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Posted 2 years ago

“What is ‘digitisation’?”

Digitisation is the adoption of digital methods and systems.

Work smarter, not harder, by embracing change will increase efficiency and reduce operational costs for any organisation.

Digitisation lends itself to creating a systematic approach to completing repetitive tasks, that have historically been performed manually. If done well, it can achieve Robotic Process Automation (RPA), where processes are full automated and allow organisations to levy the benefits this brings for faster growth.

How is this achieved? 

Well, since time is money, streamlining strategic decisions and maximizing operational efficiency through digitisation makes shrewd business sense.

Many companies predict that digitisation will bring more sales, too. This is due to the enhanced customer experience brought by standardisation, reduction in invoicing time and real-time data – all widely-recognised benefits of digitisation.

So, what benefits will Nutral’s end-clients see?

Standardisation in the supply chain, which means standardising job roles, margins and rates, simplifying processes, ensuring compliance and eradicating payroll issues.

100% transparency of the entire supply chain, including every player from hirer through to worker, any payroll intermediaries (umbrella) and sub-agencies, all visible on one centralised system. Full transparency of contracts can be managed and shared instantly using cloud-based systems. Given the legislative landscape and the risks this brings hirers, both visibility and compliance are crucial for any business with off-payroll workers. With a centralized cloud-based system like ours, Status Determination Statements (SDSs) can be viewed by the entire labour supply chain, ensuring contractors’ conformity with tax regulations.

Agility through a system that is accessible anywhere, anytime, on any smart device and works harmoniously with all actors in the supply chain. This is especially valuable for workers who may be placed remotely or in variable locations, since they will be able to view (and get approved) timesheets and pay slips with ease and without requiring access to a computer or a higher authority.

Management of the end-to-end process from requisition to paid – automated workflow enables operational efficiency. An industry survey from 2021 found that 50% of respondents “suspect human error […] to be causing inaccurate payments,” a risk mitigated by cloud-based solutions, for example QR code clock-ins and geo-location which increase transparency, order, and efficiency within the workforce.[i]

Consistent communication for client and candidate alike, meaning streamlined timesheets, no confusion or excel inputting. One simple, centralised platform for all, mobile-friendly!

Cloud based computing, hosting your digital systems in the cloud can provide real-time data. Our technology offers instant updates on live data for payments, expired documents, performance, costs, and profits. With temporary workforces, masses of data are processed at such a high rate that critical information can easily be missed or worse still, lost. Hence the need for a centralised, consistent, and reliable process to avoid wasted time and potentially legal action.

The solution to support the ongoing management of your temporary workforce is clear…

A cloud-based system which automatically updates and automates processes offers numerous advantages. Notably, as outlined above, our tech increases efficiency, accuracy, and transparency.

The cloud is imperative not only for end-clients, but for recruiters too, because it can streamline vacancy demands in a matter of seconds to enable the rapid resourcing of the right workers. In turn, this creates much-improved control over operating costs and expenditure. This is especially important given the pressure placed on organisations to deliver in a post-pandemic world, with both the customer and the consumer looking for programme gains.

Last, but certainly not least, digitisation is crucial given ever-increasing compliance in the UK’s post-Brexit temporary workforce landscape. Cloud computing presents seamless risk avoidance by ensuring ample storage to track all Right to Work documents in one place and by facilitating real-time compliance tracking.

Given all these benefits, why is there still a resistance to digitise?

Practically, there is one major challenge to digitisation: cost of initial investment. Costing both money and time, the short-lived preliminary outlay is easily outweighed by the abundance of benefits which digitisation brings.

Psychologically, it is a different story. Employees must be mentally prepared to embrace the shift to digitise, since a radical cultural change will be required for the process to be successful. Supply Chain’s Grimshaw argues that psychological preparation is the most important step for any business to take, because people are naturally resistant to change.

In today’s digital era, social networks have caused a shift in communication, and consequently have redefined leadership, making it multifaceted and more ambiguous to define. So, how does a leader go about successfully gaining the support of its workforce to accept digitisation?

Should leaders step back from making “human-centric (gut feel) decisions” to rely solely on data?[ii] One thing is clear, especially for the Construction industry, a mentality change is necessary to deliver functional objectives in a tech-dominated world.

For instance, employers must accept their own limitations, somewhat surrendering to technology. This can be scary, but has no need to be – showing vulnerability humanizes leaders and encourages collaboration in response, which internal communication (helped no-end by digitisation) nurtures.

It is certain, then – for the effective execution of digitisation, there is an urgent need for a “new breed” of construction industry leaders to break with the paternalistic tradition. A tradition which is culturally outdated and is preventing the industry from flourishing under cloud technology.

Uber-masculine traditional ‘leaders’ are inadvertently stagnating progress and self-sabotaging through resistance to change.

Instead, a connected, humble leadership style which focusses on personal relationships over transactional ones may well be the key to success in attracting the additional quarter of a million workers needed in the UK’s Construction Industry over the next five years.

Importantly, digitisation offers leadership an opportunity – as data takes greater control, the role of leader is altered irrevocably, opening opportunities for co-creation and ultimately, for procurement leaders, greater cross-operational alignment. Leaders must encourage their workers to embrace this change, rather than fearing it as a threat to their control.

How can we change the culture of a construction site?

Well, leadership is vital. For example, the Authoritarian leader, imposing and dictatorial will likely marginalize their workforce, causing them to be resistant to a change imposed top-down, as is the natural human response to change. However, the Participative leader who opposes autocracy and encourages collaboration, or the Transformational leader who inspires employees as a role model have been shown to be much more successful at implementing change in their companies. This is because compassionate and forward-thinking leaders support their staff to digitise. Interviewees showed anger and frustration at uncoordinated leadership, they in turn appeared to be ‘out of their depth’ and so failing – not only in implementing digitisation, but in a leadership role.

Importantly, digitisation offers leadership an opportunity – as data takes greater control, the role of leader is altered irrevocably, opening opportunities for co-creation and ultimately, for procurement leaders, greater cross-operational alignment. Leaders must encourage their workers to embrace this change, rather than fearing it as a threat to their control.

[i] “Temp Workforce Management: Why Cloud Migration’s a MUST!” engagetech, 21 Jul 2022.

[ii] Alex Gosney, Digitisation: A review into the effect of leadership on culture and data driven procurement teams in UK Main Contractors, 18 Dec 2021.

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