A business is made up of an innumerable number of smaller tasks and responsibilities. To ensure that the business runs optimally, each worker should be good at most of the small tasks. But there’s a way to make your business productive—automation!
In the era of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology and Machine Learning (ML) development, automation can now be used in nearly all aspects of your business. Business process automation, as they call it, helps ease the strain of invoice management or data analysis by using machines to do it for them.
This blog post will explore how automating specific areas in your business can lead to an increase in productivity. In addition, we’ll discuss a few company aspects that could also run more smoothly with automation!
What is Automation?
In simple terms, automation is using computers, robots, and other devices to perform tasks usually done by humans.
The water wheels used around the 1st century BC are considered the beginning of automation. They provided a mechanical force to a variety of functions, such as milling grain, powering ore-crushing machinery, and forging puddles.
Since then, automation has evolved to become an integral part of living. It has even become a key factor in the business decision-making process and a major contributor to their success.
The 6 Advantages of Business Process Automation
Companies of all sizes can benefit from automating their business processes. Whether you’re a startup or an enterprise-level digital solution company, automation can help you achieve better efficiency and productivity.
Here are the top six advantages of business automation:
1. Reduce Human Errors
Automation cannot completely stop anyone from making mistakes altogether, but it can help lower the number of errors. Teaching your computers to recognize patterns can lessen opportunities for human error and make sure that the same mistakes aren’t repeated.
Although computers carry out repetitive activities in a consistent manner, it doesn’t mean that you can avoid inspecting for errors in computer processes completely. Process automation should still be monitored, and any mistakes should be corrected as soon as possible.
2. Improve Employee Productivity
Any employee will agree that the most time-consuming and mundane task is data entry. But it’s an essential task that requires accuracy and attention.
It’s just one of the many tedious tasks that take up a lot of time but can be streamlined automatically. Doing this can boost productivity and free up employees to accomplish more tasks in their day.
3. Real-Time Visibility
One of the problems that many businesses encounter is cascading time-sensitive data throughout the organization. This can lead to discrepancies and other issues.
When you automate your business processes, you can easily view the entire chain of activities in real time, giving your team full visibility over all events. This ensures that no data is lost.
4. Reduce Costs
Using automation on certain repetitive tasks can also save you a lot of money. It’s much cheaper to automate a task than to hire another person to do it.
Back-office and front-office finance tasks, such as invoice processing and document management, should be one of the first processes you should consider automating. Not only will it save you money, but it can speed up the process and make your operations more efficient.
6. Peace of Mind
Automation can save your business nearly 90% on operational costs, according to Forrester. If saving money wasn’t incentive enough, automation also assures that your company complies with rules and regulations, preventing many costly mistakes or missed opportunities.
Not only will your business find success, but your team’s morale will improve. With a new automation tool, employees can now get their work done much faster, which gives them a more efficient work and life balance!
10 Effective Business Productive Automation Techniques
Every department has different needs and objectives, so it’s important to choose which part of their process where automation techniques can work.
You can consult with the team together with your trusted software development company to develop custom workflows and automation tools to cover the different tasks they do.
To give you a brief on the most effective business process automation techniques, here are ten common ways to do it:
1. Social Media Management
In the age of digital marketing, social media platforms today are a source of free marketing, and companies are taking advantage of that. But standing out among several other competitors is the challenge.
Aside from having a great social media team, you want to help them with generating high-quality posts and content for the channels. Automation tools can help with that, freeing up your team’s time to create more engaging content and think of other strategies.
Integrating your social media accounts in an automated app allows you to maximize the impact of your campaigns by scheduling postings and automated responses.
2. Accounting and Invoicing
Accounting and invoicing are two processes in any organization that must be handled with accuracy. Automation can ensure the accuracy of these processes, as well as speed up the process.
Using an automated accounting system and invoicing platforms makes it easier to keep track of finances. You can even sync the data with your online banking, allowing for instant and accurate payment processing.
What you need to do first is automate your data-tracking by linking every part of your business to a central location. This will make it easier for information to flow in and out as needed.
3. Recruitment Process
As much as you want to pick the best-suited candidate for your vacancy, the time your people spend manually sifting through multiple resumes and sorting out the suitable ones can be time-consuming.
Having a Human Resources Management System (HRMS) can help you automate the recruitment process. It can automatically filter out resumes that don’t meet your criteria, save time in organizing interviews, and keep track of the progress of your applicants.
The application process of the candidates will also be a breeze as the system should have an online portal to allow them to apply and submit documents, making it easier for you to administer.
4. Sales and Marketing
In the competitive market, having a sales and marketing team that’s on top of their game is essential. But it may take a lot of your team’s time to keep up with their tasks.
