Automating Your Business For Scalable Growth
Growing businesses could be leveraging business process automation which would deliver scalable growth, but they’re often too busy getting with the job. In this article, we will explore the powerful benefits of automation, while outlining how to identify easily automatable processes. We also explain how to select the right automation tools and how to decide which processes you should automate first.
What is Business Automation?
Business automation involves harnessing software that is capable of streamlining, or automating, repetitive business administration tasks and workflows. Those tasks might be as straightforward as a data entry task, or as complex as intercompany invoicing or inventory management.
From invoicing to customer relationship management, automation improves the overall efficiency of your business while unlocking the potential of your personnel resources. Staff are freed from frustrating, tedious, or error prone tasks, while customers are better serviced and crucial information is flowing better throughout your company.
Benefits of Business Automation:
As you wait for your latest P & L statement, that you may have requested days ago, consider all the information that has gone into that statement and all the hands that information has had to pass through. Then consider the difference it might make to your business if you were to receive that same P&L statement the instant it was needed – and you could be certain of its accuracy.
Other benefits to your business of process and workflow automation include:
- Increased Efficiency: Boost the productivity of your workforce by automating tedious, error prone or complex tasks, which gives your staff more time to focus on bottom line driven activities.
- Improved Accuracy: Reducing the need for human interaction with tasks such as data entry, scheduling, data migration, alert management, and spreadsheet-based tasks, reduces the opportunity for errors and ensures data accuracy and integrity. Better accuracy and fewer hands involved in the completion of tasks leads to accurate timely reporting, which in turn leads to improved executive decision-making and customer satisfaction.
- Cost Savings: Automation reduces the need for administrative manual labor, which, realistically, results in the ability for your existing staff to achieve significantly more in each day, while reducing your need to hire more non-revenue producing personnel. Operational costs are reduced, and your bottom line is improved.
- Improved Customer Service: Automation increases the speed with which tasks are done, which includes things like; invoice processing or order tracking. Automation also reduces the rate of human error, thereby reducing the number of customer issues.
Business Automation: A Business Leaders Guide
Webinar: An Executive Guide To Automating Your Business
In this recorded session, Rob explains in plain English what business automation is all about. He also provides detail about how you can decide which processes to automate and where to start.
Processes That Can Be Easily Automated
Most businesses have the same key processes, that are now able to be automated, that can supercharge their business growth:
- Invoicing: Automation makes the entire invoicing process faster. Fewer delays results in smoother cash flow with automated invoicing systems.
- Order Processing: Streamlining and automating your order processing results in faster fulfillment and error-free transactions.
- Inventory Management: Real-time inventory tracking prevents stockouts and overstocking, optimizing inventory levels, while also providing accurate reporting and timely insight.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Automate key customer communications, such as order confirmations, statement delivery or invoice delivery. At the same time you can track interactions, and manage valuable customer data.
- Accounting Processes: Increase the efficiency of your resources while improving the integrity of your data by partially or fully automating complex accounting processes, data migration, and reducing or eliminating the need to conduct data manipulation and reporting tasks in spreadsheets.
Establishing Which Processes Can Be Automated First
So how does a business leader determine which tasks should be automated and can be automated across their business? Following these steps will help you to identify the tasks and activities taking place in your business that are best suited to automation:
- Identify Repetitive Tasks: By department, role, or business division, locate the frequently performed tasks that also have minimal decision-making involved.
- Evaluate Tasks for Complexity: Break down each task by the activities involved to determine if tasks can be standardized and streamlined for automation. To get some early wins on the board try and focus on the simplest tasks first.
- Assess the Impact of Automation: Analyze the potential benefits of automation, such as time savings, accuracy or security improvements, and cost reductions. Remember to analyse the entire task – as there may be some aspects of automation that aren’t appreciated by staff or customers. As an example – not everyone appreciates self-service checkouts at the supermarket.
Business Automation Tools
Automation is built into a lot of business software these days with varying capability. That capability might be measured by the ability of customers to manage and leverage the automation capability for themselves, or that capability might be shipped with the software with no ability for customers to manage how their data interacts with the software.
Automation is not exactly new, it is seen everywhere – what’s new is the level of proliferation and accessibility of business process automation tools to businesses of all sizes – not just Enterprise customers.
By leveraging these tools businesses, of all sizes, can maintain their competitiveness. Therefore when evaluating any new software investment you should be considering what that software can help your business can achieve into the future – not just what that software does right now.
Integrated business management software such as NetSuite ERP is one such automation tool that should be considered by any organisation seeking to maximise their
Automation Software Implementation Considerations
Before integrating tools that will allow you to automate processes it is important to evaluate and address these crucial considerations:
- Security: Ensure robust security measures and access controls are in place to protect sensitive data.
- Integration: Seamlessly integrate automation tools with existing systems to avoid data silos and ensure smooth operations.
- Training: Provide comprehensive training to empower employees to effectively use automation tools.
- Ongoing Support: Regular maintenance and support are essential to ensure optimal performance.