Is a focus on cost reduction costing your business?
Traditionally, C-suite executives have viewed core operations through the lens of cost. Through that lens, effective strategies for supply chain, finance, and HR operations often boil down to getting the same or better results at a lower price. Largely that has been accomplished through new enterprise technology implementation, offshore labor arbitrage, and/or outsourcing.
The trouble with this approach is that costs cut during one quarter become the new baseline next quarter. And then what? There are only so many places to cut costs and only so low you can go.
In today’s complex and fast-paced business environment, it’s no longer enough to just aim for “the same results, but cheaper.” A singular focus on cost reduction results in other, more significant costs that can drag down your business: stagnant innovation, ever-growing complexity, poor agility, and missed potential for transformation.
What’s needed are ways of leveraging data and technology that help get the best out of your existing talent resources (both internal and external), while reducing or even eliminating the repetitive, low-value work that frustrates workers and leads to attrition.
Leveraging AI and DataOps to transform operations
In our work with many of the world’s biggest and most complex enterprises, we see three core domains where the strategic prioritization and smart cultivation of artificial intelligence and data can be particularly effective in driving evergreen value:
- Supply chain operations
- Finance operations
- Human resources operations
In theory, today’s cloud-based digital platforms for managing and connecting business operations should make it possible to reduce costs and enhance business value. But for most companies, weak links in the systems, redundancies, and data issues persist. A challenging talent market, coupled with overstretched internal IT organizations, compounds the issue.
Companies have long sought to strengthen those weak links and offload repetitive tasks by outsourcing certain operations to low-cost vendors. In so doing, companies tend to “lock in” existing ways of doing business. So much for enabling agility or sparking innovation.
Evergreen value is most effectively achieved when internal and external partner resources are aligned around outcomes such as innovation, agility, reduced complexity, and speed to execution. Done right, cost reduction becomes a natural byproduct of those outcomes. And as the cycle of innovation continues, costs go even lower.
In this paper we explore how refocusing your partner ecosystem and reimagining operations with AI and DataOps at the core can help solve perennial challenges and drive value across the enterprise.
To accelerate your operations on the path to evergreen value, here are some questions to ask
- In what ways is your business suffering the “Red Queen effect” of running to stand still?
- How are you asking and enabling your managed services providers to innovate with you?
- When transitioning from successful deployment to scalable operations, are you challenging the status quo of “keeping the lights on”? In what ways can you continue to generate value?
- Where is your organization going to embed agility into operations to drive evergreen value?
Connect evergreen business aspirations to real-world opportunities
Evergreen value from core operations isn’t just a pie-in-the-sky possibility. For example, by creating and maintaining a fully autonomous invoice processing function through investment in data and AI, we’ve seen that companies can reduce error rates tenfold while eliminating an enormous amount of previously manual work. And we’ve seen companies reduce time associated with certain types of inventory management—for example, product allocation processing—by 90%, allowing them to increase order fulfillment rates significantly.
These benefits often ripple out into other areas of operations—compounding the value. When repetitive, tedious bookkeeping work is automated, the pressure to find, hire, and retain talent is reduced for your HR organization. Customer care teams receive fewer complaints about inaccuracies. The list goes on.
Download the REPORT
For a more complete look at how ever-smart, ever-ready AI and DataOps can help spark evergreen value in your supply chain, finance, and human resources operations, read the full article today.
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Deloitte Consulting LLP