The concept of swivel chair integration has its origins in traditional office work environments. Imagine an office worker in an early 1990’s office hectically gliding around his or her workspace, alternating between the copier, typewriter, file cabinets, and phones. Attempting to complete all these work processes at once is not only stressful for workers but it is also inefficient for organizations.
These inefficiencies have not disappeared from contemporary work environments. They have simply migrated over to modern systems. We have all dealt with swivel chair issues in our personal lives. Multiple screens and windows on both our PCs and mobile devices compete for our attention, distracting us and stifling our productivity.
These same challenges exist at the organizational level. Workers are tasked with simultaneously shifting between multiple tools and systems and moving data from one interface to another. As a result, work is often duplicated, errors are made, and costs skyrocket.
Why you need to get rid of your swivel chair integrations
There are many reasons why organizations need to solve the swivel chair integration problem. Let’s look at just a few of them.
Reduce human error
Whenever and wherever an organization employs people there are possibilities for human error. People are great at problem solving and working on complex processes, but when it comes to tedious tasks like inputting data costly mistakes are made. Additional resources are spent trying to find and correct errors. The worst part is that these errors are among the easiest to remedy. Organizations simply need to reduce the manual entry of duplicate data across multiple systems. They do this by automating their processes so that data is automatically and seamlessly shared between systems.
Speed up business processes and reduce operational costs
Simply put, manually inputting data is slow. And it is costly. This is especially true where workers need to spend time inputting data into more than one system or manually moving data from one system to another. By automating these processes, workers can focus on more important tasks.
Organizations benefit through increased productivity and decreased costs. In fact, according to a report by ISG, automation allows organizations to complete processes 5 to 10 times faster, with an average of 37 percent fewer resources.
Operational data that is fragmented and stored on non-integrated systems is inefficient and prohibits companies from accessing and leveraging data in real-time. This includes generating reports from all relevant data points, analyzing that data, and making informed management decisions.
Outperforming your competitors
When it comes to your competitors, one of two things must be true. They are either coping with swivel chair issues of their own or they have removed operational inefficiencies through automation and business process management. If the former is true, you stand to gain a significant competitive advantage by eliminating swivel chair. For instance, you can reduce operating costs and reallocate the savings to other areas like marketing, giving your organization greater exposure. Or even provide enhanced customer experiences.
In the latter case, your competitors will have gained an advantage. They can offer lower prices, reach more customers, and provide better experiences. Here, your business will suffer, and you will eventually need to follow suit.
Signs that you have a swivel chair problem
It is easy enough to highlight benefits and reasons for change, but considerably more difficult to identify swivel chair issues in your organization. While it is true that broken or inefficient processes look different depending on a multitude of factors, there are several signs that point towards the need for automation.
#1 – Your employees are consumed with repetitive tasks
Look for manual and tedious processes that eat up a disproportionately large amount of time. Earlier, we mentioned manually inputting duplicate data across systems as an example. Consider whether these processes could be automated and whether doing so would free up resources.
#2 – You have high levels of error
Simple errors made at the individual level can have a devastating impact at the organizational level. Automating processes prone to error not only boost efficiency and reduce costs but increase compliance and reduces risk.
#3 – You lack insight into organizational workflows
We mentioned above the importance of being able to access all relevant data points in real-time. The ability to collect, review, and analyze data is key to gaining a full understanding of your workflows and implementing meaningful changes.
Organizational obstacles to implementing swivel chair integration
Solving swivel chair integration problems seems to be a no-brainer. Why then, do organizations continue to use antiquated, disparate systems and processes? Many organizations don’t see their swivel chair approach to integrations as a problem but as the operative norm.
When it comes to digital transformation and solving swivel chair integration, many organizations do not know where to start. They look at their existing processes and see inefficiencies everywhere. They feel overwhelmed.
The right workflow automation and BPM platform that is both affordable and easy to use can solve all your swivel chair problems. With a low-code BPM, organizations can connect to and extend their existing systems in their newly designed workflows getting rid of your swivel chair inefficiencies in one fell swoop.
Learn more about how ProcessMaker’s workflow & business process management software can help your organization solve your swivel chair problems.