14 Feb The Different Ways to Automate Your Business Processes
In the previous article we explored why you may want to automate your business processes and some of the different areas in your organization that automation can help you with, concluding that automation of any kind is a positive for every organization no matter their size. In this article we will explore the different ways you can automate your business.
However you choose to use BPA, here are some of the best ways to make it work for you:
There are many tools available to automate business processes. Generally, they are categorized by the purpose of the process they are intended to automate – different methods require varying levels of coding skill to make them possible. Most companies should ideally look for tools that don’t require particularly high coding prowess. The interface should be usable by those with little to no tech knowledge, and you must be sure that processes are completely transparent, to the point that your team can dictate how the system is going to accomplish the task they asked it to.
Create processes/find repetition
Small businesses often don’t know where to start when it comes to irradicating repetition and adopting a more streamlined work process. We can help with this. The best place to start is always by switching to commercial software because it has optimized processes which are pre-automated for you to use at your whim.
Why build something from scratch when that thing you want already exists? Popular software offers the processes you and your team need – processes that have been honed by experts through decades of experience – plus they are often conveniently available in a SaaS model.
Streamline communication and task management
Automation has the power to eliminate duplication of effort amongst your team, especially with that team now likely operating from multiple locations. As we have already explored, automation is all about offloading, so it is essential to get those time-consuming and repetitive tasks off of your back and place their burden on technology as soon as possible.
For example, an organization goes through a period of unprecedented growth, their socials are very popular, and a constant stream of messages is coming in throughout the day and night – that’s a good thing, right? Of course it is! Your business is attracting new clients at a good rate. You can’t complain, but it has forced you to put one of your skilled members of the team on your social media channel – meaning their skills are being wasted on the mundane. Automation allows you to create a flow that – between the agreed hours – will automatically follow and reply to the interested party, saving your team valuable time.
Make document sharing easier
Documents being easily shareable is essential in modern business. BPA can automatically retrieve documents from the depths of your system, or data from specific fields in documents, and share it on other applications or with team members. The time saved here can be used for more productive matters, and that’s without mentioning its assistance in ensuring you remain compliant – automation prevents errors and oversights of key rules and regulations in documents.
Integrate apps and devices
Data can easily be synced across devices with automation. By working in this way you can be sure that you are always looking at the most recent version of any piece of information, whilst it still being easily accessible to the relevant people. For example, your email provider links the email on your work device to your tablet and phone. It is often the case that, by syncing and integrating different parts of your business together, you will highlight some points of repetition in your business processes that you can eliminate.
A company with the opportunity to manage all correspondence and schedule automated responses to things such as marketing emails, invoices and service inquiries will earn a positive reputation for themselves in regard to the service they provide.
Set automation targets
Like anything new in business, it is best to have a plan. A BPA plan will ensure that you don’t overlook a process that could be automated and avoid your diving in head first without sufficient forethought (which could create gaps or overlaps in automation throughout your business).
Again, like any other part of your organization, start by automating the easiest processes first – or, if you prefer, start with the particular processes that frustrate you the most, and gradually climb the ladder by reviewing each business process for its potentially autonomous future.
Automation has the power to revolutionize your organization, so take some time to learn about it and then involve an IT professional to assist you in implementation.
Founded in 1984, Horizon started off as a custom software company doing work for Snap-on Tools. We rapidly added helpdesk and network support to the business and have continued expanding our capabilities ever since – all while also successfully transitioning to a second generation of owners.
Our team has over a hundred years of combined experience in virtually every field of IT. We are trusted by clients of every size, from ‘mom ‘n’ pop’ local businesses all the way to multinational corporations who have heavy security and inter-connectivity requirements. Our employees deliver a truly customer-focused direction in everything we do.
After more than thirty years in business, Horizon continues to grow both our client base and our knowledge. We look forward to working with you to help your business enjoy that same success. Contact us now and see what we can do for you.