Ops Digest #14: Big News for Our Readers! Especially Those in Legal and Procurement

October 31, 2023
October 25, 2023
min read
Ops Digest #14: Big News for Our Readers! Especially Those in Legal and Procurement

This is a preview of Ops Digest, our monthly newsletter for operations teams. This month, we're talking about the launch of two new newsletters, one each focused on legal ops and procurement ops. Subscribe and receive these newsletters in your inbox every month!

Long-time readers of Ops Digest will have noticed that issues of this newsletter have increasingly focused quite a bit on legal operations and procurement operations. There’s good reason for that: Tonkean has increased its focus on those two verticals, and as such, the topics we’re interested in for this newsletter have leaned that same way.

But increased focus in one area means less focus in others, especially general areas of business operations. Our solution? MORE NEWSLETTERS.

Beginning next month, we will begin producing two new newsletters, each focused on a respective vertical: Legal Ops Digest and Procurement Ops Digest. (Be sure to click through to ensure you’re subscribed!)

Meanwhile, Ops Digest will live on. We will re-broaden its scope to include less vertical-specific business operations topics.

If you’re already a subscriber, you don’t have to do anything to continue receiving this newsletter. If you’re not already a subscriber, head here to get signed up!

As always, dear readers, let us know about any interesting or amazing things happening in the world of business operations (and legal ops, and procurement ops), and who’s doing them. We’re interested in your stories and ideas.

And now, back to the show. As it were.

Top of the Ops

  • A pitch to transform business operations through process mining | HBR
  • Opinion: Even small businesses can use AI tools to grow | The Telegraph
  • Workato adds a “Generative AI and Business Operations” course to its Automation Institute | Yahoo!
  • Internal training at Slack is so far behind that they’re pausing normal business operations for a week to catch up | Fortune
  • 8 questions CIOs should ask to prime their business for gen AI | CIO
  • Check out the upcoming legal ops webinar from Legal Operators on November 2: “How To Achieve Full Process Adoption in Legal by Leveraging Workflow Automation and AI.

If you have some insightful news or knowledge about the world of Ops to share, let us know!

Ops in the Field

Laura Close, Co-Founder and Chief Business Development Officer of Included, wants to see HR ops enjoy the same business intelligence revolution inside of organizations that other disciplines have enjoyed. Sales, engineering, marketing, and even shipping have seen rapid digital transformation in recent years.

“How did we get here—that HR seems to be the last department standing inside the business that doesn't have instant data insights at its fingertips, that is talking about its own digital transformation?” she said in a recent episode of the Modern Business Operations podcast.

There are two reasons, she believes. One is that it took a long time for organizations, broadly speaking, to commit to the push from employees to unify all the company data and make a plan for digital transformation. The second is due more to historical and sociological issues: “HR originally was a pink collar work role,” she said. “It was the domain of ladies, and it was the domain of secretaries.”

Early HR technology was primarily transactional—like tracking who is clocking in and out, who’s getting paid, and who is taking leave. And though there’s been some rudimentary reporting coming from those systems, she said, the reporting capabilities are still largely falling short of what HR leaders want.

It’s true that some technologies have emerged to help smooth and speed processes, like calibration, performance, engagement surveys, and various tasks that were previously performed manually or even on paper.

“But what we don't have is the ability for HR to engage in continuous improvement from the data. And that's really the emerging class of solutions that I founded software inside of,” she said.

That class of solutions is centered around data and AI. And it’s evolving. “We got the advent of a profession which is called people analytics. That is a math- and data science-driven role that has been very historically an ivory tower sort of experience. Necessarily so—it's very complex work,” she said.

But in practicality, there aren’t enough of those deep experts available to glean insights from all the data that all these companies have. What’s happened instead is that people who are self-taught are trying to do it, and it’s difficult.

Close advocated for technology solutions that help those people gain what they need from data. “And that's really where the technology solutions that use AI and ML are now coming into play [in HR],” she said—a more “mechanized” and “delightful” process.

Listen to the whole episode to learn more about digital transformation in HR ops; the role of AI in HR analytics; challenges in HR around data extraction, reporting, and creating actionable insights; the need for HR to secure and allocate budgets for technology; and more.

Modern Business Operations

On this episode of Modern Business Operations, host Sagi Eliyahu is joined by Stephany Lapierre, Founder and CEO of TealBook, to talk about procurement’s vast potential within unoptimized spending, and the compelling intersection of large enterprises and startup innovation.

Sagi and Stephany discuss:

  • The evolution of procurement functions and the importance of engaging the right suppliers in achieving competitive advantages.
  • The manual and fragmented process of supplier data management.
  • The often underestimated power and possibilities in procurement, and how lack of visibility and optimization of spending can affect companies.
  • The hidden risks and opportunities in uncategorized spend and the substantial impact of optimizing such spends on the company's bottom line.
  • The advantages of blending large enterprise environments with the vibrancy of startups, encouraging operations personnel to interact with entrepreneurs and their contagious energy and passion.

Subscribe to the Modern Business Operations podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Maestro's Minutes

Here’s everything we did in this month’s Tonkean release notes:

User Management:

  • To help extend the benefits of your Tonkean workflow to more users in your business process, you can now add guest users to your board. Guest users have limited access to Tonkean and can view only items for which they are the owner, creator, or requester. They cannot create root items but can update or contribute to root items created by internal users.

Enterprise Components:

Bug fixes:

  • Gong data source actions were failing due to an API update.
  • Some Miuros data sources were failing to collect forms as expected due to an API issue.
  • Guest users were unable to view the process map widget on item interfaces.
  • Some users were unable to navigate to Slack channels created by the Create Channel action.
  • Newly-created Line Item widgets were pre-populated with an empty first row.

And all the rest:

  • Sign up for Legal Operators’ upcoming webinar on Thursday, November 2, at 11am PT! Titled “How To Achieve Full Process Adoption in Legal by Leveraging Workflow Automation and AI,” this panel will discuss how legal teams can leverage AI-powered process automation to create processes that are personalized and smart—and greatly increase legal process and matter management adoption along the way, from intake to resolution. Moderators are Legal Operators’ own Colin McCarthy, as well as Tonkean co-founder and CEO Sagi Eliyahu, Kimberly Bell, Director of Innovation & Technology at American Express, and Rajan Gupta, Director of Legal Operations, Synopys.
  • You’ll learn: Why process adoption starts with process alignment, stakeholder input, continuous improvement and smart, personalized support; exactly what a modern, intelligent approach to technology implementation in Legal can look like; and why, in the end, embracing new technologies is an absolute must for every legal operations team

Thanks for checking out Ops Digest! To learn more about who Tonkean is or what we do, we have a few different kinds of trials that you can sign up for. They walk users through our most salient solutions, including Legal intake, Purchasing Approval, Invoice Intake, and Email inbox automation. Sign up for one here!

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