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Understanding Automation and Applying It to Your Business

by Nemanja Manojlovic
by Nemanja Manojlovic

Did you know that 40% of productivity is lost to task-switching?

Employees supposedly spend 20% to 40% of their time searching for documents manually. What difference does it make, you ask, if they still manage to finish their tasks and complete their projects on time? Let’s answer this with sales as an example. According to CMO Council, lost productivity and poorly managed leads cost companies at least $1 trillion every year. Not million or billion, but trillion.

Business automation has the power to change all that.

Here’s what it actually implies and how to implement it.

Embracing Business Automation

Business process automation is a “process of managing information, data and processes to reduce costs, resources and investment. BPA increases productivity by automating key business processes through computing technology”. Though somewhat technical and uninspired, the definition says it all.

The benefits of employing a business automation solution range from boosted morale to improved ROI, and are mutually codependent. This means that, by making a single employee more efficient, BPA seamlessly drives change and enables entire organizations to perfect what they already do best.

In the digital era inhabited by artificial intelligence, business automation is merely a small leap into a better, easier and more productive tomorrow. It’s the simplest, yet farthest-reaching solution a company can employ. And thanks to today’s technology, BPA is also effortless to implement and use.

Its main boons are too good to pass on, after all.

  • Managing Processes and Workflows

A typical day in the office requires a set of processes to manage everything from the smallest tasks like answering to emails to the most complex projects that determine the financial future of the entire company. It’s a long chain of commands, initiations and approvals that must be arranged and tracked.

BPA looks at this chain and discovers those elements that would be better done by a computer.

And then, it automates them.

The result is a simplified workflow that saves time, energy and money. Repetitive tasks are put on autopilot, dependencies are made transparent and easily trackable, and employees are empowered to put on their thinking caps and solve problems that hamper the company’s progress, as it should be.

  • Eliminating the Human Error

No human being can crack numbers with the same speed and precision as a machine. Automation may just bring the greatest benefits to administrative and financial tasks, since it eliminates human vulnerabilities and puts an end to discrepancies and bottlenecks. BPA can thus easily save you millions.

  • Reinforcing Collaboration

97% of employees and executives believe that a lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project. This calls for a robust collaboration protocol that centralizes effort by enabling real-time communication. A protocol that replaces lengthy phone calls with only a few digital clicks.

Automation does that as well, simply by introducing a company-wide collaborative platform that all employees can access and use. With no sticky notes or emails to bring confusion to an already confusing workflow, both managers and teams can get things done in a streamlined and efficient way.

  • Knowing Who, What and When

In relation to that, a properly applied business automation solution should provide actionable insight into what’s already finished, what’s currently in progress, and what’s yet to be done. Even better, an automated workflow lets you know who’s in charge of which step of the process and how much time they’ll need for completing the task. It’s what any experienced project manager would call a heaven.

Choosing the Right Tools

That’s only a shortlist of how business automation facilitates and manages daily processes, with more efficiency-related benefits guaranteed for customer acquisition (marketing automation), conversion (sales process automation) and retention (customer support automation). And all that with one tool.

Intelligent automation borrows a systematic approach to deep learning developed for AI solutions, and can be integrated into virtually any business tool that you need. The best business automation software system is not easy to find though, especially if you’re looking for a custom-tailored product.

The rule of thumb is to identify what needs to be automated beforehand, and choose the right solution accordingly. Make a checklist of features, approach a respectable vendor, and insist on ease-of-use, flexibility for integration, scalability, and 24/7 support. Consider WorkFusion as the industry leader.

Applying Business Automation

It’s a thin chance that a reliable BPA tool won’t work in your advantage, but you should establish an adoption period and implementation protocol just in case. Though automation tools are becoming easier and easier to use, dedicating a certain amount of work hours to training won’t do you any harm.

Most importantly, address your employees and explain the benefits of applying a BPA solution. It should be stressed that such software is not there to add workload and make things more difficult, but exactly the opposite. The sooner they embrace it, the sooner their productivity will skyrocket.

And that’s what business automation is all about – making workflows simpler, increasing employee efficiency, and in return getting to reap all the benefits of sustaining a proactive and prolific workforce.

This article was originally published on @nemanjaman