What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is a term you may be hearing a lot these days, and for good reason. According to recent studies and market analyses, the global digital transformation market is expected to double from 469.8 Billion USD in 2020 to 1,009.8 Billion USD

But what exactly is digital transformation and how can it benefit your business? Whether your company is deep into its digital innovation efforts or if this is your first time hearing about the topic, we’ve provided a deep dive into the buzz around digital transformation.

Keep reading for a breakdown of why digital transformation is more important than ever and how to implement digital strategies that will improve your organization’s customer experience and general workflow in the modern era.

Digital Transformation Definition

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First thing’s first, let’s define digital transformation with some help from DocStar:

“What digital transformation isn’t is technology alone – it’s strategy.

The technology will continually evolve to incorporate business process automation, robotic process automation, and artificial intelligence. Focusing on one or more of these or other technologies is shortsighted – it’s the way you implement these technologies that’s important. […] digital transformation can’t just focus on the online world – it needs to bridge the gap between online and offline.

It should incorporate the enterprise, supply chain, partners, customers, and employees in terms of strategy and execution.”

DocStar summed it up pretty well and cleared up a lot of confusion around this term. Many people hear “digital transformation” and think of merely digitizing their paper files into electronic documents or hopping online with a TikTok account for marketing purposes, but digital transformation involves incorporating multiple forms of digital technology, software, and artificial intelligence into daily business processes.

Digital transformation is all about the bigger picture of modernization at every level of the organization. Within a digital transformation framework, technology and software are implemented to make processes easier for everyone from the CEO to the new hire to the customer. These modernization strategies are also built to grow with your company and your customers as you expand and as new digital innovations are made.

Digital Transformation Success Stories

When we think of the real success stories in digital transformation a few companies come to mind. Netflix is one of the best digital transformation examples. Netflix could have easily died along with Blockbuster movie rental stores, but instead, Netflix imagined new possibilities in their business strategy and successfully developed a digital platform with the user experience in mind.

The companies that have the most successful transformation hone in on the digital experience and remain on their toes, quick to adapt to consumer needs. Netflix adapted to the market demands and created a new status quo in streaming services. Companies like Amazon also made huge strides in customer experience optimization with a modernization strategy that has changed the way we shop from physical stores to eCommerce.

 True industry leaders know how to focus on customer experience systems by leaning into innovation and digital technology. The ability to think outside the box and welcome new solutions will create a better future for businesses and consumers.

The Acceleration of Innovation

Innovations in technology have accelerated at an all-time high since the invention of the computer and the mobile phone. Businesses and society have imagined new ways of connecting, solving problems, and speeding up procedures. Within only the past year we have seen a huge acceleration in technology and digital software with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic as the world had to imagine a new way of living, working, and connecting. 

These trends in digital innovation will only continue into the future and it’s better to hop on board than be left in the dust. A 2019 study showed that 70% of organizations have a digital transformation strategy or are working on one. Now that we’ve reached a post-pandemic 2021, those numbers are likely even higher. The sad truth is that businesses that aren’t leaning into digital initiatives will be left behind.

70%

of organizations have a digital transformation strategy or are working on one.

Your organization needs to adapt to new technology and the ever-changing digital status quo or you risk losing consumers who have outgrown aged business models and practices. But don’t stress! This is a situation that all business owners are facing, so you aren’t alone. Instead of fearing the future of digital transformation, it’s time to welcome it with open arms as we imagine new possibilities.

Imagine Innovations in your Business Capabilities

Digital transformation is all about getting creative and imagining innovations in your business capabilities with the help of technology. This is the time to brainstorm what you can improve about your business processes. 

Take a deep dive into what is and isn’t working in your various business models and processes. What can you do to speed up manufacturing or deliveries? How can you give customers a better-personalized experience? What smart technologies have you read about recently that can be utilized in your business? Posing these questions to your team in all departments will begin to cook up some new ideas that will only benefit your organization’s growth.

The top benefits of adopting a digital model include improving operational efficiency, meeting customer expectations, and improving new product quality. Consider these areas while you analyze your business models, products, and workflows.

Once you can take a deep look at your company as it stands right now, you can begin to envision how it can grow with the acceleration of innovation. With that vision, you can set goals and take concrete steps in your digital transformation journey.

Setting Goals for Your Company

Once you have a vision of your company’s digital future, you can begin to set goals. Transformation doesn’t happen in a day but planning that digital transformation can start right now. 

