Technology continues to develop and evolve to make processes and tasks more efficient, quicker to complete, and easier to use. One simple technology that is underused, yet implementable in most workspaces, is the automation of manual and repeated tasks.
When polled by Salesforce, leaders in IT noted that automating manual systems saved their employees between 10 and 50% of time previously spent doing these tasks. This, in turn, saved their companies between 10 and 50% of their normal labor costs.
Since your IT strategy supports the overall vision and goals for your business, automating mundane tasks can present an opportunity to enhance workflows, optimize employees productivity, and lower labor costs for your organization.
Incorporating automation into the larger IT strategy for your business opens the door for new possibilities and improvements within your organization.
It can sound like a lot of work to start automating manual tasks and processes. However, automation is far simpler to achieve than many assume, and there are many ways to consider how it could improve your business.
Automation improves the IT strategy for your business processes by:
- Reducing errors
- Speeding up task completion
- Shortening processing time
- Lowering labor costs
- Preventing delays
- Streamlining processes
- Enhancing effectiveness
- Improving employee productivity
- Minimizing repetitive tasks
- Increasing flexibility
The sooner you begin updating processes with automation, the more time and money your business will save, overall. By freeing up your staff from boring tasks a computer can do, you’ll be able to apply their creativity and free thinking to more complex tasks.
By trusting the process of automation, you can begin a long-term transformation for your business. Aligning the IT strategy for your business can form the basis of a strong foundation to support success and longevity.
There are most likely many areas within your business that can be considered good candidates for automation. When analyzing your options, you should choose areas that provide quick fixes for tedious processes while supporting the overall IT strategy for your business. Read on to learn four ways to identify areas, processes, and tasks ripe for automation.
1. Improve Processes Prone to Human Error
2. Reduce Time Consuming Processes
3. Find Small Entry Points for Automation
4. Optimize Workflow
Mistakes happen, but there are processes where mistakes happen more frequently and cause bigger disruptions to your business. Errors can also be quite costly; the Harvard Business Review estimates incorrect data costs US businesses over 3.1 trillion annually.
Start by listing your business processes and discerning which hold the most room for error or would prove to be the most expensive in terms of mistakes. This provides a solid path for the IT strategy of your business to follow.
Manual data entry is a task prone to human error, as the tedium and repetition involved often leads to even the most detail-oriented employees misreading or mistyping data as they get bored and fatigued. As a result, it’s a great place to start automating within your organization.
Many manual data entry tasks involve one employee retyping information into various CRMs. This can easily be replaced by instant and automatic uploads into the systems your business uses. This reduces the possibility for errors while saving your employees time, and your business money.
Automation lends consistency to your work. You will know that you are getting the most accurate information directly from the source, rather than it being passed through multiple hands.
Reducing the amount of time your employees spend on repetitive tasks means saving your business money with less labor costs, or it frees up your employees to use their energy on more complex tasks that automation cannot perform.
You may consider first which processes are the least time-efficient, take up the most employee time, and whether or not they can be automated easily. It will require some creativity and fresh thinking to figure out how to automate many processes, but the ultimate transformation will be worth the effort.
Automation means that you can set up a task or process once, rather than spending the daily time to enter the data manually. While you will still need an employee to set up and monitor the uploads, it will drastically reduce the amount of time spent on repetitive tasks.
Nearly 70% of employees polled by Smartsheet say that automation can greatly reduce time wasted on repetitive work. Computers are so much faster than humans at processing data. With automation handling the banal tasks, your employees can focus on tasks more suitable to human strengths, which improves the vitality of your organization.
Some people within your business may be wary of letting go of certain manual tasks in favor of automation. Identifying quick and easily achievable ways to automate within your business boosts confidence in your employees and leaders about what you can offload and improve through automation.
Procedures your business use for either internal or external processes can be a good place to start considering entry points for automation. Implementing internal processes means you can test them out with your employees before applying them to forward-facing procedures that can affect clients or customers.
Experimenting is essential at this stage. You will quickly learn the tasks that are easy to automate versus those that are complicated. Once you automate a task, apply frequent testing and regular maintenance. Automating small processes can make a monumental impact on your business.
Maintaining flexibility streamlines the process. If you’re constantly considering new ways to improve or readjust your strategy, you’ll be steering your business IT strategy onto a better road to success.
Automating certain steps within workflows prevents bottlenecks throughout the process. This streamlines operations and provides a better experience for employees, customers, and clients.
You may already know of some processes that bog down when an employee is out of the office, overloaded during the busy season, or transitioning into a new role. These are great candidates for automation, as removing the reliance on one person’s time means fewer delays for everyone.
As you develop an IT strategy solution for your business, you’re investing in the future of your organization and its employees. With technological processes that support business objectives, you can align your organization’s daily mission with even the smallest and most mundane of tasks.
At Vudu, we are technology wizards who want to bring IT magic to your business and achieve supernatural results. Do you want to start automating within your business? Tell us more about your goals.