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Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor, and a thriving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.
Today’s business leaders are under constant pressure. No matter which industry you work in, you’ll always be working on new ways to make your business more efficient, profitable, and attractive to customers. Fortunately, technology helps with this.
RPA and business process automation tools are some of the most popular products in the business landscape. According to Deloitte, RPA helps to improve business productivity by up to 86%. Automation also reduces costs by up to 59% and improves compliance by around 92%.
Here are some tips on how you can add the power of automation to your company.
- Identify the Tasks to Automate
The first step in any successful automation plan is figuring out which steps you’re going to automate. Not every task is suitable for completion by a robot or automated system. There are projects in your company that demand a human touch.
However, if you can make repetitive, time-consuming, and monotonous processes automatic, you can reduce operating costs by as much as 90%.
The best tasks to automate are those that require no human creativity. For instance, if you need to send an email every time someone orders from your website, you don’t necessarily need a human to write it. A software tool can respond to purchases on your website and send a message automatically.
Other signs that a process is worthy of automation include:
- It’s time-sensitive
- It’s repetitive and monotonous
- It requires trails for audit or compliance
- Prepare Your Employees
Automating aspects of your business doesn’t mean you should get rid of any human input. The most successful companies often know how to use a combination of robotic processes with human input.
This means that you need to prepare your staff to work alongside the automated systems if you want to generate great results.
Once you’ve figured out which processes you’ll automate, arrange a meeting with the people in your team most likely to feel the impact of these changes. Conduct training to teach them how to use automation capabilities to their advantage. Give them tips on how they can help monitor and maintain automated systems.
If less repetitive tasks in your company mean that employees spend more time on challenging processes, then you may need to offer training here too.
- Choose the Right Tools
Choosing the right tools is an essential part of investing in any new technology. The best automation systems are those that deliver meaningful results for your company.
For instance, an email marketing system that sends messages to your customers based on specific triggers like a purchase or review will save your employees time and help you connect with your audience.
Production is one of the most automated areas with plenty of tools to choose from, like quality management and ticketing services. Using automation in the production landscape can lead to a better quality of products, as well as fewer mistakes and less waste.
When picking your tool, remember:
- It needs to be easy to use and understand
- It should be flexible and scalable to grow with your business
- It must integrate with the existing tech stack
- Set Clear Goals
The only way to know you’re moving in the right direction with your automation efforts is to have clear goals to work towards.
Before you spend too much time and money on any specific software or strategy, ask yourself what confirmation you need that the technology is working for your business. For instance:
- Do you want to make your team more productive? Metrics like the number of products you produce in a day or the number of tasks handled will show if your automation efforts are paying off.
- Do you need to reduce costs? Look at aspects like your cost per acquisition and return on investment from all of your work. How much are you spending on wasted materials and errors now, compared to before?
- Are you trying to make your business safer? Automated practices could mean that your employees can avoid doing monotonous or dangerous tasks.
- Analyze the Results
Finally, gather all the metrics you can about your automation efforts, and use them to decide which parts of your business you need to upgrade, enhance, or change. Your goals will give you an initial insight into where you should be looking for evidence of success.
However, it’s worth examining all of the data you can get your hands on.
The more time you spend measuring your automation campaigns’ results, the easier it will be to see how these strategies are paying off. You might notice positive outcomes that you didn’t expect, such as an increase in talent hiring opportunities.
Many younger professionals love having access to new technology, so you might attract some top talent to your company. Or perhaps you’ll see a greater level of satisfaction among your employees and customers?
Discover the Power of Automation
Automation is a powerful tool for many businesses today. Used correctly, automation empowers your employees to be more productive and efficient while reducing operating costs for your business.
The key to success, like any investment in new technology, is planning the right strategy. Do your research, decide which processes you’re going to automate, and prepare your company to take full advantage of the tools available.