What do you want your company to look like in a year? Sometimes it’s easier to break up your digital transformation initiative goals by the department. Once you have that vision for faster procedures on the manufacturing end or more personalized customer experiences for your consumer basis, you can set goals for each department and your company as a goal.

Remember that digital transformation isn’t merely one step in modernization, it is the collection of new technologies and software working together in different areas of your business to improve overall efficiency so that you can grow with modernization. This is why you should set digital technology goals within each department and for your company as a whole.

By the year 2025, where do you want to stand? Do you want your company to be an industry leader? Do you want to increase revenue by X amount? Do you want to penetrate the eCommerce market? Create a smoother onboarding employee experience?

In 2018, studies showed that 39% of executives expected to benefit from their digital transformation initiatives in 3 to 5 years. The companies that are benefiting today are the companies that set goals for this week and goals for years from now. Thinking ahead prepares you for the future as innovation accelerates. Set some goals, big and small, and then you can find some partners and strategies for a successful transformation. 

Develop a Digital Transformation Strategy

Developing a digital transformation strategy is a team effort. This is where research, collaboration, and partnerships come in. You may have imagined a vision for your company and set some goals, but tackling the digital transformation process comes with challenges on all fronts. Different aspects of business require a unique modernization strategy.

Many companies fall short in their digital transformation efforts for several common challenges: they lack direction and they try to do it all themselves. The digital transformation market is booming right now because experts in the field have partnered with various businesses to help them modernize their procedures and practices. To be successful, your company must take guidance and support from digital transformation leaders.

The partnerships that you make in your digital business transformation strategy will play a key role in your overall transformation. Digital leaders who are responsible for the accelerators of innovation know the ins and outs of end-user experiences and they can also offer predictive maintenance for new market demands. These partners may also see opportunities for new digital capabilities within your company that you didn’t even know were possible while helping you face digital transformation challenges.

Talk to your IT department, shop around for a marketing agency, appoint staff to transformation-specific roles, and look into automation and AI companies.

Your organization’s digital strategy can only benefit from B2B deals that let you focus on running your company while your partners help you run it better for the digital future.

We Can Help

At Mosaic, we are here to help you begin your digital journey and lay the building blocks for true transformation. As you partner with other companies in more advanced technologies, you will need your accounts payable department to be functioning with top speed and accuracy.

The future of accounts payable is automating B2B payments for a smoother, faster process with fewer human errors that cost you profits. The market will soon demand business process optimization solutions like AP automation as it fixes the invoice approval process and businesses choose to ditch the costly paper system that is killing our planet.

Implementing an enterprise content management (ECM) solution will also significantly increase the ease of your digital business transformation journey. ECM will keep your organization’s most valuable documents secure while also reducing costs.

We know the digital capabilities of your HR and AP departments, and we’re here to help you implement smart technologies that will get you up to speed in your digital transformation projects. For more information on what we can offer your business, check out our products and services.

Contact us to be proactive in the digital transformation process.

Why You Should Transition Accounts Payable To Paperless

What are the main goals for your business? Do you want to increase productivity, raise revenue, and also grow your business? Oftentimes it can be difficult to discern a business trend from legitimate strategies with proven results. One way to increase your productivity that is here to stay is to transition to a paperless accounts payable process.
The entire point of the AP department is to pay bills and invoices for a business. This task, while seemingly quite simple, requires an extraordinary amount of effort, manpower, and money. Broken down into its most basic parts, there are two ways to achieve this task: with paper and without.

The Downside of Using Paper

There are many negatives to using an accounts payable process that uses paper. First of all, it costs more to process invoices with paper. According to FreshBooks, it can cost up to $15 to process an invoice with paper. This amount can jump to nearly $40 for larger companies.

You are also more likely to have human errors with a paper system. Human error is always an issue, no matter what system you are using. However, with a paperless system, less people are involved with accounts payable, and so there are fewer opportunities for errors.

Going paperless is a much better eco-friendly solution. Paper accounts for 26% of all waste in landfills. The deforestation caused by our mindless utilization of paper can have a devastating effect. Trees are needed to produce oxygen and to protect the world from additional Global Warming.

