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In a previous post, I discussed the top improvements that automation will have on your business. If you haven’t read that one, take a quick look. As you can see by that article, there are a number of advantages to business automation. However, before you can begin to take the steps to automate certain aspects of your business there are a couple of things to consider and I’ll go into those today.
First, think about what specific areas of your business will stand to benefit the most from being automated. For example, is there a process that tends to be highly paper intensive? Excessive paper always means that a process can be made leaner or more efficient by automating the process it is associated with. Look for the piles of paper within your business and you’ll discover a process that is begging to be automated.
Similarly, is there a process where excessive amounts of time gets wasted because specific documents, or critical emails are missing? Automating that process will ensure that those documents and materials are available when and where your employees need them. This, in turn, reduces bottlenecks in the production process and the delays that are associated with it.
Are there areas within your business that duplicate data? An excellent example of this usually occurs with customer contact lists. One department uses the list for one purpose, yet another department uses the list for an entirely different purpose. However, each department probably manually enters and updates contact information separately and manually. This is an unnecessary duplication of data and efforts. Centrally automating data eliminates the wasted time and energy that comes from the duplication of the data.
Oftentimes, a project will get blocked or hung up because someone failed to get a notification or email to proceed with their part of the project. Then, when that failure is finally noticed and rectified, everyone else associated with the project waits while the original person catches up. Once again, the result of all this confusion is an inefficient waste of time and energy. If you find that this happens within your business on a fairly regular basis, automating project management is the solution.
A final consideration prior to automating revolves around routine tasks. The day to day things that every business must do to function can also be a micromanagement time suck. You and everyone else associated with your business can fall into the trap of keeping busy with these mundane tasks at the expense of producing a working output. It is precisely these type of tasks that lend themselves best to business automation.
In the end, the benefits of business automation cannot be underestimated. Smart business owners, department directors and managers understand that they need to make a renewed commitment to automation and lay a concrete foundation towards achieving that end. These efforts will help that foundation remain relevant in today’s highly turbulent business atmosphere.
I hope you take these consideration items to heart. Soon, I’ll go into the specific areas in your business that can be quickly and easily automated.