The implementation of digital tools to improve performance

How to successfully launch digital tools to improve performance and reduce costs ?

Digital tools are undeniably real levers to reduce the cost to serve. All industries pass through it, even the most conservative ones such as private banks. The CEOs are formal, cost reduction makes it possible to remain competitive while training employees in new working methods.

Nevertheless, digital allows substantial savings only if the processes and working methods change in depth. The target users of digital tools often tend to believe that these tools are additional tools that overlap without seeing how their tasks could gain in efficiency and they, at the same time, in digital competence. Indeed, in a globalized and unstable world, it is important to broaden your range of skills and combine expertise intrinsic to your activity and digital skills.

Still too often digital tools are implemented without real strategies for process change and support in new working methods.

Use case:

A reputable and international bank in Geneva created a “digital” department 3 years ago with the aim of:

  • manage the implementation of digital tools
  • modernize the bank and its relationship with its customers
  • reduce its cost to serve

Despite the relevance of the tools made available to employees, several of the tools put in place have encountered low rates of use by target users and we are going to analyze the causes.

Make tools available that have not had a pilot phase:

For lack of time granted once the product is delivered, it is quite common to see tools deployed without real test phases and especially a pilot phase so that the product is tested by target users. Untested or unproven tools that are put in the hands of users are very quickly faced with rejection from them. Indeed, users believe that a new tool that is put in their hands must work perfectly in order to consider its adoption. Many companies make the mistake of putting digital products in the hands of users that do not work properly in everyday life and this ends up leading the user to not want to use it.
The CEOs of companies are formal, digital is a real lever to reduce the cost to serve, but the challenge is to restore user confidence in digital. All companies are faced with employee criticism of IT teams. These are often seen by employees as slow, expensive and too focused on cyber security issues.

In this specific use case, too often, internal users were critical of the new digital tools put in their hands. Indeed, in addition to having new tools to learn, users were faced with an aging IT which was a source of daily problems (slow systems, problem of data scattered in several systems, etc.).

Make tools available without changing work processes:

When a new tool is made available to users without the work processes changing, it is typical to see that the tools are used very little. Indeed, everyday life attracts users who do not take the time to change their work habits and use digital tools as a lever to increase productivity.
Some change management methodologies are very effective in getting tools adopted and users changing the way they work. Here are some actions that can be put in place with the help of qualified consultants who know how to manage deep transformations:

  • Provide individual support and training
  • Have driving ambassadors in each team
  • Have strong support from management and top management so that processes change in a given time
  • Make new ways of working compulsory with a learning period

This last approach was adopted by the management of this Geneva bank for the implementation of the electronic signature and the results were very convincing. There was a 150% increase in the use of e-signature and customers were delighted to be able to receive their contract securely in ATAWAD mode i.e. anytime, anywhere, any device. Indeed, they no longer needed to be at home waiting for registered mail by courier; they could now sign from their smartphone wherever they were. Signing time went from 2 weeks to 2 hours on average. In addition to enabling the teams to gain in efficiency, the bank has also gained in customer satisfaction. This process improvement also had a positive impact on the bank’s ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance). Employees no longer needed to print documents and use couriers to deliver contracts to international customers who live in all corners of the world.

Strong managerial support remains one of the keys to the adoption of digital tools and a real change in the way of working. When management decides to include the adoption of digital tools in the KPIs of employees or to make it mandatory, real adoption is felt and working methods change in depth. Thanks to digitalization, productivity is becoming the norm in the company and frees up time for high value-added tasks that generate profitability.

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