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 from such well-known and a href=”https://gbksoft.com/blog/how-web-development-can-leverage-your-business-crm-ecm-and-erp/”>holistic software systems like CRM, ECM, and ERP. These solutions are designed to manage basic activities which often do not require any special knowledge or cognitive skills. Every business has to process huge loads of data daily such as information about clients, various documentation, etc. So why spend so much effort on things that can be done by software? Wouldn’t it be more effective to do away with some routine tasks and unload your employees?
Using automation tools is quite a progressive approach which should be applied by all serious companies which strive to boost their productivity.
Financial Benefits of Business Automation
The industry of business process automation 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 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 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 the time of course.
- Direct savings are associated with savings 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 is this exhausting, but also it is financially disadvantageous.
The bigger your company gets, the more routine tasks appear. Therefore you either need to hire new employees or invest in automation tools. Choosing between these options, the best one (helping to make your team work effectively) is implementation of automation systems like ERP, various parsers, autoreply tools, etc.
True Purpose of Automation
It must be acknowledged that every company lives off 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 company provides. For example, save time for marketing specialists on routine tasks. 75% of business owners delegate all or part of their marketing tasks to automation tools in order to benefit from the specialized expertise of their employees. Because this is what we’re paying 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, meanwhile, offer you other creative approaches.
You can also consider optimizing running costs in order to free up additional funds for investment in production or vehicles to provide your customers with better products, logistics and cover new destinations. The possibilities of automation are endless, you only need to choose and develop the right custom tool for your specific business.
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 your own custom ones, 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.
1. Discover your core needs. Before searching for any tools every business owner should thoroughly think about all repetitive tasks, take into account current performance figures and think about what actions can be easily delegated to 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 a text on an email, search for new people of interest to your company, manually find and insert all data (email addresses, phone numbers, names) and then send emails. But actually gathering data about clients and email sending can be automated. So you can consider the development of automated parser. Automated parsers and information aggregators can prepare high-quality datasets for your specialists so they do what they do best. Which makes the work much faster and can actually cut research time for days or even weeks.
Other problems automated information parsers solve:
- Low speed of data acquisition.
- Need to get information from multiple sources.
- Multiple formats of content (text, images, videos, audio).
- Large chunks of unstructured data that need to be processed by hand.
2. Think about every detail. It is always better to develop a complex solution able to improve your business’ overall operations. To do this you need to create a checklist of required features.
How can you do this? Well, to begin with, you need to write down information about all departments you have in your company and think what software can be of use to them. If you are having a hard time with this, you can always interview your team members. It is easier to identify the core issues if you hear about them firsthand.
F.e. 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 software that can find.
- No unified schedule which would show free specialists.
Now imagine a comprehensive routing system able to manage all those processes. Your company performance will become better and you’ll save a great deal of money. In addition, such system will reduce the stress that your employees are subjected to. Automated routing systems will independently order tickets, calculate travel time and find best pick-up locations, and ensure everyone in your company back home on holidays. Such solution is possible to create only if you’ve thought about all the details.
3. Make your solution user-friendly. While features play an essential role in all business automation tools, UI and UX are also important. Nobody would want to have a system able to simplify all company operations but extremely inconvenient to use itself. Therefore when resorting to automation, never forget about 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.
You employees should not spend even more time on mastering and using your tool than on doing routine tasks, because this is not what the whole automation process is about.
4. 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 the reliable developers who have a strong Security Policy and offer NDA.
Intelligent automation as a new trend
If you want to be a step ahead of all your competitors, you should learn about new trends in business processes automation. The progress changed every sphere of our life due to the creation of AI (artificial intelligence). It is now applied everywhere and it can help you make your company better. Here is how your can improve processes using AI:
- Robotic automation (Robots can read, identify, store and manage users data. So they can send emails, make various reports, and analyze users’ files with the purpose of improving your services).
- Machine learning (It can be applied to perform advanced analytics in every business sphere).
- Smart management tools (Due to such tools a company can make a workflow smart and fast, set effective cooperation between coworkers).
- Voice recognition and generation technology (Voice technology can be of use to companies who work with many clients and utilize chatbots. As voice is the most natural thing, it can make customer service much better).
Nowadays, business automation tools can be applied in literally 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.
Want to develop your own business automation software?
Want to develop your own business automation software?