The more friction there is within a process, the longer the process takes. Additionally, the more complex a process is the more decisions that are required to be made. These are wise words from the founder of the real estate firm We Buy Property in Kentucky, Luke Smith. He adds that each decision causes a bottleneck in the process. So, automating a process ensures that the system flows and keeps output consistent.
Business is basically just systems and people. When you automate certain systems or specific parts of a system, it allows employees to focus on more important issues that actually require brain power or some sort of human intervention. This alleviates remedial tasks from your team’s to-do lists and allows them to focus on more important issues. We try to automate as much as possible in order to stay focused on the items that need our full attention.
This opinion sheds significant light on the idea of business process automation. With this, we asked a couple of experts in the field about their thoughts on this type of technology, as well as how their respective companies benefit from it. Here are their answers:
1. Overall Efficiency
Productivity is pretty much a straightforward answer. If processes are automated, then you don’t need to do as much. This allows you to free up your workforce to do more important tasks that require manual operations, as well as figure out innovations and growth.
There’s also a lower possibility for human error. While all the processes can’t be automatic, some of them surely can be. Doing that makes your business more resistant to mistakes, which can prove to be quite costly. Some stages can be completely automated, hence reducing the error possibility to zero.
In addition, automatic processes mean a lower number of employees. In other words, it’s a cost-effective approach. You don’t need as many workers to do trivial tasks. That way, you can focus more on the quality of your employees and allocate them to more important things.
Business process automation leads to better collaboration, especially when setting goals and deadlines, keeping track of projects, and updating your teams. Furthermore, it helps with securing a good flow of information, too.
Manual data analysis is tedious. Automating this process can provide you with powerful insights, as well as help you figure out the next steps. Using analytics software is a must nowadays, and there are lots of useful metrics to help you with getting a grip on which areas work well and which need fixing.
While marketing automation is a powerful way of streamlining the growth of your firm, you need to be careful not to overdo it. Having too many automated processes can become excessively complicated, and, in turn, less effective than manual handling.
2. Unprecedented Timeliness and Consistency
When you automate certain processes, they’ll be executed on a near real-time basis meaning that you’ll have access to up-to-date data. This contrasts with a situation where a given process is done only once a month because it’s not practical to do it on a daily basis. In a situation like that, you’d only have access to last month’s data until next month arrives. With automation, you can always have an updated picture.
Consistency allows for transactions in a given process to be handled the same way each time. This can lead to higher reliability in the data as you won’t have the slight deviations/errors that come with human processing. Certain processes can have a lot of slight differences between transactions such that human judgment can allow for better consistency than automation which has a harder time appreciating nuances.
– Abir Syed, CPA and Ecommerce Consultant, UpCounting
3. Better Customer Experience
Process automation is absolutely necessary, especially in small businesses where you may not have the resources to hire a full-blown assistant. Business owners don’t have the bandwidth to properly carry out every single administrative task and also ensure their services or products remain top-quality. At my junk removal company, automating the scheduling process has been a game-changer.
When our customers visit our website and decide to use us, they’re able to choose the service they need and book themselves. The form they fill out grabs all the details we need for invoicing, as well as the address that we’ll be picking up their items from. Once we have those things, it’s a simple phone call or text message to confirm their quote.
After we’re done with the appointment and before we leave, we emphasize asking the customer to review us on Google. An hour after the appointment is over, the customer gets an automated email asking again to review us and sending them the link – all they have to do is click and it goes straight to our Google business page. This has really improved our Google search ranking. The increase in business as we’ve gathered more reviews has been clear.
These are all things that my partner and I could do pretty easily, sure, but the minutes add up, and frankly, it becomes tedious. We would lose discipline and before long start sending sloppy follow-ups and forgetting details, because that’s what people tend to do with tedious work. Automation ensures the customer experiences the same thing, each time, and that is a significant part of what brands build success on. The importance of a reliable, predictable customer experience can’t be overstated!
– Anders Helgeson, Co-Founder, Time Now Hauling & Junk Removal