Everybody talks about digitization. What fantastic opportunities and beenfits it creates. How work becomes easier and more efficient. There seems to be no limit of better, faster, safer or greater. We can easily sense this enthusiasm in our industries. Hesitation is forbidden, being fast a must. And this makes one company after the other digitizing its chaos.
Yes. That’s exactly what happens nowadays. Managers believe they must climb on the digitization bandwagon before it’s too late. And governmental organizations are forcing this process by launching more and more support programs.
The availability of cheap money combined with the fear of missing something makes managers stop thinking. Being fast is more important than creating the best conditions for digitization. Sometimes it feels as if greed for being trendy has taken over control. But does it mean that digitization is a bad trend? Definitely not!
Digitizing lean processes is benefitial
Therefore processes need to be lean first. Evaluating the benefits of digitization is just the second step of process reenginerring. If you swap the order there is a big risk to digitizing chaos or better to use the Lean Management language:
Enterprises invest lots of money in digitizing waste
Almost everybody knows about the Lean philosophy and the great benefits of removing waste. But many companies still haven’t implemented it yet or only insufficiently. They don’t really know how much waste is remaining in their business processes, how much money they waste for non-value adding activities. But they are willing to spend even more money to digitize exactly this waste.
This insight should cause managers great headaches
To get rid of waste after having digitized it will become much more expensive than optimizing the processes first. And additionally it will take much longer time. Because usually people will not be brave enough to tell the boss that it needs a bigger reengineering after having spent lots of money for digitizing this process. They will wait and wait and wait….
If you want to be fast, walk slowly
In the current gold rush atmosphere of digitization it needs prudence and calmness. Focussing on the right things. Being open for digitization but making one step after the other.
Get rid of the waste FIRST before digitizing processes
Lean Management is an excellent method to remove waste and to improve your focus on value adding activities. But not the method itself is important. The only important thing is that you keep the right order by doing the right things. Otherwise digitization will demotivate your team and increase your cost level. Instead of making your company more profitable.
Technological progress should be in line with the performance level of processes and digitization follows lean processes.
Make it work and see you soon…
Greetings from Lake Constance
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