Every enterprise needs to establish an excellent business process that will keep them running and place them ahead of their competitors. One of the most significant ways to do this is by applying data science in automating business processes, leading to the optimization of workflow and, consequently, the generation of higher profits.
Automation refers to the application of technology in the performance of tasks or processes where manual efforts can afford to be replaced, so your staff can focus their talents to more important tasks, because despite the numerous benefits that automating a business may bring, some processes will always require the skills and experience of humans.
Tasks commonly automated processes in present-day businesses, which are generally high-volume ones, those with a time-sensitive nature, and those requiring multiple personnel in their execution.
Processing purchase orders
Sorting and processing purchase orders are recurring tasks in most businesses, which can be very tasking. Automating this process saves time and reduces errors, which could easily be recorded during the delivery of products and services processed manually.
Emails and push notifications
Automating emails in your organization makes it easier to process and share files faster and more efficiently. Scheduled reports can also be emailed to stakeholders to keep them informed of any updates as at when due.
Updating applications that are useful for the analysis and storage of data, such as spreadsheets, require many manual efforts and can be exhausting and confusing for employees to handle without extensive training or experience. Automating this process ensures prompt delivery and greater accuracy in record keeping.
Between collecting relevant documents, recording individual information, and adequately considering recruitment criteria, hiring employees in an organization involves a lot of tedious paperwork. Applying automation here ensures you are filling vacant positions in your company with the most qualified candidates.
Others applications of automation include:
- Product launches.
- Reconciling accounts.
- File backup.
Why should you automate your business?
As already noted, automation can be used in many business contexts; click here to find out more information. In each one, here are some of the advantages that it brings:
In an ever-changing world, thanks to technology, more businesses are becoming digital. This means that sticking with the mundane/manual way of running your organization can put you at a competitive disadvantage. On the other hand, automating your business processes can bring you on the digital transformation path, which is necessary to increase efficiency, minimize costs, and boost sales.
Customer satisfaction is key to long-term profitability in businesses. Statistics show that 51% of customers will not repeat business with a company after a bad service experience.
To record higher numbers of satisfied customers, an excellent business process has to be established. Generally, automated systems ensure quality service, which leads to happy customers and repeat business. Repeat businesses would often translate to recommendations and referrals, which are hallmarks of successful enterprises.
Automated phone lines allow businesses to cater to a huge customer base (by taking down messages for inquiries, accepting payments, or providing customers with necessary information), leaving them satisfied at the end of the day.
Standard and Consistent Results
While manual processing may sometimes result in slight variations in the quality of services offered, automating most often involves delivering standard, consistent, and punctual results. Here, all actions are performed identically and allows no room for errors. This makes you reliable to your customers, thus generating higher levels of loyalty and profits.
The use of automation in business encourages transparency and enables several processes to be monitored at a go-a very useful feature in planning and meeting up with deadlines. Monitoring these processes also means that errors can be tracked and corrected while they are still running, leading to increased accountability. In addition to this, the transparency offered encourages the generation of reports when needed, reports of completed processes, those in progress, and those tasks that are still incoming.
Aids Collaboration Between Teams
In situations where one team receives insight into what might help another team, an inability to connect physically may make sharing information difficult. Automated systems, however, make provision for the sharing of automated alerts between teams, increasing the teams’ efficiency.
Automated tasks offer all the employees a visible and centralized view of the workflow’s progress, reducing the need for phone calls between departments to monitor progress. The latter, in which case, information is at risk of being lost in translation. All workers also have access to individual reports and can therefore work independently of one another.
An automated system ensures that all recurring tasks are handled automatically, giving room for appropriate workers’ allocation to more complex tasks that require human tact, effort, and are more valuable to the company.
Time equals money, especially in business. It is not smart for your staff to spend countless hours performing redundant tasks that could very easily be automated. Not only is time being wasted on these tasks, your staff are being overworked and demoralized. Utilizing automation with these recurring tasks frees up time for more important jobs, leading to more revenue generation.
Reduction in Operating Costs
Having an automated system allows things to not only be done faster but cheaper.
Computers can analyze astonishing amounts of data, reducing the administrative costs involved in employing multiple personnel to handle such tasks. An automated system also eliminates the costs associated with human errors, such as delayed approvals and late payments.
Manual execution of commands is prone to human error. Still, automation allows for several complex decisions to be arrived at within a short period, with a level of precision not attainable to human beings.
An automated system reduces the amount of time required to complete a task, resulting in higher productivity rates for routine tasks. It also affords employees time for more creative tasks making them happier and more productive.
Informed Decision Making
Automating business processes protect your business from bad decisions taken by employees” from-the gut”, replacing them with informed decisions based on the execution of correct instructions and actions that have already been built into the system.
Data analytics is an effective strategy in the study of customer behavior. Keeping records of customers-both past and present enables you to understand their preferences to serve them better in the future. Also, integrating these analytics shows those campaigns that yield the best results.
Preservation of Employees
Manual processes can lead to physical and mental fatigue of employees. On the other hand, automation relieves them from performing laborious work and allows them to focus on learning new skills involved in the human-machine interface. This is capable of boosting their confidence and motivation.
Disadvantages of Automation in Business.
Despite the numerous benefits featured above, critics have argued against the need to adopt automation as a strategy for business optimization.
Topping the list of reasons for their reasons is the fear that industrial technology’s introduction will lead to a loss of jobs for many people. While this may be true, it is not always obtainable. In recent times, it has been recorded that companies who automate their processes expand their capacity to generate even more jobs. This results from an increase in efficiency, making them capable of handling more projects and serving more customers.
The high capital of expenditure involved in employing automatic solutions to the challenges that face several businesses is another reason for critics’ hesitance in adopting it. However, they often fail to realize that when weighed against the benefits that result from automating businesses-in terms of productivity and the reduction of costs, the initial investment will prove worthy.
Amongst their argument is the suggestion that automation leads to a loss of flexibility in workflow. Truly, automated systems by virtue of their programming may be difficult to tweak when a little deviation is necessary to meet with product specifications.
A good way to counteract this is by thinking long-term to develop an intelligent choice of automation product that offers room for future changes and versatility.
Another disadvantage of an automated system is the number of security risks involved in their management-the greatest of them being hacking. Whether through the use of on-off signals, or high-level algorithms, automation makes your work easier and faster. Unfortunately, it can also do the same for a hacker. Security measures such as firewalls and backup storage help to keep this risk in check.
Lastly, there have been claims that working with computers can be isolating and depressing because the work environment does not support social interactions or the occasionally needed collaboration between employees that serve to motivate them to work. Fortunately, a thoughtful combination of automation and humans can help solve this problem. This entails the use of automation only when necessary to maintain a perfect
balance in the work environment.
This way, companies would leverage both digital and human capabilities, placing them well above their competitors in the field.