A marketing automation tool can help your team with its workflow. It can track and analyze leads, provide customer segmentation, generate reports, optimize campaigns for success, and more!
These also allow you to sync these data across multiple channels, giving you a clear picture of how your campaigns are performing.
5. Customer Service
It’s no secret that customers want an efficient and effective customer service experience. Automation tools for customer service can assist your team by helping them respond to inquiries quickly and efficiently.
Chatbots are among the most popular customer service tool that companies use. With machine learning and keyword analysis, this 24/7 AI-powered digital assistant can be installed on your website to produce personalized messages on the client’s entered query.
You can also choose from various tools, such as smart customer support software and interactive voice response, to filter inquiries, and direct the messages to the right channel for assistance. It can also help you collect data, analyze customer behavior, and see what areas need improvement in terms of customer service.
6. Email Automation
Emailing has always been a great way to nurture leads and build customer relationships. Automating your email campaigns can help you send out emails at the right time with the right content.
You can set up a system that can send out emails based on a customer’s actions, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase. It can also be used for providing timely customer service, sending out automated reminders, and alerting customers to events or special offers.
7. Claims Processing
As we all know, returning an item, repairing something, or any claim is a drawn-out process that can be frustrating. If some or all steps in the process were automated, though, it would reduce pressure for both the claimant and the organization while allowing them to focus on other parts of the issue at hand.
Using technology like robotic process automation (RPA), you can set up a system that will handle most of the work on its own. It’ll receive, analyze, and respond to customer inquiries in an efficient manner that leaves little to no room for human error.
The first step to doing this is to develop a workflow that determines which tasks are to be automated. After that, you can program the steps in the app and have it process claim requests without any manual intervention.
8. Project Management
Some managers use several management practices to make the organization more efficient. But, in reality, their projects might only require a simple checklist for implementation.
It will be a different discussion when you’ve got several projects on the go that require precise planning, detailing and assigning tasks, setting deadlines, and tracking the time spent. Then, using project management software is the way to go.
You can try using a free platform like Trello to create a task checklist and assign tasks to your team members. It also allows you to set deadlines and check the progress of each task.
9. Lead Generation
Imagine this: a lead (potential customer) visits your website, and you don’t even know they are there. You wouldn’t have a chance to reach out and connect with them, right?
That’s why using lead generation tools is essential for any business. It’s the process of collecting leads with the intent of converting them into customers.
Automation tools can help you create personalized landing pages, capture contact information from web visitors, and segment prospects based on their profiles. It also tracks customer interactions with your website and customizes follow-up emails based on those interactions.
10. Facility Managing Procedures
Managing any office place is no easy job. It takes meticulous planning and monitoring by facility managers to ensure that everything runs smoothly. But when you are working with limited resources, automating daily tasks can help reduce the workload.
Fortunately, implementing systems for in-office procedures can record all activities, such as maintenance, housekeeping tasks, and security patrols can all be done using automation tools.
It’s important to keep in mind that no matter what process automation software you use, it should always be used to complement your staff’s work.
Automation makes it easier to manage the most routine tasks, so your people can focus on the more important ones. With the right automation tools, you can make sure that your business runs smoothly and efficiently.
4 Tips to Get Started with Business Processes Automation?
Before you start automating anything, figure out the goal you’re hoping to achieve. Like any other technology, automation needs to be strategically planned and implemented in the right areas of your business.
According to Bain & Company’s research, procedures that are “high-volume and rules-based” with “moderate automation” offer the most potential for labor reduction.
Below are a few of our tips to get you started with the automation process:
1. Identify Your Problem
Some companies jump in on process automation without thinking about how it’ll benefit their business. Instead, take a step back and figure out what you want to achieve with automation. Do you want to reduce costs? Improve efficiency? Reduce errors?
2. Analyze the Process
Once you’ve identified the problem, it’s time to analyze the process. Look for areas that need improvement and areas that can be automated.
3. Research, research, research
There’s no one-size-fits-all automation technology. It’s important to look around and see what automation solutions are available. Check out reviews, and compare features and prices before settling on one.
4. Partner with a Software Development Agency
If no readily available solutions fit your software needs, outsourcing a custom technology can help you develop a custom automation solution. Talk to them about your goals and requirements before beginning the project.
Let’s Create Apps to Automate Your Business!
Automation software is a game-changer for companies around the globe. It can help you reduce administrative costs, increase employee efficiency and create a more organized business.
With our teams of developers at StarTechUP, you will get custom software solutions tailored to your needs and budget. We specialize in developing software that automates manual processes, such as those mentioned above!
From improving productivity to increasing sales, our developers can create scalable solutions that unlock the potential of your business.
Get in touch with us to start exploring how we can help you today!