Business automation can increase efficiency across an organization by eliminating a significant amount of repetitive workplace tasks and reducing hours wasted on redundant tasks and helping improve overall productivity.
Those key benefits and others have led a growing number of organizations to infuse more and more business automation into their operations.
What Is Business Automation?
Business automation uses technology to take the manual labor out of day-to-day business processes. From hiring to email management to accounting, nearly every corner of a business’ operations can benefit from some level of business automation.
With business automation, companies can simplify and optimize workflows. Put simply, the ultimately goal is less to replace human labor and more to augment with technology in a way that helps improve the entire, end-to-end process.
Much more than just replacing paper and PDFs with dynamic digital data, business automation factors in the key steps in a company’s workflows and then attempts to make these processes cheaper, faster and less error-prone. By integrating these processes onto technology platforms, companies also benefit from better reporting capabilities and the ability to analyze data over time. That information then informs key decisions and helps the business grow.
Why Does Your Business Need to Automate Processes
Automating business processes saves time and money, but the rewards of investing in automated systems don’t end there. These systems also help reduce the amount of manpower that it takes to complete key tasks and allows workers to focus on more important projects. For instance, when you can automate your accounts payable processes or customer service chat rooms online, your paid labor can center its efforts on more critical, business-building tasks.
Automation also helps reduce costly errors and the time it takes to correct them. Most document processing and data entry mistakes are a result of human error.
Business automation can also introduce new levels of standardization into daily workflows by walking employees through detailed steps and tracking all relevant documentation. All of these improvements can help companies reduce both operating costs and overhead.
3 Business Automation Ideas
While automation has the potential to generate improvements across many aspects of your business, there are a few areas where it can be particularly impactful. Here are 3 areas of your business ripe for automation, and some advice on how to implement these ideas:
1. Email Automation
Most employees spend hours of their day receiving, sifting through, and replying to emails, many of which are irrelevant to their core responsibilities.
For many companies, the answer to the question, “How much more could your employees accomplish if they were twice as productive?” can be found with email automation. Rather than manually handling every message as it hits their inboxes, employees are using automation to organize their stacks of daily emails, sending automated responses to some and directing everything else to specific folders for further attention. By automating employees’ inboxes, companies help their workforce see and respond to relevant messages quickly and efficiently.
Managing calendars, setting up meetings and organizing the details of these events are all activities that have traditionally been handled manually. But a number of different automation platforms can help take the pain out of internal and customer meetings.
By automating meetings, companies can not only manage the event itself, but also the pre- and post-meeting logistics.
An alternative to traditional calendar tools, meeting automation platforms (MAPs) can be used to support the meeting itself, improve communication before, during, and after the meeting, and scale up or down according to the company’s individual needs.
Marketing is yet another critical business task that can simplified and optimized with automation. Marketing automation software, for example, can organize leads and automate email blasts. It helps companies better align campaigns and programs with the efforts of their sales teams, as well.
With marketing automation software, companies can track, monitor and nurture highly qualified leads that are ready for sales representatives to reach out to and work with. This reduces the complexity of the lead conversion process and enables a faster sales closing process.
When companies use marketing software, they also gain access to tracking and measurement tools that reveal how they’re doing over time (i.e., at converting leads into sales) and allow them to make adjustments that ultimately lead to higher revenues.
With this type of business automation, companies can simplify and optimize workflows by reducing the human labor required with technology improve the process. Business automation factors in the key steps in a company’s workflows and makes these processes cheaper, faster and less error-prone.