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Moving from manual to automated processes

My company is in the process of replacing our existing 'home-grown' order management system with PeopleSoft. I...

believe that one of the biggest benefits of this implementation would be to examine & re-engineer our processes to automate our current manual activities. What is the best way to address this in a company that has lived in a manual environment for 20 years? In any technology-supported project, including CRM initiatives, it is always important to get the business to agree on the end-state -- what is SPECIFICALLY that the company wants to accomplish with the initiative. There are many constituents who will have many different priorities and considerations for using technology for their "pet process." It sounds like yours would be to take activities that are manual today, and automate them so that they can be done faster, at higher volumes and more efficiently and effectively. It seems like a reasonable priority. My suggestion is (surprise) that you take a customer-centric view in convincing others in your company that automation of manual processes will be beneficial. Query some of your most valuable or "most growable" customers as to what ticks them off about dealing with your company. Then determine if some of these issues are a result of manual processes (i.e., it takes too long to get my recurring orders to me, etc.) and make the case for prioritizing these processes as early candidates to be automated via the new system. In this way, you make sure that the voice of the customer is included in priorities of the overall project, along with other requests and requirements that will provide internal benefits to your firm. And it's hard to argue with the concept of focusing technology efforts to make life better for your top customers. I hope this answers your question, but if not, please feel free to ask it another way, and I'll provide another suggestion. Thanks!

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