efficiencies and value will quickly pay off as you gain an edge over your slower moving competitors.
- Appoint a champion.
Newly digitized processes or new ways of working require senior support; appoint an internal champion, the more senior the better. With a Digital Process Automation champion in place, a plan can be put in place to communicate the initiative, identify obvious processes for digitization, training and a strategy for automation – this approach results in rapid adoption and success rates.
- Unchain your change agents.
Businesspeople know what processes need automation and where improvements need to happen, but they often lack the support and buy in they need to really innovate. Using a no code approach can unchain these change agents and speed the pace of process automation. Unlock the benefits of a business developer program today, such as wide-spread automation, cost savings, and continuous process improvement.
Are there any particular sectors you work with the most, or plan to work with?
The FlowForma Process Automation tool is a vertical software solution which can be deployed by businesspeople across any industry. However, in recent years we have seen a clamber for digital processes in what are traditionally heavily paper intensive industries, such as; Construction, Healthcare, Oil & Gas, Public Sector, and Education.
In particular the Construction sector has seen a vast increase in the need to remove old broken paper processes, due to inaccurate data being captured, poor visibility of where processes lie, and even paper being lost along the way are just some of the common pain points organisation are suffering from in this industry. Other areas such as Healthcare are challenged with compliance and regulations, and so supporting paper-lite initiatives in this sector helps organisations and hospitals to improve communication, visibility and productivity across all departments, which ultimately results in clinicians increasing the time spent with their patients.
Over the past year, we have developed a unique set of fully editable and customisable process accelerators for organisations in some of these industries. These templates are there for customers to adapt and deploy at speed in order to get users up and running fast. More details on these templates can be found on the FlowForma website.
What plans does FlowForma have for the year ahead?
We’re very excited for the year ahead, 2022 will see FlowForma continue to enrich it’s no code process automation tool and we’ve some very exciting new features soon to be released, so stay tuned. FlowForma Process Automation is used by over 200,000 users across the globe, what’s most exciting for us, is hearing our users feedback and the amazing ROI that they are achieving from process automation, so keep an eye out for amazing outcome focused case studies from us in 2022.
Looking to revamp your digital transformation strategy? Learn more about the Digital Transformation Week event taking place virtually 30 November – 1 December 2021 and discover key strategies for making your digital efforts a success.