The Cost of Doing Nothing About Your Workflow Issues

By Mike Raia | Published November 7, 2016

The easiest thing to do when faced with the idea of automating your department or company's processes is to simply do nothing. Doing nothing feels safe and economical especially when the alternative may require resources and change.

But how safe is doing nothing? And how economical is it? Let's look at a few process automation scenarios:

The Cost of Making Mistakes

Regulatory pressures are not the only thing driving the need for organizational compliance. The risks of employee lawsuits, poor access control, out-of-control spending, and brand damage have made compliance a key concern for all organizations. Consider the real cost of these financially-debilitating issues that companies have faced:

  • A terminated employee exacting revenge on an enterprise system.
  • A mistakenly approved expense or capital expenditure.
  • A lawsuit due to inconsistent hiring procedures.
  • An unfortunate tweet published without proper approval.
  • Rampant, unreported safety violations.

If you are in a regulated industry, even if the likelihood of a regulatory fine due to a mistake or series of mistakes seems remote, what would the potential cost be if your organization was fined? Would it be in the thousands, hundred thousand or millions of dollars? One regulatory fine could potentially cripple cash flow. However, automating critical, regulated processes can greatly increase compliance as well as your ability to show proof of compliance via an audit trail.

The Cost of Poor Productivity

Regardless of the business, you're in, the cost of poor productivity is real, if hard to quantify. If you believe that your current productivity issues are due to inconsistent, poorly-defined, manual processes but can't commit to process automation consider the concept of opportunity cost or "the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen."

If you could increase productivity by just 10% what would the impact on your revenue be? What if you started getting products to market 10% faster or solving customer service problems 10% faster? Consider that potential additional revenue to instead be lost revenue. Using our Workflow ROI Calculator we can estimate that a company of 250 employees that sees a 10% gain in productivity will see an average gain of $1.125 million per year.

These losses don't take into account the reinvestment of that additional revenue into new growth initiatives or the additional time that would be spent on value-add activities by employees who have shed wasteful rote activities.

The Cost of Competition

If your organization languishes with old technology that reduces its ability to meet customer needs and operate more efficiently, you can be sure your competition will notice and adjust. 

Every day you fail to address the outdated technology you are giving your market a reason to seek alternatives who have kept up with trends and adapted to meet changing needs. These could be things like:

  • Being less responsive.
  • Providing a poor user experience.
  • Making errors.
  • Providing incomplete information.
  • Failing to innovate products and services.

So while sitting on the fence and deciding to put off automating and optimizing your business processes may seem like the safe and cheap way to go, "business as usual" is actually costing you big time.


Business Ideas   News   Workflow Ideas  

Mike Raia

Marketing the world's best workflow automation software and drinking way too much coffee.