Automation: is it honestly worth it for your business?

Business Process AutomationYou have been running your company this way for years, right? Is there really a need for you to change the way you do things and introduce automation? My answer is simple. If you want to take your business to the next level and you want to actually enjoy running your business then YES!

Automation will move the needle of business efficiency and simplify human lives. Businesses that have automated their processes will generally cut prices and save time. They also have the luxury of being able to employ their manual workforce to solve more intelligent problems. They let machines or computers do the boring and repetitive tasks. This also ensures eliminating the chances of human errors.

Automation is like the rolling ball machine that lets repetitive tasks glide on their own without the extra push. There are extensive benefits of automation. Here are the five best reasons to start automating your business processes now.

Are you spending a lot of time on repetitive tasks?  Most people do, and they can cut their workload down by using automation throughout their business.

Can I make use of automation?

What can you automate? The shorter answer would generally be to the question “What can’t we automate?”.

We can get so many departments communicating through automation I wonder how we managed without it! Accounts systems can talk to your email marketing manager and your website can talk to your CRM. Sending regular and coordinated emails to your database becomes smooth and easy. This results in an informed and educated client base who are keen to hear news from you on a regular basis. Once your automation is setup it requires little interaction from you.

1. Streamline communication

The tried and tested methods of collaboration include, email, sticky notes and conversations around the water cooler. But, for real collaboration they are terrible because they do little to further the movement of the project or organisation.

An automated workflow enables your teams to huddle together around individual items in a workflow in an organised and pre-agreed manner. With centralized communication, your team know exactly what is happening with a task. Automation software offers a visual dashboard to see all of your requests at one go.

It is really important to record notes in the right place because it reduces confusion. Additionally, the right people see the information they need to be able to make decisions.

2. Enforces accountability and increase responsibility

When you automate your workflow, you create an owner for each step of the process. An individual becomes responsible for all initiations, approvals, rejection and data input.  By enabling that level of information transparency in your business process you enforce accountability. It helps to increase the level of responsibility felt by your staff and gives them more ownership over their area.

Applying automation to your business will help you identify which tasks are taking the longest. Plus, the most frequently stuck tasks are going to become clearly visible, giving you the opportunity to fix the issue. You no longer need to ask “Who’s doing that?”. Because everyone knows who is responsible for a task and it is clear when that task is ready to be completed.

A workflow management system allows you to take informed decisions and address future blockades. Additionally, you can identify where to implement better processes. As an added bonus you see where there is a need for training and even out workloads accordingly. It will help you employ better staff!

3. You can Minimize costs and manual errors

By substituting human vulnerabilities with the accuracy of a machine, you bypass the expensive costs associated with manual errors and inefficiencies. Late payments, slow sales approvals, and payments for goods never received are all expensive errors. Automating your systems can ensure these errors never occur again. Automation can also save lots of administrative labour costs.

Rather than manually cutting and pasting emails, you can have it set up that this is all done on a timeline. No more debtors missed because of inefficient accounting systems

4. Help to Keep a tab on your business processes

An automated system not only lets you see the status of any individual item, it also gives you the helicopter view of your whole system. Imagine what you could do with several months of data from an automated system. When requests or enquiries arrive, you can track the quantity and level of conversion with your automated tools. You can determine how many got rejected, time spent on each task and which ones took the longest to complete.

No more decisions based on conjecture. You have real data at your fingertips.

5. Finally, Establish a clear approval hierarchy

When you create a custom workflow, you can assign approval responsibilities to anyone in the organisation. This can be regardless of the reporting structure. A busy supervisor doesn’t need to be on every step/task and you don’t have to have secret meetings before getting a project approved!

You really don’t need to be involved in every campaign that goes on. but you may always want your Marketing Manager to see everything before it goes live. You can use a business process workflow tool to set up hierarchies in your organisation. This will make sure the right people see everything before it goes out.

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