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While providing great added value to customers is important, being able to answer their needs even if we don’t have the competencies at MLR Conseil is one of our commitments. This is why MLR Conseil is part of a network of consulting companies with a wide range of experiences and competencies. This enables MLR Conseil to be able to be reactive and pro-active also on wide-scope projects.

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Using the document automation as a change management tool

Context

Our customer A wants to set up a document automation process for his vendor invoices. He would like his team to improve their overall efficiency and would be happy if the ROI was fast.

Faced Problems

The customer is wondering many things about how to set up his project in the best way possible : « which documents should I try to automate ? which workflow should I implement ? Who are the person responsible for this kind of document in my company ? How can I adapt my future product to my company’s way of working ? What treatments can be partially or fully automized ? ».

The answer to these questions and lots of other ones will definitely help this customer to set up a quality project. But he has to keep one thing in mind, he must not mix the goal and the tool : the customer’s own organization is the source of all the answers.

Reality

Whatever the chosen software for the document automation project, it will only be a tool at the customer’s project’s service. The document automation project must never be enslaved to an old-school organisational model that does little or not work. A document automation project is a real opportuniy to have a closer look into the department organization, to enhance the responsilibities of decision makers in the company, responsabilize and to make the needed changes.

Setting up new tools can make easier the introduction of new business rules. End user scan interpret these new rules as mandatory options of the new software : « the new software makes it mandatory to have an electronic validation workflow for these invoices before paying the vendor », « the new software does not allow generic users to approve the invoices ». The important thing is to work efficiently some time before the actual document automation project on the wanted (or needed) organization of the company for the relevant process. These new processes must be considered with every needed actor, and giving them legitimity inside the company by explaining them is a good way of making them accepted.

On the other hand, the new tool must not be the culprit for all unwanted or non-understood decisions. If that was the case, it would be rejected by the end users, and the project could simply fail, even with the best project team investment possible.

Final word

It is really important to work on business processes before setting up a document automation project. The project itself is only to tool to make your ideas and new processes come true. This is why it is necessary to clearly identifiy the weak points and strong advantages of your organization, to responsibilize the key people. These steps will be the ones to help you improve your global efficiency.

MLR Conseil can help you in your change management during your projects. Any questions ? Don’t hesitate and contact us !