When you think of automation, a factory probably comes to mind. It’s true that machines that make products on an assembly line is arguably the most common and well-known form of automation, but it isn’t just for manufacturing businesses.
Automation can include any process that is designed to be completed automatically with very little, if any, human interference. Technology is almost always involved, but it doesn’t have to be. Even outlining a procedure with the steps that must be carried out by a person can be considered a form of automation.
It’s true that setting up this kind of system can be time consuming, but it does have the potential to help your business in a number of ways.
It Can Increase Security
Security is a big deal in today’s world. It seems every other day we’re learning about a breach of information, or a new way our information can be compromised. That can spell the end for a business.
Security automation is a great way to ensure all of your systems are well-protected and secure. With a single system that integrates all of your other systems, you can make sure nothing falls through the cracks, and you can save time doing it.
Automating system updates doesn’t require you to take action in order for the update to take place, and automating permissions means you don’t have to remember to go in and adjust them as soon as a project is done.
It Reduces the Need to Complete Redundant Tasks
There’s always a lot of talk in the office about working harder, but you should instead be more focused on working smarter. After all, more time spent in the office doesn’t necessarily translate to more work being completed, and it doesn’t necessarily say anything about the quality of the work either!
Working smarter means spending less time on redundant, less important tasks and spending more time on important ones. Automation can help.
A few examples of tasks that can easily be automated include:
- Customer follow-up and email newsletters
- Processing contracts and agreements
- Sending estimates and invoices
- Paying bills
- Answering the phone
It Keeps Things Organized
Organization is important to every business. Unfortunately, keeping things organized isn’t always easy.
For example, even the simplest things can easily get lost in the shuffle if a process is completed differently. For example, a customer service representative may store customer information in one place, while another representative may upload it to a different system. Automation can help.
With an automated process, there is no confusion over how to get the information the representative needs, where it should be uploaded, and how it should be accessed in the future.
It also prevents unnecessary questions. With an automatic process that everyone follows, employees never have to ask for help when locating a piece of information.
It Can Reduce Labor Costs
Automation is a great way to reduce labor costs. If you can automate certain processes, you may find that you don’t need quite as many employees as you thought. For example, many redundant tasks can be automated, which means you may not need to hire a personal assistant after all.
It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get rid of your existing employees either. If you automate aspects of the job that are currently being completed by individuals, you free up their time to do something else instead. You’ll still be paying them for their time, but you’ll be paying them to make better use of their time than completing redundant tasks all day.
It Can Streamline Customer and Employee Experiences
So many companies attempt to provide good customer service, but they fall short. That’s because customer service representatives aren’t quite sure how to use their systems, and in many cases, the systems themselves are flawed.
With the right automation systems in place, you can actually make the customer experience more human. For example, an automated system could call a customer back when a representative is available instead of making them wait on the line. When they get a call back, they will be connected with a representative who already knows basic information about the caller, making the exchange more personal.
Don’t think automation is the devil some make it out to be. It actually has the potential to help your business without compromising current employee jobs or ruining the customer experience. When done right, it can save you time and money while making life easier for your current employees.
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Featured Image Credit: Forbes India Blog