As a small to medium-sized business owner, you’ve no doubt heard about the concept of automating your business processes to help you and your team save time and get more done.
Automation promises to speed up routine and repetitive tasks in seconds, completing them on your behalf.
Of course, while this sounds great, the reality is that automation is typically very expensive to set up and manage. Purchasing the licences required for automation can cost tens of thousands of dollars – and that only gets you the technology, meaning you still need to pay extra for the actual services that create and manage the automation processes for your business.
While most large companies and corporations have the finances and resources available to afford these licenced automation solutions, many SMBs do not, leaving you and your team stuck performing the same time-sucking and mundane tasks day in and day out.
However, with the rise of on-demand automation subscription services, it’s now much easier for SMBs like yours to access the power of automation in your business without outlaying huge amounts of money or installing additional technology and staff in-house.
Today, we’re going to discuss the benefits of automation and outline exactly what it can do to help businesses like yours.
What is automation in business?
Every process in your business is made up of a series of tasks that must be completed each day, week or month as part of your overall operations.
From data entry and spreadsheets, to collecting data, classifying contacts, searching for profiles online, organising projects, processing payments and so on – they all need to be done.
Essential as they are, many of these tasks are often repetitive and low-value, taking up large chunks of the day – yet getting them done is necessary to complete the higher-value tasks.
However, by using the right automation platforms, these low-value tasks and processes can instead be performed by a pre-programmed bot to help save your business precious time and resources, allowing your team to focus on the more important tasks that directly affect your bottom line.
Why should all businesses consider automation?
While many businesses look to hire more staff or invest in extra resources to cover their growing workload, automation instead helps to decrease workload and enable staff to do more in the time they have.
At its most basic level, automation helps your business “buy back time”.
Consider the following CiGen client case study:
An Australian FMCG food company was struggling to process their delivery confirmations in their system. It became so bad that there was an 8-week backlog and a staff member ready to quit.
After seeking the help of our on-demand automation service, the 8-week backlog was cleared in just two days – yes TWO days. Furthermore, as new delivery confirmations came in, the automated solution processed them in a matter of minutes, leaving the relieved staff member able to focus on the role she was originally hired to do.
In this case, automation resulted in a 95% reduction in delivery confirmation processing times – with zero errors to date.
It’s examples like this that highlight the true power of business automation for your organisation, and its ability to both eliminate the pain points and unblock the bottlenecks in your everyday operations.
How does business automation work?
Business automation is not about leaving every single process up to a robot to complete. It’s about finding the tasks that take up the most time in each day, week or month to determine which ones can be automated to make your business more efficient.
Imagine shedding all of the routine, mundane and most gruelling tasks you and your team do every day. It’s possible with automation.
To determine which business tasks to automate, you should ask three questions:
- Can we automate it?
- Do we need to automate it? OR Is it worth automating?
- Is there a different task that can be automated to make this task easier?
Once each task has been selected for automation, your automation service provider can begin to develop the automated processes necessary and then test them rigorously before implementing them into your systems.
Some automated processes may still require human input, depending on the nature of the tasks, however the time it takes for your staff to finalise each job will still be significantly quicker.
Most automated processes will run overnight or in the background of your system, meaning you will hardly even notice each process running until you’re notified that it’s complete.
What are the benefits and ROI of business automation?
While we have already mentioned the immense time-saving benefits that automation can bring to your business, there are several other advantages you’ll also experience as well, including:
- Increased staff happiness
- Greater capacity for staff to do more
- Reduced fatigue
- Reduced inattention
- Reduced errors caused by boredom
- Improved efficiency
- Improved accuracy
- Reduced need for revisions
Most businesses that invest in on-demand automation also see a financial return on investment within a matter of weeks or months, making automating their business one of the smartest decisions they’ve ever made.
CiGen are the experts in on-demand business automation solutions
Here at CiGen, we provide an affordable automation service to small and medium-sized businesses through our CiGen On Demand subscription solution, making it easy for your business to harness the true power of automation and buy back your valuable time.
Keep an eye out for our next blog where we outline exactly what you can automate in your business.