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The recipe for becoming digitally fit

“Ton Maltha, Services Leader at Lamb Weston Meijer about the company's journey to become digitally fit”

In the ‘new normal’, we have seen a surge in online classes and streaming platforms, encouraging people to be active and helping them build their fitness levels.

But, as is usually the case, there is no quick fix. Having access to a digital platform or a simple-to-use app will not miraculously produce that much-wanted ‘six-pack’. There needs to be a strong desire for change, and the willingness to follow a structured and disciplined routine.

Transformation can only happen with the right mindset – and that goes for organisations and individuals.

At Lamb Weston Meijer, we are striving to become 100% digitally fit. Not in the ‘six-pack’ sense of course, but by delivering all our shared services (spanning IT, finance, HR and facilities) with streamlined processes supported by intelligent digital workflows.

I wouldn’t say that our digital fitness levels are worthy of a gold medal yet, but we have certainly made enormous progress over the past two years.

A people-first transformation

Before launching our new digitally fit ‘regime’, our processes were inefficient and overly complex, creating a poor experience for our shared services teams. They felt out of control, lacked visibility into tasks at hand and were unable to prioritise effectively.

Unfortunately, shared services was perceived as ‘problem child’, offering inadequate services to our internal customers.

We needed to simplify and digitise our processes — and make the experience effective and rewarding for everyone. We wanted to make our services fun and as easy to use as the smartphone apps our teams are familiar with in everyday life.

But it wasn’t about picking out the best shiny new toy. The first step was to engage with people — shared services teams and their users — to share our vision and get them involved in shaping it. What were their pain points? What skills were needed? We wanted to find out everything.

We put people and the experience first and it was only after this significant investment that we moved onto tools and processes.

DigitizeNow with ServiceNow

In collaboration with Fruition Partners, a DXC Technology Company, we developed DigitizeNow. It’s an agile approach to digitising processes that combines the power of the ServiceNow platform with our internal specialist expertise, and Fruition Partners’ Codeless Catalog Automation Application.

We took a highly analytical approach to digital transformation, utilising our very own process mining tool, the Weight Watcher. We interrogated each existing process and compared it with an ideal scenario, determined steps to improve it and then implemented the process as a digital workflow on the ServiceNow platform.

From a process point of view, we are striving to achieve a 100% Digital Fit Rate (a concept initiated at Siemens), that indicates a workflow is following an ideal scenario.

A good example is invoicing. At Lamb Weston Meijer we process 170,000 invoices every year but two years ago, only 20% of invoices were following the ideal flow. Others needed re-working and corrections, resulting in the loss of tens of thousands of man-hours per year spread across the entire company. Now, the percentage of invoices processed without any intervention is 50% and the ambition for end of 2020 is 80%.

The Digital Fit Rate for our IT services is even higher – increasing from 30% to 70%. Overall, our investment paid off in just one year.

The ServiceNow platform is playing a key role in driving up our ‘fit’ rate, connecting and orchestrating back office systems and applications.

What really stands out though is the way the platform has truly supported us to change our world of work, by removing unnecessary complexities and standardising them into logical workflows.

A flourishing ‘services mindset’

Simplified, effective, efficient and transparent processes have empowered our shared services teams to deliver a timely and highly professional service. They feel in control and have a complete overview of all requests via the ServiceNow dashboards.

By eliminating unnecessary manual tasks, our employee experiences have greatly improved. Our teams are becoming value add employees rather than inputters of data, where they can use their expertise to guide and oversee key processes and offer a proactive service.

This new ‘services mindset’ and the speed and quality of support has been very well received by our internal customers and senior stakeholders. The drive to expand this initiative and make many more shared services and business processes digitally fit has never been greater.

Three transformation ingredients

Continuing our digital fit regime is a priority. Financial Services is one of our key long-term priorities, but we are also looking to expand the use of the ServiceNow platform to supportHR- service management.

Our vision of effective, fun and easy-to-use services is becoming a reality, driven by the powerful combination of ServiceNow as our strategic enterprise platform and the DigitizeNow approach.

In partnership with Fruition Partners, we are driving business change in an agile way, and deploying new business requirements quickly and cost-efficiently.

I’d like to conclude with digital fitness levels and the importance of mindset though.

You can have the best tool in the world (such as ServiceNow) but if you don’t invest in people and processes, you won’t succeed – you will just have a great platform.

It is the combination of the right mindset, tooling and process that is my recipe for becoming digitally fit.