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Top 5 Ways to Utilize Automation in Your Business

In order to determine whether or not you should introduce levels of automation into your business, you first need to understand the efficiencies it would create. As time goes on, many organizations are starting to see the value automation can bring. And more and more often, companies are choosing to adopt automation software that can do countless back-end tasks to save time, money, and the hassle that often comes with large-scale projects.

Some worry automating a business could lead to fewer jobs and subsequently hurt the economy. Most automation practices, however, are meant to be supplemental in nature and not meant to replace employees. For most industries, utilizing this type of technology can help to complete redundant tasks, allowing employees to focus on more critical matters of the business. Here are some great ways in which automation can benefit your business, whether it be financially or strategically.

1. Reduce Repetitive Task Work

One of the biggest benefits of utilizing process automation software is to save time on repeatable project tasks. From jobs as simple as inputting data into spreadsheets, configuring applications, and simplifying order processing, automating your business can have countless benefits. Think of the hours that will be saved and manpower that can be allocated to more important tasks if routine procedures are taken care of with virtually no error.

The average time it takes to process an order manually is around 5 minutes. If this procedure was automated, it would take a quarter of the time and would mean more workers allocated to fill orders, resulting in a higher level of output. This same scenario can be applied to almost any department of a business, and work effectively regardless of the volume of data, the number of orders or any other inputs that companies encounter regularly.

2. Better Visibility and Continuity Across Departments

Overseeing multiple projects, accounts or departments can make it extremely difficult to focus your efforts for an extended period of time. This can make it difficult to see how the company is performing outside of your prerogative. Similarly, measuring your employee’s level of output as well as their delivery speed in order to set department standards could take months and extensive resources to collect the necessary data. Automation tools can handle all of this and provide feedback in real-time to give you all the information you need to be a successful manager.

Visibility both within a single department and across multiple divisions of a business can help day-to-day operations run smoothly and efficiently. Employees who are not meeting quotas and process inefficiencies will be apparent and easy to monitor. Not having to worry about micromanaging a staff takes a significant strain off of your shoulders and should, in most cases, improve the overarching perception of the “business hierarchy.” Automation will dramatically reduce the unknown elements of inefficiency many businesses struggle to locate within their processes and fix.

3. Increased Accountability of Employees

The rate of productivity of employees will now be under dramatically more scrutiny by management due to the fact that visibility is improved when automated task monitoring is implemented. Accountability will, therefore, become a prominent aspect of day-to-day business operations. And not only does accountability take place on a personal level, but it will balloon to incorporate the “team” mindset that is built into most business models.

Employees who are falling behind in their workload compared to their counterparts will stand out. Similarly, the data collected makes discerning high-performing individuals just as apparent to management. With this in mind, employees across all disciplines will be more productive and efficient, knowing their performance is being logged for evaluation purposes. No one will want to be the one who falls to the back of the pack, making each project or task a priority for those looking to succeed and thrive within the company.

4. Improve Dollar Retention Rate

Did you know that it is 7 times less expensive to keep current customers than it is to find and convert new customers for your business? With the improved turnover time and efficiency that comes with automating business practices, you will ensure that your customers continue to be satisfied with your performance and as a result, should continue to work with your company in the future. As you sign new clientele who see the impressive work you are doing for them, your revenue will increase while fewer clients will be lost to under-performance or competing businesses. Although the initial investment and setup of automating tasks may be steep, the benefits can be seen almost immediately, followed by a huge increase in the bottom line.

4. Eliminate Excess Waste

Completely eliminating lag and waste during production is almost impossible, but with automated services to control the rate at which projects are completed, the total amount of material and money that is lost during manufacturing can be dramatically reduced. Pair automation with other money-saving techniques such as more affordable materials, closed-loop manufacturing processes, and volume reduction to ensure your waste is minimized. This is a perfect example of how automation is used only as a supplement to a workforce. Although machines can create products and complete certain services, the human element is an integral part of almost all business practices.

The cost of unused and waste material is incredibly high and is almost always reported as a loss each quarter or by year’s end. The savings you earn from using automated production plans could be allocated elsewhere, improving other departments or upgrading current technologies used within the business to even further boost efficiency.

The act of automating your business is a fast, easy, and financially beneficial way to increase the efficiency and overall production of virtually any business. Evaluate what areas of the company would benefit from this switch, calculate the potential return on investment of automating, and research what the best option is in regard to your budget. It won’t take several years or even several quarters to see the benefits of automated processes. You will be netting a profit from the investment before you know it.

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4 Tips for Automating Workflow

4 Tips for Automating Workflow

Using process automation software can dramatically improve productivity and efficiency in your company. However, this greatly depends on how successful you are at implementing automation. The following tips will help you integrate automation software more effectively and therefore fully benefit from using the software.

  1. Begin with your goals in mind

If you want to see improvement in your business, you should know what improvements you actually want to see. This ensures that you’re working towards something. You can’t hope to achieve something significant if you don’t know what you’re working for or towards.

Begin by identifying your goals and breaking them down to areas that need to be improved. Be specific when setting goals. This will help you better measure your progress.

  1. Identify areas that can be automated

This means understanding key processes that you can automate. Some areas you may want to look at including employee training, timesheets, job card submission, task approval and other such processes. What are the deficiencies in your current processes? What can you improve on? What parts of the process would benefit from automation?

In order to effectively evaluate each process, you need to do the following:

  • Take time to learn each process from beginning to end
  • Document each step or task. Step by step documentation of a process ensures in-depth understanding of the process, who is responsible for each step and the resources required in each step.
  • Understand what needs to be done to successfully complete the process.
  • Identify bottlenecks in the process and how automation can improve the process.
  1. Choose an automation tool

Now that you fully understand the processes and areas that can be improved through automation, you can select a tool that will meet your needs. The software tool should be user friendly especially if many people need to access it regularly. It should also be easy to access.

An automation tool should make the process efficient and therefore increase productivity. You should therefore reduce redundancies and make it easy for employees to complete tasks without significantly slowing down the process.

Implementing a simple and straightforward tool that can be easily customized to meet your company’s needs will make the implementation quick and simple. Employees can adjust faster to a user friendly tool.

  1. Inform and train your team

The new system will only be worth it if your team makes good use of it. It is therefore important to ensure that they understand the importance of the new system and how it will benefit them and the company. They should be trained to use the system. Be sure to address any fears or problems they may have with the system early.

These tips will help you get the most out of automation. And if you are looking for effective tools to improve your teams performance, you should read Tools to increase your Team’s Productivity.