When some companies hear “business automation” they think it’s something only larger companies do and the “more trouble than it’s worth” mentality can hold them back.
But automating your business processes doesn’t have to be a large undertaking, it’s as simple as finding workflow and software integrations that will make your life easier.
You may already be using one of the most basic automations already. If you have an autoresponder email that thanks your customers after they fill out your website contact form, that’s a business automation. Simple, but effective, and it does four things:
At Ion Technologies we help small businesses experience the cost saving benefits of business process automation every day. From automating a few key processes to creating custom software for larger automations, we get the job done affordably, quickly, and effectively.
Why should you automate your business processes? We’re going to give you some examples of how doing just that has helped companies reduce costs and improve their customer support.
Then, we’ll give you some tips on how to get started with business automation at your office.
Business process automation is one of those all-encompassing terms that covers all facets of office automation, so the best way to understand why your company should consider it, is to see how other business owners have benefitted.
The biggest reasons companies make automation a priority are:
Here are two real world examples from around the web that give you granular view (and hopefully some ideas) of how automation can make your business better.
One problem many sales teams face is not having all customer interactions in one place, so they know just how to best follow up next. One company was using a help desk program for customer support, and a CRM application for the sales end of things. But if a customer had a ticket interaction in the help desk program, the sales team had no idea since it wasn’t in the CRM app.
Here’s how they automated their processes to make sure they had a 360-degree view of all their customers and improved their customer support.
They used a service called Zapier to integrate the two applications:
A service company in the transportation industry wanted to triple the number of drivers they had without needing to add office staff for processing all those routes and back-end paperwork.
The drivers would collect customer information, payment details, and track their own hours manually, calling in or faxing the information back to the office. Incredibly time consuming!
They were able to be more productive with custom software that enabled their business process automation and were able to add all those new drivers without increasing the office staff.
When our Ion Technologies Team works with clients on business automation, we first take a look at their current workflows, identify where time can be saved and improvements made to reduce repetitive tasks, eliminate the chance of human error, and improve productivity.
Companies typically see 40% to 75% in cost savings from business process automation. (Forbes)
Here are a few simple steps to help you get started with process automation at your office.
You can ease into business automation by first looking for the tasks that are “paint points” for employees. Does your accounting person mention the time it takes to manually key in sales that come from your website? Reducing time-consuming tasks is a great place to start automation.
Making a list of the different manual processes your office has can help you brainstorm ways to reduce the time it takes to do those tasks with an automated solution.
Repetitive tasks, such as entering a new employee’s name, address, and other details into several applications, are a great target for automation. Custom software could allow you to enter the information one time only and have it automatically populate into several other programs (i.e. payroll, insurance, and others).
The average office uses multiple programs for different tasks. You might use Xero for accounting, Trello for project management, and Zendesk for customer support. But if they don’t share information efficiently, you’re left with manual processes or data slipping through the cracks. Automations that enable software integrations can really boost your workflow effectiveness.
Business process automation doesn’t have to change everything you do, they can be added where it makes sense and helps your business the most. Let’s sit down and take a look at where automating tasks would give you the most benefit.