The Benefits of Automating the Accounts Payable Process

In addition to it being more eco-friendly and more cost-effective, there are a lot of benefits you will find with this transition like:

  • Faster payments – Adding software helps improve moving away from paper invoices. These further aids in receiving potential early payment discounts, no more worries about late fees, and overall greater cash flow. You can quickly email your clients for electronic payments.
  • Significant cost savings over time – Not only do paperless invoices cost less to process, but with paperless accounts payable, fewer employees are necessary. Some companies discover new roles and job titles for former AP workers in departments such as finance and accounting, analysis, internal processes, and business strategy. Improving your business processes by adding a streamlining the Approval process is a great way to reduce labor.
  • More storage space – Get rid of paper processes and paper records. Legal requirements make it necessary to retain invoices for several years but the elimination of paper. Transitioning to a paperless system will give you more storage space as you won’t have to fill your office with clunky filing cabinets.
  • Better customer relationships – With paperless invoicing, you’re able to customize more and create unique invoice templates for each client, if necessary. Clients are also sure to enjoy the added efficiency that a paperless accounts payable system provide.

Your team will be able to focus more on the actual accounts payable process rather than the tedious task of organizing and managing paperwork. They can spend more time improving processes and less time worrying about all the paper they have to keep track of. It’s also easier to review all of the accounts payable data at the end of the year.

Additional AP Automation Features

The AP automation services at Mosaic have quite a few beneficial features:

  • Image capture – This saves your business in mailroom deliveries, envelopes to open, and postal charges that come with receiving invoices from remote offices.
  • Intelligent data capture – You will no longer have to mess with manual data entry as there will be immediate tagging of all invoices.
  • Approval and coding – This allows you to pay invoices in ¼ the time, capture discounts, and avoid late payment charges.
  • Posting and paying – This saves you from the manual data entry into your ERP, and it simplifies the vendor payment process.
  • Storing and retrieving – No file cabinets or filing supplies, massive space recovery, and no Iron Mountain relationships.
  • Want to learn more? Have a look at AP automation explained.

How to Make the Transition

Once you’ve made the decision to try accounts payable process automation, there are a few key steps to follow to make the transition go smoother.

  1. Identify your goals. The first thing you need to do is pinpoint your specific reasons for transitioning into a paperless accounts payable process. Whether it’s to cut costs, reduce errors, increase efficiency, or free up staff, identifying your goals will ensure that everyone is on the same page and provide clarity for the entire team moving forward. It will also be easier to track your progress and measure your success.
  2. Communicate with your team. Once your goals have been identified by each department, make sure everyone is in the agreement including leadership and management. By setting expectations and getting everyone on board, you can minimize future conflicts, as well as include any potential concerns from other employees through collaboration and integration. It is always great to look at each step to implement a new system.
  3. Find a system that works for your office. When searching for the best AP automation services for your business, you want to make sure you’ll be able to integrate with your accounting software seamlessly and have the capability of handling a large number of payments, invoices, and transactions.

Moving Forward with Accounts Payable Process Automation

Getting everyone on board and transitioning accounts payable from a paper document to paperless is one of the smartest decisions an organization can make in a world where automation and digital technology rule. By following this simple guide, you can ensure that the process takes place as easily and seamlessly as possible so that you can spend less time on manual processes, and more on doing what you do best: running your business.

Does Paper Have a Hold On Humans?

Papyrophiliac. Yes, there is a word for a person who loves paper. There’s even a word for those people who collect paper, hallmaphiles. This might be hard to believe, especially in the digital age. Every piece of paper that humans used to collect and store, insurance cards, maps, mail, warranties, user manuals, receipts, recipes can all be found in digital form. This raises the question; Does Paper have a psychological hold on humans?

In the 1970’s futurist Faith Popcorn predicted the demise of paper. She predicted that all the things that we now access on our phones, tablets and more would go away. There would simply be no need to use paper anymore. Children growing up today will never have the smear of black ink on their hands after reading the early morning newspaper. “Cracking the spine of a book” is an antiquated phrase that even Generation X may not recognize. Reference books are all online even if you find them in a digital library. Most information that is used by people today is found in digital form or via your home speaker. Another Faith Popcorn quote “Just before consumers stop doing something, they do it with a vengeance.”

Since the late 1970’s when the predictions of a paperless society began it was always with the belief that productivity would increase and cost would decrease. When every desk in the office has computer, it was thought that certain processes bookkeeping, logistics and more would be automated removing the need for paper. What futurist didn’t reckon was that with each of the desktop computers would come desktop printers. Technology brought the cost to printing documents down so low that printing whole documents was inexpensive. Between the 1980’s and 2000’s paper use increased exponentially spawning thriving industries for document storage and shredding.

