Thought leadership

Operational Excellence - What to consider in selecting a process automation solution

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Process automation


Operational excellence can be described as achieving maturity and a culture of continuous improvement in the following:

People – The Agile manifesto claims people over process and rightfully so. People are the most important piece in driving any organizational process, and particularly so in the knowledge economy we operate in.

Processes – These are the policies, procedures and tactics employed to achieve business objectives. For example, organizations will develop procurement policies and procedures to ensure that the organizations obtain value for money in procurement.

Systems – These are the technological applications and tools that drive organizational processes. Organizations commonly employ enterprise resource planners (ERPs) to support critical organizational processes. Other systems might include automated supervisory systems and risk management solutions.

Note: Maturity is assessed on a relativity basis.

Systems and automated solutions are an important tool in achieving the desired operational efficiencies in organizations. Digital transformation is now a staple in most organizations’ strategies. However, organizations must consider a number of factors before embarking on process automation.

  1. Do you have the process right on paper? – Even the best automation solutions will not fix a process that is fundamentally wrongly designed. Organizations on an automation journey can choose to apply the DevOps methodology to ensure that automated solutions actually drive the intended process outcomes.
  2. Integration with core business systems – To ensure that everyone is working towards a common objective, it is important that proposed automated solutions can integrate with core business platforms. This ensures that a common source of information is used in decision making.
  3. Internal resources to run, manage and maintain the system – Lifecycle costs must be assessed for any new systems being implemented. These not only include the upfront procurement costs, but also the personnel running costs, maintenance costs and licensing costs required to derive the most value from the system.
  4. Information and process security – The downside of process automation is that it has the potential to introduce cyber based vulnerabilities to the organization. It is important that staff are made aware of these vulnerabilities and an information risk management system that defines baseline controls implemented to mitigate on these risks.

Technology is constantly evolving. The potential for technology to transform business processes is tremendous. There are however limitations to this. Business must align available solutions with process objectives, resource requirements and information security capabilities. Process owners must also define a benefits realization timeline so as to demonstrate value for money for new solutions implemented.

How Seven Levers LLP can assist

We help our clients choose the right process automation solutions by mapping out system requirements, defining the critical measures of success, and performing market due diligence to identify the best automation solutions to meet your needs. We also offer project management services to help you source and implement new technology solutions on time and on budget whilst maximizing benefits realization.

For more information on our process automation solutions, contact us on

Bernard Kiore, Director at Seven Levers LLP.


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