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Do I need to automate my business?

Thursday 3 March 2022 | collaboration apps, build productivity, digital workplace, time management, information management, collaboration software, technology, team management, task management, digital transformation, new technology, Efficiency, Automation

Over the last few years, digital transformation and automation have become buzzwords in business. Most businesses have some processes that can be taken out of human hands and automated in some way. How do you know which processes can and should be automated? 


Do I need to automate my business?

What results do you want to see from automation? Automation can save you time and money but can also give you a competitive advantage and that is why so many businesses are implementing it. But for your business, you want to pinpoint exactly what will bring about those savings. Research conducted by Bain & Company indicates an average cost reduction of 20% for companies employing automation, with "high-volume, rules-based processes" showing the most opportunity for labour reduction. This could mean definable and repeatable tasks in daily operations, accounting or communication, depending on your type of business. 

The aim of automation is to lighten your team's workload, increase visibility and reduce costs, which frees resources for other crucial tasks. Here are some tips on how to work out where to automate your business:

  • Talk to your team and find out what they do. It is important to see what the workflow actually is versus the process that the company may have specified to start. More often than not, employees have worked out through trial and error what steps are unnecessary, or how to make things simpler for themselves. It may be worth implementing an entirely new process across the board based on what your team tells you. 
  • Eliminate unnecessary steps and interactions. Look at what steps or interactions between humans can be taken out of the workflow. Sometimes the way we work has some legacy features that are completely redundant but we keep doing it that way since we've always done it that way. For instance, do you actually need two hard copies of that document or is it enough that it is properly stored in an online document management system? 
  • Identify complicated and time-consuming workflows. Then evaluate if it can be automated in part or in total. It is very likely that some tasks can be replaced by using the correct software automation or workflow. Especially repeated tasks that happen often should be automated.
  • Identify opportunities for digital integration and evaluate your tools. Is it possible that some of the tools you have been working with for years are not fit for purpose anymore? With so much innovation happening, especially over the last two years, it is likely that something you haven't looked at before can handle your requirements better than what you've been using. Take a critical look at your tools and software.
  • Look at the ways people and departments communicate. Software and apps are now available to help your team communicate more efficiently, even when working remotely. Now you can have automatic notifications for when tasks are completed, reminders for when things are due, triggered emails, workflows that involve multiple people and a central place for team documents and manuals.

The benefits of automating processes and online file storage are numerous. As mentioned, the biggest benefits come from saving time for your team and saving you money. A Zapier survey showed significantly more growth and resiliency in businesses using automation software moving into 2021, with employees reporting higher productivity, increased bandwidth for creative work, less stress, and higher job satisfaction.

What should I automate in my business?

Some of the things to look at closely for automation:

  • Messaging your team when a new customer or lead is added
  • Messaging your leads or customers
  • Communication and notifications on tasks and projects
  • Consolidate information and documents
  • Accounts payable, reporting and billing
  • File sharing and document security
  • User-created workflow
See how the features of PIQNIC can help you automate your business.

Every business is different and has specific needs. So it is important for you to determine your own goals and get an idea of where the most benefit will be gained from automation for you and your team. It's also important to consider how different teams have different needs, and may not use apps and software in the same way. 

By automating and creating workflows in your business, you are opening doors for your team to flourish.  The benefits are clear. 

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