Have we finally come to paper’s last stand? Since the 2000’s offices in the US are using less paper. Security has increased for storing digital records behind passwords and firewalls. As people become more comfortable with the security of digital storage, the more likely they are to use it not only for personal documents but also in their business. Layer the addition of pandemic where everyone is looking for a way to limit their contact with others digital processes have exploded. From receipts to taxes humans are eliminating the need for hard copy paper documents. For generations we’ve been told to save receipts, file your income taxes and insurance forms many documents receiving favored treatment.

Today you can take a paper receipt, but most opt for a text or email. Business expense reports are automatically done by taking pictures of receipts as you receive them. Before your flight home even lands, your expense report can be filed digitally without you ever missing a beat. For the last decade most people file their income taxes digitally with e-signatures. Payments or refunds are processed digitally with little to no paper. As people navigate life in the pandemic, all are looking for multiple ways to limit their contact…with people. Everything that can be done digitally is being done digitally. Those that embraced technology, using automated processes are ahead of the curve. Some whole industries are playing catch up and those papyraphilliacs are still dancing in their paper chaos.

The paperless office has been moving beyond myths as one-by-one various industries embrace automated digital processes. Completely eliminating the need for paper hard copies can be done. As always thought, those industries embracing digital processes have increased their productivity and decreased their costs. Technology has moved from the Filofax to the Blackberry to Alexa in a short period of time. While we like to believe that these changes were easily accepted, most of us were kicking and screaming to hold on to our favorite technology. Believe it or not, you can still find inserts for your Filofax even if you can’t reboot your Blackberry.

Is it time for your business to go paperless? In a perfect world your team is ready to transition, and everything will happen in a blink of an eye. In the real world a customized solution that includes training and processes for exclusively for you can be found at Mosaic.

The Great Eight: Here Are the Top Standout Benefits of Going Paperless

At Mosaic, we’re in the business of matching the right paperless solution with your unique company and the needs of your team. 

That said, some things are universal. The below list comprises the one-size-fits-all, exciting, and sometimes surprising benefits of getting into the green game and leaving behind those mountains of paper behind forever.

1. You’ll have way, way more time on your hands.

Even for people who are still lucky enough to have jobs that let them work from home, navigating current economic challenges can be tough. With remote work on the uptick and the line between work and home becoming ever more blurred, exhaustion is on the rise. According to one recent survey, “Over two-thirds, or 69%, of employees are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home.”

Bearing that in mind, freeing up your time and mental energy to focus on what’s important has become more critical than ever. Going paperless at the very least cuts out the endless hassle of storing, organizing, and filing (not to mention frequent trips to take out the recycling as it piles up at home).

Going paperless also means that you can share files, back up reports, or whatever else you need to do simply and easily from your mobile device, while on the go, which means no delays or having to wait around before getting to that next item on your to-do list.

 

2. It’s healthy for the environment.

Statista reports that, worldwide, we produce around 420 million metric tons of paper and cardboard every single year (of that, the United States accounts for 72 million metric tons!). To put that in context, that’s equivalent to around SEVEN separate Great Walls of China, one of the weightiest and most gigantic structures in the world. 

Lots. Of. Paper.

Not only that, but despite numerous campaigns and calls for reducing the amount of paper we use, the consumption of these natural resources is growing. In 2015, TIME magazine wrote about a new report stating that humans cut down 15 billion trees per year, much of which goes toward printing and writing paper specifically.

What’s extra dandy about going paperless is that it not only behooves you from a convenience standpoint AND makes you feel good about investing in the future of this planet. As famed writer and environmental advocate John Muir put it: “The wrongs done to trees, wrongs of every sort, are done in the darkness of ignorance and unbelief, for when the light comes, the heart of the people is always right.”

Get your heart right, step into that light, and ease up on the paper trail for a while, why doncha?

 

3. You’re less at risk for potential legal trouble.

Over the past ten years, the landscape of records management has changed dramatically. 

Beyond just being an inconvenience, an outdated content management system can have negative implications such as civil and criminal penalties for noncompliance and rapidly growing costs. Does that catch your attention? It did for us. 

Luckily, significant advances in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) have been shown to benefit a wide variety of organizations in this regard. It’s easy to get up-to-date in no time.

 

4. Bolstered security = greater peace of mind.

Privacy and data protection are big ones these days, with cyberthreats at top-of-mind for some of the most prominent players in the industry. Just recently, Wired reported on the troubling rise in government-sponsored hacks ramping up during the pandemic.

