Executive Insider

The Power of Digital Transformation to Improve Productivity and Profitability

As a business leader, how often has a consultant pitched you their silver-bullet solution, promising to dramatically increase your organization’s productivity and profitability? Probably more than you would like.

With so many options, it’s no wonder the right pathway may be unclear!

However, one proven pathway to increase productivity and profitability is digital transformation, also known as DX. 

Yet, many executives may not clearly understand what it is and how it can help their organizations. To help bring clarity, here’s a definition from Salesforce:

Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new—or modify existing—business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements. It’s the reimagining of business in the digital age.

And there is proof that DX works. Here are some success stories:

  • Rolls Royce improved their data collection timelines from one month to four days in their financial systems by automating their treasury functions.
  • After digitizing its supply chain management and operation functions, Coca-Cola saves $1 million per year.  
  • Target, Hasbro, Home Depot, and Honeywell experienced significant stock price increases after digitally transforming different aspects of their organizations.

So, how do organizations start their DX journeys if they have not done so already? A great place to begin is optimizing business processes through using workflow automation platforms, the primary tool to digitally transforming organizations.

Here are four benefits an organization can gain from using these platforms:

  1. Connection of Siloed IT Systems
    The right automation platform can connect systems that do not communicate well with each other. This capability is beneficial when employees log into multiple systems to gather data and enter that data into other systems. Instead, the workflow automation platform can pull in the data required for processing, even from legacy systems! The result is that everything an employee would need is right at their fingertips to do the job, all through one system.
  2. Automation of Manual Tasks
    Workflow automation platforms excel at removing mundane tasks from employee workloads. Many employees may fax documents, email other employees multiple times during the day, text back and forth with them, and do data entry into spreadsheets. With the right platform, these activities can become a thing of the past. These systems can read scanned documents to create forms and funnel tasks to the right person through an automated workflow, negating the need for data entry and multiple emails and texts notifying employees that they need to act on something.Another benefit is the automation of repetitive decisions. Here’s an example. Banks often require a minimum credit score, among other criteria, to qualify for a loan. If a loan applicant doesn’t meet these thresholds, the system can automatically trigger a task for an employee to follow up with the customer notifying them of the disapproved application. Or, if they are approved, the system can automatically inform the customer of the approval. These built-in triggers help ensure better customer service.
  3. Increased Productivity and Employee Engagement
    As you could very well imagine, removing manual tasks from employees’ plates can dramatically increase productivity. Not only that, automating business processes allow employees to operate out of a higher knowledge center instead of performing mind-numbing tasks. As a result, they can engage in more meaningful activities, such as more frequent customer interactions. Doing so can dramatically increase employee engagement and satisfaction. That can cause a ripple effect of more delighted customers, ultimately benefiting the company.One important note: some business leaders may feel the need to lay off employees as a result of the increased productivity; however, if they can funnel the excess capacity of these employees into higher-value activities, that’s a good thing. For instance, employees with more time on their hands can undertake projects long-delayed due to no time to accomplish them. The immense possibilities could far outweigh the need to lay off employees
  4. Automated Management of the Businesses
    The right workflow automation platform can provide easily configurable dashboards from the employee level to the C-Suite. With automated business processes, an executive or manager can drill down from a high-level dashboard to the task level to investigate potential problem areas. Executives, managers, or even employees can also configure dashboards in a matter of minutes to create the metrics they want to see. These capabilities allow the leadership team to have real-time, factual data to manage the business right at their fingertips.

As you can see, the power of DX can help organizations dramatically improve productivity and ultimately profitability. Many companies are seeing the value of DX and are fully embracing its ability to transform their operations. 

If you haven’t started your DX journey, there’s never been a better time than to begin today!


Written by Kathy Kent Toney.

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Kathy Kent Toney
Kathy Kent Toney is the founder and CEO of Kent Business Solutions, a process improvement consulting and digital transformation enablement firm. She is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt, Lean Professional, and Professional Scrum Master with over 35 years of experience, +20 years spent working in Fortune 100 companies. Her most significant achievement was facilitating a sales process that experienced an increase in sales from $85M to +$300M over nine years. This process was nationally recognized as best-in-class in this company’s industry space. Kathy lives in the Kansas City, Missouri area.

Kathy Kent Toney has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She worked for Northrop Grumman, Honeywell, and Bayer Animal for 27 years total. Kathy’s experience lies across multiple disciplines, including Process Improvement, Cost Controls, Proposal Preparation, and Market Research, to name a few. She has owned her own consulting firm for seven years. Kathy is passionate about helping organizations to become profitable beyond their imagination!


Kathy Kent Toney is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. You can follow her on LinkedIn. For more information, visit the author’s website.