Are you using business automation software yet? If the answer is no, we have some compelling examples to show you that we believe will effectively change your mind. This one secret ingredient can effectively improve your business, win you more conversions, improve client relations, lessen the workload on employees, reduce required manpower and even lessen everyday office drudgery so you can focus on being creative, forward-thinking, and innovative.
What’s not to love?
Today, we’ll highlight a few convincing reasons to rely on business process automation in your daily business endeavors. Despite the fact that certain specifics will naturally differ industry-to-industry, the overall concepts remain sound; just tweak them for a perfect fit and find the right platform and you’re set.
Let’s dig in.
Improve Communication & Efficiency
How much of your day winds up wasted responding to inquiries about your products or requests for information? If you’re managing, and aren’t the individual doing the responding, think about how much manpower goes into responses.
Chances are the numbers are reasonably high. Whether it’s dispersing internal memos or delivering information requests to clients, research shows we waste an inordinate amount of time on communication.
The Guardian, a UK newspaper, suggests that up to 40 percent of wasted time is lost to internal memos. This 2012 McKinsey study showed that employees waste up to 24 percent of their day responding to emails. And this study highlighted that around 86 percent of all emails we receive each day are effectively useless.
Email response automation curbs some of this wasted productivity by maintaining a database of automated responses based on keywords or email content. Someone needs your hours? The email system will send the information through. Someone wants to see a catalogue? You can have your email system send that through, too.
Modern autoresponders don’t just send form letters, either; you can integrate them into almost any communication channel. Set up autoresponders for your social media accounts, website, or emails and scale the whole system to whatever works best for you, whether internal or external. Then, manage the flow of communication in whatever way works best for your business, not what works best for somebody else.
Finally, don’t underestimate the power of easier collaboration. Most business automation software includes centralized collaboration platforms that allow your employees to communicate directly, either by chat or by task platforms like Trello and Slack.
For large-scale businesses, full communication integration is an invaluable way to prune back on the time lost on meetings, conference calls, and video conferencing.
Encourage Task Ownership & Accountability
One of the greatest benefits of business process automation lies in the fact that every task has an owner, and that means greater accountability overall. Rather than tasks (or important files) slipping through the cracks, they’re picked up, acknowledged, and marked as completed by whoever’s next in line.
Increased task visibility reduces the impact of very common breakdowns in communication or productivity, so you know exactly when and where the problem happens as it happens.
Task ownership has the additional benefit of allowing either staff or management the ability to monitor, track, and shuffle workloads as needed. If someone’s away from the office due to illness, the task won’t sit on their desk until they return; someone else can grab it and channel it through to another employee for faster service. Managers can analyze workloads or needs and take action as-needed rather than suffering silently with stress.
Last, but certainly not least, is the fact that business automation ensures that everyone knows exactly what they’re doing at any given time. Integrated quick lists and calendars let your staff work on and check off goals throughout the week.
Sharpen Financial Analytics & Monitoring
The ability to monitor cost fluctuations and unusual spending isn’t just for accounting. Any department or project with its own individual budget can benefit, too. Automated analytics provide each individual department with exactly the right volume of information to hone efficiency or spending.
Accounting can see a bird’s eye glance over most of the business, the CEO can see projections for the coming quarter, and individual projects can review their spending and prune back or request expansion when necessary. This multi-level access makes it easier for each department to focus on what matters most to them without wading through information they don’t require.
Automated analytics that draw from important work databases also give you the power to spot unusual spending if and when it occurs. That may reduce the risk of embezzlement, waste, extraneous spending, and other frivolous costs that lack approval or are outright fraudulent, not to mention allowing you to improve your bottom line over time.
Eliminate Errors & Accidents
Humans are terrific. Unfortunately, we’re also fallible, too, and that means a higher risk for occasional mistakes and errors in everyday tasks. Someone forgets to send a client a compliance form, or overlooks a task, or neglects to pass on a message from a major client to their account manager — suddenly, you have a much bigger mess on your hands than when you started.
To be clear, you simply can’t expect your employees to be perfect at all times. To err really is human, and to demand such performance just isn’t fair. But that doesn’t mean you should simply allow mistakes to happen and wave them away when they do, either. Some mistakes can be extremely costly or legally questionable, so it’s up to you to do what you can to prevent them in the first place.
Business automation software can help.
Automation itself reduces the risk of errors in everyday tasks like email responses, financial analytics, and communication. Computers just plain do a better job than we do of remembering, keeping track, and making sure everything gets done on a schedule.
When you automate a task, you’ll instantly reduce the risk of errors, but you can take this a step further by utilizing a system with built-in error flags. These “warnings” trigger whenever the system detects a potential mistake from a task owner, reminding them to fix the issue before they hit complete.
In some cases, this isn’t just an issue of saving lost money on errors. Error flags may even protect you from fines or liability suits where compliance is concerned. For example, a recruiting system that automatically warms human resources to send out a pre-adverse action notice after a background check just might prevent class action lawsuits like these.
Businesses of all sizes can (and do) benefit from automation. Whether your goal is to eliminate errors or improve overall ownership and management strategies, it’s important to choose the system that works best for your individualized needs. The right system will scale with your business and support you in all your most important endeavors from the day you open well into the future.