Effective use of Automation in Business
The world in which business is conducted is heavily reliant on technology. This technology has brought additional complexity and process into the workplace. Now what is designed to bring efficiency may inadvertently cost you time.
With every component of business reliant on various forms of data, and that data being stored in a wide variety of applications and databases, it can be a time-consuming process bringing everything together.
Business Process Automation what is it?
Business process automation is the technology-enabled answer to the simplification of business processes.
Practically everything we do within our jobs has a list of steps that must be followed to ensure that tasks are completed accurately. BPA works in the same way. Working from an initial trigger action - be that a prior human interaction, or prescheduled – a series of pre-scripted tasks will then take place, thereby removing the need for a human to work through a long list of tasks.
As technology continues to take a more prominent role in business, utilising the ever-growing list of tools that are available is the logical thing to do.
What are the benefits of automating business processes?
Your routine processes are necessary for the proper function of your company, but they do not create any value for your customers. Manually performing these processes often leads to lost profit. By delegating the mundane tasks to machines, you can increase your profitability spending more time on the activities that add value.
Organisations that rely on automation also see an increase in productivity and efficiency. With machines able to handle multiple tasks at the same time, something that would take a member of your team hours to complete can be done in a matter of minutes, using minimal resources.
Business process automation also saves your employees a great deal of time - allowing them to work smarter, not harder.
By allowing machines to complete the recurrent, rule-based tasks, your staff can focus on work that requires critical thinking, creativity, or the human touch.
Lets have a look at how automation can help improve your workflow in different areas of your business.
Business Process Automation in Sales and Account Management
Data, communication, and administration are vital components to successful sales and account management. But your team have a lot to keep track of, with identifying and engaging new prospects all the while managing the requirements and relationships of your existing client base. It is not within a typical salesperson’s traits to be a slick admin person! Instead they would much rather be spending their time chasing money, rather than the important back office functions.
A recent study found that 22% of an employees time is spent on repetitive tasks. Introducing automation to your sales and account management teams workday will free up time throughout their week with less manual administration.
Here are some ways automation can benefit your sales team:
- Stop writing emails
Your sales team should be speaking with clients at every opportunity – not spending time re-writing the same email! If pre-defined conditions are met, upon updating a field in your CRM you could trigger off sending the right email template depending on the specifics of the inputs from the trigger action.
- Following up
The possibility of forgetting to follow up on something is even greater than normal with our workplace being so different from what we are used to. Using automation, upon sending a quote to a client or prospect, a task can then be created against the opportunity for it to be followed up after a predetermined timeframe.
- Keeping track of customer renewal dates
If you have someone going through your client list once a month and sending them renewal reminders, then their life will be made a lot easier thanks to automation. You could have a prescheduled automation in place which runs every month and either emails you a list of clients who are due a renewal or sends the client a reminder for you, allowing your staff to focus on their day to day activities.
Business Process Automation in your Accounts Team
To say that automation in accounts isn’t a time-saver is a lie! Many invoicing solutions already utilise automation in one way or another – with the most common ways being sending recurring invoices and payment reminders.
Here are some other ways automation can free up time for your accounts team:
Gone are the days where staff have to present paper timesheets to accounts to then have to go through and approve. With automation, your staff can submit a digital timesheet and with predefined triggers in place it can be approved or rejected automatically.
- Manually keying in details from an invoice or receipt
There is nothing more time-consuming than sifting through receipts at the end of the month and manually entering in the details to your accounting software. Using ‘Optical Character Recognition’ (OCR), automated bookkeeping makes it possible to digitise the process by simply taking a photo of your receipts, expenses, and invoices.
Business Process Automation in Customer Service
Becoming one of the most common, and timesaving, uses of automation in customer service, chatbots have come a long way.
By configuring a “customer journey” a chatbot can help with a wide range of customer enquiries automatically, without any human interaction with the visitor. Once the conversation is over, the bot will email you a transcript, and can go as far as creating or updating a client record in your CRM.
Automation can also improve customer service; having a customer’s date of birth, for example can trigger an email to them wishing them a happy birthday and offering discounts.
Many CRM’s nowadays integrate with phone systems. When a customer calls in, their phone number is recognised by the CRM and their details are automatically presented to the person answering the call - saving them the time searching for them, and allowing for more time dealing with the customers query.
Ensuring you get the most from the tools at your disposal
Our team of experts will take the time to get to know you, your team, the way you do business, and your goals and visions for the future. We will work together with you to learn what compliments the way you do business and will ensure that you are constantly up-to-date with the latest tech that is beneficial to you, whilst simultaneously ensuring you stay compliant to regulations at all times. We will help you with your Digital Transformation and educate your team on how to use the new tools at their disposal to their full potential. With our help you can introduce up-to-date tools, remain compliant, and be confident that your team are doing everything they can to aid in both. Don’t hesitate get in contact with us and see how we can help you.