Automation can save your business time and money by removing repetitive tasks from your employees’ daily responsibilities. With staff free to focus on more complex, creative, and strategic tasks, productivity and job satisfaction can increase. Applications that automate some of your existing processes will collect and analyze data from internal and external sources. You can identify problems better, reduce errors, and pinpoint expansion opportunities.
Even though tools and apps can usher in these benefits and more, it doesn’t mean you should automate everything. By examining your company’s existing processes and workflows, you can select the areas that need automation the most.
Why Should You Introduce The Automate system?
Start by looking for large numbers of recurring, repetitive tasks or processes that take too long and cause other departments to fall behind. Alternatively, you can target smaller tasks and processes that involve a large number of employees in your business. Or you might identify places where you need better data and compliance with regulations or internal policies.
Although each business will have different needs and goals, general functions can almost always benefit from an automation system.
3 Areas In Your Business Require Automation System
Automation can increase efficiency and reduce costs if your company is a well-established enterprise or just getting off the ground.
Here are three areas where your business can gain value from automation.
1. Employee Payments and Reimbursements
From biweekly payroll to monthly expense reports, you can automate many of the processes associated with employee payments. Global payroll solutions can help large enterprises manage payments, payroll tax compliance, and benefits for employees across multiple international locations.
If your company relies on independent contractors around the world, these types of apps can handle it. You’ll also stay in compliance with various worker classification laws.
Recent international court battles about how ride-share companies classify drivers highlight this issue. Labor laws in one country may necessitate the classification of some roles as employees. Laws in other locations could permit those same roles to be filled by workers classified as contractors.
- Here are some advantages of using the automatic payment system.
- Having an automated solution by your side to keep track of such nuances will help you avoid fines and legal fees.
- Beyond compliance with international labor laws, payroll solutions can automate tax and benefit withholdings, individual pay rates, and direct deposits.
- One-time and fluctuating payments from bonuses and commissions are easy additions to make. Such systems will reduce payroll errors, thereby enhancing employee trust.
- Setting up self-service portals that let employees create and track reimbursable expenses is an additional way to embrace automation. Workers can fill out digital expense reports, attach appropriate receipts, and send copies to managers and finance for approval.
- Your staff can see the progress of their expense reports and know whom to follow up with if there’s a delay. Expense report apps can also sync with payroll so that approved expenses get added to paychecks.
2. Communication With Leads and Customers
Sales and marketing are two areas that will probably never be fully automated. However, there are plenty of tasks within those functions that can be. Routine communications and outreach efforts are areas you can start with.
When someone fills out a form or indicates an interest in your company, a welcome email can be sent. The email can confirm that their contact information has been received and set the stage for future communications.
A similar process can occur when a potential lead wants more details on your company’s products or services. The person’s contact info can automatically go to an assigned sales rep. A follow-up email can be sent to the lead confirming someone will be in touch.
Here are some advantages of using the automatic communication system.
- Creating standard templates cuts down on the time it takes for employees to compose and send messages manually. Automating routine communications also eliminates the possibility that someone will forget to hit send. You can make follow-up and standard communications more timely, capturing the attention of leads and customers.
- You’ll reduce discrepancies in customers’ and leads’ experiences with your company and better manage your brand identity.
- Other marketing communications tasks to automate include publishing blog posts, retargeting ads, and creating some social media posts. While the use of AI to write blog posts is still in its infancy, automation can help publish content.
- A social media manager or digital marketing specialist won’t have to remember to complete this task on a CRM platform. They can schedule various content to publish according to a predetermined schedule, syncing it with your social media pages.
- Your business can also retarget customers and leads through emails and social media ads using automation. When someone abandons a cart on your website, emails can go out to encourage them to complete their purchase.
- If prospects don’t open the first promotional email they receive, a second email can go out with a different message. The gist of the promotion stays the same, but maybe there’s a new angle they’ll respond to.
3. Software Updates And Routine IT Tasks
How many calls to your internal service desk could you eliminate if you automated standard software updates? Or if you let employees manage and change their own passwords? Even though you might not be able to operate without some IT staff, automation can make their jobs easier.
Are there sets of programs that nearly every employee uses that require frequent updates? While it’s common practice for updates to require a user with administrator privileges to install them, automation tools can substitute. With solutions like Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager, employees can be notified when updates are available and run them themselves.
Here are some advantages of using the automatic software update in your business.
- Automation tools are useful for alerting your IT staff about problems with updates on certain systems. They can see which devices aren’t registering on your network and where routine updates are failing. With this identification, IT can focus on repairing the devices that need attention and locate potential workflow or software errors.
- Self-service password tools can let workers reset passwords if they get locked out. You can also integrate single sign-on (SSO) features and password managers that automatically generate authentication codes for online applications.
- All of these tools reduce your staff’s dependency on IT for everyday support needs. Your employees may need to go through some training to make this level of automation possible. However, it will let technology workers concentrate on areas requiring more advanced expertise.
- Selecting areas of your business to automate begins with an analysis of which tasks and processes are most repetitive. Asking employees what they dislike about their jobs and which responsibilities they find unfulfilling will supplement your data.
Your business will have unique needs and objectives for automation. Consider these as you begin with the low-hanging fruit on your list and make some quick gains. Retargeting can re-engage inactive customers and focus on those that engage but don’t convert.
You can go further and automate social media replies to common questions with chatbots that rely on machine learning algorithms. An automatic system not only shortens your workload but the business running costs are also minimized.