Nothing remains the same. As soon as your business expands you need to react flash-quick to keep up. Until cloning is prohibited you’re left with not so many options. And automation is the first one which comes to mind. If done properly that’s what can save your business and promote its growth and developing.
That scary automation: ask us how
The answer could be automation but somehow it looks scary to you. You feel like it means delegating control over your business to soulless machines and thus losing it whatsoever.
Conquering your fear is easy: face it! To master automation you need to dig out why you need it, whether your processes are under control for it and when is the best moment to start it. Too complicated? That’s what it seems, but if you organize it in the right way your business will benefit like never before.
Who initiates changes and who is responsible?
There are two ways to solve this issue. First one is a top-management, the guys who are responsible for the result and are interested in optimizing the processes. Why? To save, and therefore earn more. The motive is simple enough, the motivation is high, the goal is clear. In this case, top management is the customer of automation processes.
Second one is highly qualified managers tired of routine. They’re sick of dull work, they need more time for expanding horizons and raising their expertise level and they’re eager to delegate routine tasks to anyone or anything. So automation is a perfect choice in this case.
Well, determined to what type you belong and let's understand the automation a little more detailed.
Why and when automate?
For any business automation means additional costs invested in adjusting some basic processes of your company. No wonder you want to be sure why you’re doing it and when is the best time for it. As for the latter, you can start thinking of automation when your basic processes are more or less stable. If it’s not the case, automation will mean a disaster to you.
Don’t expect it to go smoothly from the beginning till the end as automation is a rather complicated process. But it’s a must in our ever-changing world and you need it to keep up.
Automation is applied when you feel like you’re wasting your money and time. As soon as automation will help you to adjust some basic processes it will result in getting fast revenue. Meet with your team together to discuss what you do repetitive - it’s the key for automation.
You should start automation work sites where you can quickly make a profit, for example sales process or interaction with the client . But before plunging into automation, you need to analyze all the internal processes, find the bottlenecks in business, look at the system at a wide angle and find a joint solution. But remember that monitor and check whether the stage of the implementation of a particular software product passes right. It is very important to support new changes, no matter on what level the integrator solves these issues.
What can be automated?
when you can automatically update inventory (out-of-stock orders, new items) or delivery of some goods. For example, when the truck equipped with a special application with geolocation approaches the warehouse at some definite distance the printer automatically prints the documents needed for the goods in this truck.
50% of sales time is wasted on unproductive prospecting.
when you can automate interaction with the client and thus minimize loss of customers.Thus, if you’ve got a pharmacy company with call-center, you can distribute automatically orders among managers and limit the processing time for each order. Managers will be promoted for closing the request in time and fined for neglecting it.
NB: Train your staff to transfer the main idea to your customers of exclusiveness of each client to you. They must feel your utmost care for them, that you appreciate the choice of your company and their time that’s why you’re providing service as fast and as efficient as possible.
73% of Customer Support professionals report that managing time and workload was the biggest issue faced in customer support.
training of new staff. You compile a check-list containing all the information necessary for training new people. It considerably reduces time and costs for their educating and helps to start the process right away.
automation which is correctly integrated considerably reduces human errors and distorted data as some process are adjusted so that they don’t need any human intervention. Usually it’s about numerous repetitive tasks which can be done by special applications.
efficiently trained staff delivers the right message of personal approach to your clients thus raising your company’s prestige and forming loyal advocates of your brand.
Big data information:
when you can automate some reports and invoices collecting and sending through programs like Invoicely. When you can also automate KPI monitoring and then convert it into busy boards. You can also automate profit & loss systems.
when you can track correspondence, automate and schedule e-mails and social media-posting.
Employees spend 20% to 40% of their time searching for documents manually. In fact, professionals spend 50% of their time searching for information and take an average of 18 minutes to locate each document.
when you have some more or less standard projects like Node.js and you need to elaborate infrastructure for a team of 10 people working with it. You can automate it by making in advance a standard package infrastructure which next time can be installed for 10 minutes instead of 10 hours. You can have such automated packages for various projects.
How can it be automated?
There is an algorithm to make it work right. First you choose and audit which processes need automation. Usually these are processes absorbing too much time, human resources and money. Then you inform the staff that it’s an inevitable and useful change. You’ll have to build the whole culture of automation among your workers as they will hardly embrace the changes. Then you choose automated workflow tool to streamline the process and try to make it as simple and clear as possible.
You can automate it with the help of elaboration, fine-tuning and integration of some systems, sometimes it’s not even about software development. For example, at the call-centers you can adjust the correct telephony with tracking and automated integration of all talks in CRMs. As an option you can hire a business analyst who will be paid for implementing automation of your processes and will hold the responsibility for the final result of it all.
By 2019, the global marketing automation market will reach $5.5 billion.
There is a definite order of its integration as well: start with smaller tasks and then transfer to larger ones. All the above will considerably reduce human errors and risks for business. As a result it will ensure scaling up your business and its further development.
What are the mistakes of automation?
Never try to automate everything altogether, do it in small parts as:
- with small volume you will see the results faster;
- your team will be encouraged more often by small wins and thus it will be motivated more.
- Don’t apply automation just because it’s trendy and somebody else decided to implement it. You must clearly understand why you’re doing it and what impact on your business you expect.
If you automate big data ensure the following: your staff needs to be trained how to work with it correctly & they must use it in practice;
What can’t be automated?
You can’t automate the following:
- Communication with customers as it requires personal approach. You need to know the background of your customer to personalize your mutual experience and convert your client into your loyal follower and advocate;
- Some too exclusive or customized product that require high expertise. There are some common cases when you already know what you can offer for automation. Yet sometimes you come across non-standard product which is brand-new at the market. It comprises a lot of variables that can’t be automated as it needs to be deeply analyzed, divided into parts and treated accordingly. In such case you need to carefully select tools to elaborate a successful business model for it. For example you’re dealing with some luxury segment like Bentley development and it needs high level of customization.
Remember that nothing is a waste of time if you use it wisely. Don’t be afraid of automation, try and tweak it till you find the perfect blend that lets you offer personalized service yet remaining productive in the routine.