I am very excited… like a school girl… you know I probably shouldn’t have written that, but from the comments and emails I get from my readers I know that 50% of you will show up just to see what I will say… that still doesn’t lessen the excitement. The Argument to Automate is almost done… My publisher has assigned an editor to put the finishing touches on the book. In the previous post I wrote about INSPIRE. In this post I want to give you an idea of what the book is going to be overall.
Overall – I have had conversations with (I tried to keep count but got lost at 334) over 3000 companies over the last 12 years about automating various processes. Out of all of those companies, 9% automate… the rest stay with their current process and say things like, “Well… it’s not so bad… the bills are getting paid. Hey, we have lived with the paper for 25 years, why not a few more?” Believe it or not people are very kind… all over the country, and they let me down in a very nice and polite way, saying things like, “there are other projects, there is no room for automation in the budget at this time…” various forms of, “No thanks”.
Not taking no for an answer very well, I started to study the situation and came up with 2 reasons a company will not automate.
1. There is no financial benchmark or relative understanding of the impact. In a less fancy way, they don’t know what their return on investment (ROI) is. I have found that they don’t know their ROI because they don’t know what their current cost is. Not knowing your current cost makes it impossible to understand how the automated cost (savings) will impact the company.
2. There is no plan to automate. Don’t get me wrong, there is usually a plan, but the plan sounds something like this… (using accounts payable as an example) We (accounting) is drowning in paper, we are missing bills and we have no visibility to where invoices are and we get too many late fees… our plan is… (accounting) would like to stop that.
If reasons 1 and 2 were on a teeter totter – 2 would be the big kid that won’t let the little’s feet touch the ground (ah the good old days – by the way – I was always the little kid and I would have to make that death-defying decision to cry or jump… well it really wasn’t a jump – it was more like an attempt to slide off gracefully ending with a fall in a not so graceful way). The whole point here is that if a company wanting to automate doesn’t have a plan to deal with personnel’s time that is freed up by automation.. the automation project won’t happen.
There is a somewhat sinister side to this too… that is (true) there needs to be a plan in place, but (DRAMA) the plan HAS to be more compelling and impactful than what they are currently doing…. meaning if someone is doing data entry day in and day out, the plan will remove that task and use that person’s time in a way that would be more powerful than data entry. The trick is to find the new task and convert the person to that new task.
Guess what! I wrote a book about this…. The new book – “Argument to Automate – How Innovation Can INSPIRE – Not Fire” helps organizations to find who those people are and what those new tasks are, and outlines how to create a plan to make sure an automation project is justified and successful.
(So) Buy the book – https://www.createspace.com/3551774
(Also) To get your copy of The 8 Pitfalls of Accounts Payable Automation – click here to buy.
For more information go to www.costperinvoice.com