A top priority for many high profile technology firms this year is the automation of software development¹ as a way to stay competitive and continue growing. Mike Manos, CTO at First Data Corp. has said that “to drive and scale this business forward, automation at every level is really key”.
Automation is not solely confined to the software development of technology firms. It offers all business owners the opportunity to create something that the majority wish they had more of…time.
This is especially pertinent for business owners who wish they had more time to spend on their business instead of in it. By spending more time driving your business forward, instead of on time consuming, low value tasks, you increase your chances of success.
In order to spend more time on value adding activities, business owners are now turning more frequently to ‘automation’; typically technology driven automation of those business processes which do not have a direct impact on revenue.
Work on your business, not in it
Businesses have to become more flexible in order to remain competitive. Not only in their business models, but also in their back end processes.
Business process automation, or BPA, can range from something as simple as setting up an auto-responder² on your emails, to more complex systems such as automating your social media presence via programmes like Hootsuite.
Many businesses will use cloud based platforms such as Mailchimp to automate the sending of email newsletters to their wide list of subscribers. Not only does this bring significant efficiency savings to what was once a time consuming process, it also provided subscriber activity reports.
The ability to track email open rates, click through activity and even revenue generated from an email campaign gives the business using these automation tools a distinct advantage over the business that doesn’t; from both a time and information perspective.
Information is an important commodity for any business to have access to, and with online CRM systems such as Salesforce, businesses have access to a plethora of valuable information about their clients, at their fingertips.
The beauty of these systems is the automatic collation of data; giving business owners more time to act on the information, which is where the real value is generated.
Such activities, especially social media automation, have their critics; some feel that automating in this way makes the business appear less genuine.
One thing that cannot be disputed however, is that when automating a number of your business processes to give you more time to spend on business planning and strategy, the benefits can far outweigh the costs.
Below we share three reasons why the automation of business processes is a good thing for ambitious SMEs to explore.
Three reasons to automate
- Cost. The automating of a process may bring with it an up-front cost. It should however result in savings in the longer term. Automatic reminders sent to clients prior to their appointment can move employees away from this task to other things. One popular automated process is the email newsletter, which allows your brand to make a regular appearance in front of clients and prospects, without the cost attributed to sending a sales manager out into the field.
- Insight. Automation, being technology driven brings with it data. Data, for many companies looking to grow, is power. Insights into emails read, appointment cancellations or click through rates on social media posts can allow you to continually improve your approach, and with it your chances of success.
- Time. The main driver for process automation is to improve efficiency, and with improved efficiency should come more time. More time for employees to spend on value adding activities. More time for business owners to spend on driving the business forward.
More time for adding value and driving the business forward can only be a good thing, and business process automation should therefore be something to give serious consideration to.
To find out how your business could benefit from automating some of your processes, or to talk about any of the topics covered above, please contact us through the Tectona website or call Mark Nicholls on 07818 407061.