It is hard to overestimate the importance of office automation tools. They offer every business an opportunity to save money and time, improve service quality and increase the level of customer satisfaction. Your business can leverage such well-known and holistic software systems as CRM, ECM, and ERP. These solutions are designed to manage basic activities which often do not require any special knowledge or skills. Every business has to process huge data loads daily such as client information, various documentation, etc.
So why spend so much effort on doing things manually that can be done by software? Wouldn’t it be more effective to eliminate the execution of some routine tasks and unload your employees? Using automation tools is quite a progressive approach that should be applied by all companies of all sizes and industries which strive to boost their productivity.
Financial benefits of business automation software
The business process automation industry is expected to reach $6.6 billion globally by the end of 2021. What makes it so profitable? The answer is – all the advantages it offers to businesses, especially the financial ones. Money-saving is one of the core pros of automation. Every business owner will appreciate it. And speaking about savings it is necessary to distinguish the direct from indirect ones.
- The indirect savings of automation are a broad field of study. They come from optimization, smart allocation, and enhancement of existing resources. The first and foremost precious one is time, of course.
- Direct savings are associated with sparing on hiring additional staff, or time you and your employees spend on routine tasks. Finance, purchase, sales, and marketing departments have to deal with the most time-consuming tasks every day (e.g. processing orders, manually sending the same emails all over again, searching for contacts on the Internet). Not only this is exhausting, but also it is financially disadvantageous.
The bigger your company gets, the more routine tasks appear. Therefore, you either need to hire additional employees or invest in automation tools. Choosing between these options, the best one (that is helping to make your teamwork effective), is implementing automation systems like ERP, various parsers, autoreply tools, etc.
If you were wondering what industry gets the most profits from business automation, we would answer this is manufacturing. It is not about the management of all the company branches. It mostly deals with the implementation of order management systems to provide a great customer experience and automate the processes responsible for executing these orders.
True purpose of business automation
It must be acknowledged that every company lives off the unique services it can provide. Clients pay us for something that they can’t make by themselves. Your clients may lack expertise, connections, funds, resources, or time. This is why they come to your door and hire your company. Many automated business products are tailored to serve just one purpose – increase the yield of unique services the company provides. For example, save time that marketing specialists on routine tasks.
About 75% of business owners delegate all or part of their marketing tasks to automation tools to benefit from their employees’ specialized expertise because this is what we pay for when hiring people. If something can be flawlessly done by a machine, there is no need to assign this task to a person(who can, however, get creative about it).
You can also consider optimizing running costs in order to free up additional funds to invest in production or vehicles to provide your customers with better products, logistics and cover new locations. The possibilities of automation are endless, you only need to choose and develop the right custom tool for your specific business needs.
We also would like to present to you the beneficial features of business automation by the latest business statistics:
- The lead management improved at 30%
- The inventory management and product distribution rose by 27%
- The time and organization management increased to 32%
- Data management rose to 38%.
Manufacturing automation trends 2021
Based on the advantageous features of manufacturing process automation, we would like to suggest which operations must be automated and optimized with software in 2021 to stay in business and impact its growth and development.
Internal activities management
Before starting to automate the manufacturing processes, initially, you should consider optimizing the company’s internal operations in order to make different branches of your organization completely synced. It means that before working with clients, you should configure your daily operation and tasks in the most optimized and profitable way. It is not a surprise that businesses deal with huge amounts of information, documents, business applications, etc, and each company’s department has access to different information. Consequently, you should think of implementing a custom automation solution to connect all departments and ensure constant communication and information exchange as soon as possible.
Sales and order management
Now we are getting to the order automation. As we have already mentioned, order information can reach enormous amounts. It cannot be handled and tracked manually, as this would need a huge number of workers, which is not really profitable. Automation tools will solve any problems and challenges that employees face with sales and order management. All business data will be recorded and collected in a single database that is accessible for all company departments that speeds up the responses for the customers. Moreover, business automation software aims to collect all documentation and provide real-time data, sales, and order status updates. Additionally, an automation business app combines all existing internal systems and helps track payment processing, managing contact information, task creation, task assignments, etc.
The manufacturing process includes a lot of details at the pre-production, production, and post-production stages. Along with automating order creation and management, companies that deal with manufacturing should implement automation tools to be able to execute high-quality production processes. Such tools commonly include the following functions:
- Quality checklists to test if the order is executed properly;
- Inspection documentation where all order details are described;
- Communication and database access management.
We also advise you to listen to more about the latest trends in business automation from the video we put below.
How to choose business automation solutions?
Every business requires a special approach. Different companies need to optimize different processes. And if you have to choose whether to implement ready-made automation tools or develop a custom one, it is preferable to resort to the latter. Custom business tools will be able to effectively resolve the issues your particular company has. Are you still wondering how to identify what business solutions you need? We can help you with that and let you know what you should take into account while making the decision.
Discover your core needs
Before searching for any tools every business owner should thoroughly think about all the repetitive tasks, take into account current performance figures and think about what actions can be optimized by software. Let’s say you have a department responsible for email marketing. Your employees should contact your previous clients and send cold emails to new potential customers. But before doing it they have to create an email copy, search for new prospects, manually find and insert all data (email addresses, phone numbers, names) and only then send emails. But clients’ data collection and email sending can be automated.
So you can consider the development of an automated parser. Automated parsers and information aggregators can prepare high-quality datasets for your specialists so they can do what they do the best, which makes the work much faster and can actually decrease research time by days or even weeks. Other problems automated information parsers solve are the following:
- Low speed of data acquisition.
- Need to get information from multiple sources.
- Multiple content formats (text, images, videos, audio).
- Large chunks of unstructured data need to be processed manually.
