Business automation is taking the world by storm. The dawn of impressive automation is extending industry capabilities to deliver true customer value at scale. You no longer have to be an enterprise organization to adopt a digital strategy for automation.
The affordability and ease of implementation are making the 4th industrial revolution evolve at lightning speeds.
Now we know that technology is available, affordable and easy to use, right?
The first two points, yes, the second one, not so much.
Easy to use highly depends on what and how you automate. To help avoid pitfalls, I can only hope that the prescribed playbook will guide you into creating your first automation.
I want to take two approaches to business automation. One, let’s look at the strategic aspect of business automation. Two, let’s focus on tactics that one should use to identify and implement key automation initiatives and ultimately answer: how to automate your business
Strategic Business Automation
Business automation as a whole should align with your overarching business strategy.
Are you trying to become a major player in a particular industry?
Or are you the originator of a product or service and want to capture market share at scale?
If growth is your plan then you need to automate.
With growth comes talent acquisition and the talent pool today is hard to get a grip on. So instead of fighting the retention metric, understand exactly what each individual does and seek out the tasks that can be automated by technology.
Highly repetitive and manual work is not for the new human.
Now, we’re not saying let’s terminate people and use robots everywhere. It’s more about imagining that work can be done differently.
Let’s say you need to hire 15 people and after an “automation” analysis you find that between the 15 people you can automate approx 6000 hrs (3 labour years).
After this, you redefine the roles and responsibilities of each team member which now makes them high-value resources.
Does that make sense?
Automate the manual repetitive tasks and elevate the team to new redefined high-impact roles.
Now imagine what automation can do for your customer:
“What is the status of our project ?”
“Why didn’t we know that the schedule is running late ?”
“Where is my stuff ?”
The Amazon Experience is creating a whole new benchmark for customer satisfaction. It doesn’t matter if you’re buying a car or a last minute gift, customers want a centralized and hi-touch buying experience and automation allows for it.
Take for example a simple weekly update report for your client, it takes time to create it, approve it and then provide it to the customer. I bet most times that when we deliver the reports, we second guess the validity of the information within it. Automation will bridge the communication gap and increase the quality of the deliverable.
If your customer has trustworthy and real-time information, they won’t shop anywhere else.
Tactical: How To Automate Your Business
Now let’s get tactical. Not sure where exactly to start or what technologies to utilize, Think about individual manual efforts that take place and how often they happen. You want to focus on the highly repetitive tasks from data entry to creating a financial report or presentation. When you think about it, there is a common thread in everything we do – we move raw data and information from one spot to another.
Zoom out for a second and imagine that you have a virtual assistant beside you and you can ask this assistant to do the most mundane of tasks. Does your list look anything like this:
- Budget approvals
- Onboarding new employees
- Providing weekly status updates on projects
- Rolling up commentary on financial discrepancies
- Opening an email and validating a PDF file
- Exporting an excel document and then creating a presentation on the data
- Moving data from one system to another
- Answering several emails from clients because they don’t have visibility
- Department status meetings
- COVID-19 response and control
These are some examples of manual effort that is ideal for automation.
The next tactical move is what technology do you use?
First piece of advice is to standardize as much as you can across the board. Since the market is flooded with applications that solve every problem it makes it easy to buy single point solutions. A solution that solves one problem and before you know you have over 50 solutions running in the business.
This lends itself to creating digital silos.
Great, so we’ve knocked the current communication silos down and built new ones!! Each and every department is now operating with different technology and once again, no one understands each other.
The goal here is to simplify, standardize how you automate and get everyone in the organization speaking the same digital language.
Business Automation Tools
Here are our two recommended technologies that stand out in Industry, Smartsheet, a workplace collaboration tool and Robotic process automation (RPA) by UiPath.
Smartsheet focuses on keeping team members connected and informed in a real-time environment. Information is gathered and displayed in a way that it tells a story and it allows you to execute work proactively and in real-time.
RPA is another technology that is on fire right now. It allows you to automate rule-based and highly repetitive tasks in addition to connecting all your data systems in a truly collaborative environment. Where people and technology are connected.
If you focus on collaboration and task automation as a whole, consider yourself on the right path and don’t let the past determine your future.
Contact DDB Consultants For Your Digital Transformation
If you’re ready to increase your market share, improve efficiencies and move toward lean manufacturing, you should enlist the help of passionate and experienced digital transformation professionals – contact us today to learn how we can help.