Of course, your business may be looking at risks that look a lot less like an international spy thriller and a lot more like just messing up or losing all of your essential data or putting your customers’ information at risk.

No matter what you stand to lose, you need to make sure you have the right data security measures in place — which no longer means just having a paper shredder on site. If you’ve got a cloud-based accounting system, you need to look into how you’re going to protect your customers’ financial information.

The best news is that we work with companies of all sizes – so you don’t have to be a giant to get air-tight security in place for low-stress operations.

 

5. Two words: Bragging rights.

Okay, so maybe the water cooler talk may not precisely revolve around who saved the most paper that day, but we’re just saying that it could lean in that direction. Think how much fun you’ll have bonding with your coworkers once paper processing is a thing of the past!

Here, we’ll get things started with this freebie: “Wanna hear a joke about paper? Never mind, it’s tearable.”

 

6. You’ll save lots of moolah.

Four years ago, the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center (CCC) and partners released findings that “paper is the largest waste category, and that if [large] companies reduced paper waste by just 1 percent, it would save them nearly $1 billion.”

Think about everything that goes into the paper process, too, even beyond just the paper itself: printer upkeep, ink, postage, office space for files, and employee time. Take all of that off your plate by investing in an overhaul that takes you into the digital future. Your savings will skyrocket.

 

7. Getting to communicate with clients faster.

Electronic communication is nothing if not efficient. You can send over the right papers in a flash rather than having to rely on old, antiquated means of transferring. And since we’ve already outlined how much more secure this method is, it’s a no-brainer.

 

8. All of your dreams will come true — you’ll be respected, wealthy, admired by all, and will have no problems ever again! 

… Okay, like the bragging rights bit, this one may be a bit of a stretch. However, you’ll certainly be saving yourself lots of time and headache in your day-to-day, and with something like that, who’s to say that the rest won’t fall into place?

Focus on the Environment by Becoming Paperless

Many organizations are shifting their focus to become more environmentally conscious and improve their corporate social responsibility (CSR), and there are plenty of undeniable benefits to it. Whether you are working to continuously improve your company image, are looking for 3rd party certification, or even if you’re simply trying to showcase your company values, you can work to become more environmentally conscious by reducing (or eliminating!) your company’s reliance on paper.

The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper a year, 45% of that paper ends up being thrown out each day. Even if your organization only has 50 employees, that’s still 225,000 sheets being thrown out annually or 11,250 lbs. of paper (nearly the weight of 3 cars!). You may not consider your organization to be “green” but it’s still important to consider your environmental impact, as well as the additional benefits to reducing your paper usage.

Many organizations don’t put reduce their negative environmental impact at the top of their priorities. But even if the environment is not a key focus, reducing paper usage can still benefit your bottom line. By going green, you can easily save some green. Businesses annually spend about $1,367 per employee annually on printing supplies alone. By becoming paperless you can easily offset a good portion of that cost, as well as the cost incurred from loss of productivity from searching for or correcting files.

How can your organization go paperless?

  • If there are certain things you must print, consider doing it on the backside of recycled paper (as long as it doesn’t have confidential information). By doing this you’ll reduce the amount of paper you throw away, and save money by not needing to buy nearly as many sheets.
  • If there are invoices, purchase orders, or other forms that need approval from different managers company-wide, utilize an enterprise content management (ECM) system to share, markup, and approve any important documents. Paper-heavy departments such as accounting and human resources can directly benefit from an innovative ECM. 
  • Utilize web forms to complete commonly used forms rather than print out multiples of the same form
  • Rather than throw away unused paper, look to see if your city has a single stream recycling program you can participate in. If there are pages with sensitive information that you aren’t sure about, you can invest in a paper shredder or find a local shredding day to be able to utilize an industrial shredder.
  • Keep all your employee records on a digital database. Instead of taking up space with full filing cabinets, scan your current records into an ECM. For future employees consider utilizing online forms to complete new hire paperwork, including benefit elections, i4’s, W-9’s, and direct deposit.

These are just a few of the ways your organization can work to become paperless, and often once you move forward with one method, the others aren’t so far behind! By starting off your process to become greener with ECM, you can often snowball your environmental impact and immediately notice the benefits of utilizing a smart digital storage solution. The team at Mosaic can help you learn more about how your individual organization can directly benefit from DocStar ECM. Learn more by contacting us.

By taking small steps to reduce your reliance on paper, your organization can save money while doing good for the environment! 

Paperless AP for Restaurant Groups