Think about every detail
It is always better to develop a complex solution that aims to improve your all business operations. To do this, you need to create a checklist of the required features.
How can you do this? Well, first, you need to write down information about all departments you have in your company and think about what software can be of use to them. If you are having a hard time doing this, you can always interview your team members. It is easier to identify the core issues if you hear about them firsthand. For instance, if you have a logistics company, you need to manage numerous processes and can face the following issues:
- Time-consuming route planning.
- Communication with employees.
- Incorrect route planning because of manual routing.
- Inefficient seat utilization and ticket purchase.
- Inaccurate scheduling and misplaced pick-up points.
- No tracking indicators can be found.
- No unified schedule would show free specialists.
Now imagine a comprehensive routing system that can manage all those processes. Your company performance will become better and you’ll save a great deal of money. In addition, such a system will reduce the stress that your employees are subjected to. Automated routing systems will independently order tickets, calculate travel time and find the best pick-up locations, and ensure everyone in your company is back home on holidays. Such a solution is possible to create only if you’ve thought about all the details.
Make your solution user-friendly
While features play an essential role in all business automation tools, UI and UX are also important. Nobody wants a business software system that can simplify all company operations but is extremely inconvenient to use. Therefore, when resorting to automation, never forget about the navigation your system will have.
It is preferable to discuss all functional questions with professional software engineers. They will definitely find a way to implement all your desired features into an app and make it run flawlessly. Your business tools require clean code, thorough testing, and well thought out design. Your employees should not spend even more time mastering and using your tool than on doing routine tasks, because this is not what the whole automation process is about.
Consider integrations and make security your priority
Your tool should be able to utilize integrations to be accessible to all team members. So make sure that you can connect your business system with messengers, task managers, CRM, corporate databases, etc. This will ensure the convenience and accessibility of data between the team members. But also do not forget that if your system uses your company data, it can be vulnerable to various cyber-attacks. So take good care of your security and work with reliable developers who have a strong Security Policy and NDA.
Success stories: business automation tools developed by GBKSOFT
Order management for special car equipment manufacturer
These days, process automation is required in all business industries with no exception. And we would like to tell you a bright case of business digitalization with the help of the GBKSOFT development team. The owner of the company that produces equipment for special cars turned to our company with the urgent need of automating the business workflows to reach the highest level of productivity, improve customer experience, and therefore increase the income.
Let us tell a few words about the specifications of this large manufacturer. This company deals with the creation of details and different types of equipment for vehicles of special purpose. Previously, all orders, including diverse details were created and processed manually by employees, so this was the number one priority of automation.
As a result of our close-knit cooperation, we developed and implemented a custom order configurator and estimator and also a custom admin panel where users and workers can create, change and send orders. All orders are automatically recorded in the system and transmitted to technicians for further execution. Along with automation, it reduced the time spent to create orders from scratch, the number of data losses, and mix-ups.
Leo – management system for a construction company
Leo is the custom software solution for the whole-scale construction company Nelson Precast. This company deals with the manufacturing of custom architectural cast stones. The company’s owner needed to provide a full-cycle tracking system for all orders to avoid order details losses and confusion. As a result of our cooperation, we managed to develop and implement a custom construction management system with the following functionality:
- Job management – we created lists of different jobs so that each user could see the responsible person for particular jobs and the ratest;
- Setting plan – it implies the creation of individual setting plans for each customer with the use of PDF editor;
- Zones management lets customers type the descriptions of zones like color, quantity, weight, shipment details, and the desired delivery date.
Why should you choose GBKSOFT?
Our experience in custom business automation app development is credible and vast, as it became somewhat of a specialty for us. These days, no company would look past the ways of increasing the productivity and automation of the daily operations to make them more efficient.
Surely, numerous ready business automation services are quite widely integrated by business owners into their business workflows. But do they get the highest level of productivity and increase in their income – probably no. Can this ready-made business automation solution be completely customized and scaled up to your needs – surely no. That’s why ready-made automation apps commonly have limited functionality, require monthly charges, and their ranges of options can be changed due to your requirements. We know it based on our own knowledge and experience. And we would like to share this knowledge of how to make business more efficient with you. You may ask: what makes us different from other companies that develop business process automation solutions? Here are a few reasons:
- We are ready to hold deep marketing research on the modern software market, compare tech trends, competitors in order to create the perfect formula for your case;
- We are staying in touch to listen to your needs and solve your problems 24\7 (literally);
- We pay much attention to the pre-development or discovery stage to define the core project specifications, its scope, estimation, needed time, developers, etc.;
- We provide code review to your existing business apps to make them improved and integrated with automation business software;
- We also offer our maintenance team to constantly work and improve your business solution in the post-implementation period.
Intelligent automation as a new trend
If you want to be a step ahead of all your competitors, you should learn about the new trends in business process automation. Progress changed every sphere of our life due to the creation of artificial intelligence (AI). It is now applied everywhere and it can help you make your company better. Here is how you can improve processes using AI:
- Robotic automation (robots can read, identify, store and manage user data. So they can send emails, make various reports, and analyze users’ files with the purpose of improving customer service).
- Machine learning (it can be applied to perform advanced analytics in every business industry).
- Smart management tools (due to such tools a company can make a workflow smart and fast, set effective cooperation between coworkers).
- Voice recognition technology (voice technology can be of use to companies that work with many clients and utilize chatbots to provide an enhanced customer experience).
- Reduced costs;
- Increased general efficacy;
- Higher productivity and income;
- Improved production quality;
- Automation of daily tasks.
Nowadays, business automation tools can be applied in any industry. Unfortunately, not all human activities and business processes are automated yet. But this fact only means that you can be the first to make a unique tool for your industry. The key is to know the inner world of your business and see all opportunities for automation within it.