Automation in today’s world is one of the most innovative solutions for businesses as robotics and other advanced technologies become increasingly accessible for many companies to consider integrating into their business processes.
Automation technology is not only limited to specific industries such as manufacturing but also covers important areas of healthcare, finance, tech, and even the service industry.
New terms are constantly being coined for this type of adoption of automation, such as the branding of “smart manufacturing” for manufacturers that have highly integrated automation in their workflow productions.
Manufacturers of all kinds have been involved in this trend with complicated products such as computers, aeronautic parts, and electronics all the way down to the simple goods such as those of kid masks, pencils, and paper have all seen their fair share of being drastically automated production lines.
Business process automation also has made its way to eCommerce industries and has been one of the most cost-saving solutions for many online stores and marketplaces, particularly through email marketing, cart shopping, and even transactions.
As technology evolves, more and more potential for business processes being automated is being realized, and with the onset of this trend, it’s still a bit hard for some to grasp which processes they should automate that would be most cost-efficient.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at just that.
8 Business Processes Your Business Should Automate
Automate Your Email Marketing System
Email is one of the lifelines of a modern business simply because it is one of the most widely used forms of communication in today’s world and is continuously growing around 2023. There are expected to be approximately 4.3 billion users involved in the email system.
Automating an email marketing system is a step towards a successful email marketing campaign simply because of its benefits. From having automation consistently and accurately send emails at pinpoint schedule timelines while also reducing workforce strains, it’s a no-brainer for many businesses to automate their email systems.
Take in the case of cart abandonment emails for eCommerce businesses. Having an automated email immediately sent out each time a user leaves their items on their cart and forgets to checkout is a feat that would take so much effort if done by staff.
However, with automation, that task is seemingly a function that no longer has to be a problem in draining resources simply because software and technology will do all the much-needed scheduling and sending for you.
Inbound Leads Assignment
Another business process that should be automated is leads calling. Sales calls are a vital part of attaining customers for your business, and oftentimes, the number of calls correlates to your business’s success.
Sales calling is still an essential part of modern business, and with automation, it becomes all the more significant. Quality conversations with contacts are an important part of the process, but it’s hard to balance between quality, quantity, and practicality.
Balancing your available manpower to the length and quality of conversations of each call is a tricky situation, but there are still ways that this process can be optimized.
An example of this optimization through automation is by a technology called predictive dialers.
This system saves callers large amounts of time by automatically assigning and placing phone calls already even before the assigned agent is available.
This system allows each agent to instantly communicate with their leads and provide important minutes or seconds to the conversation quality. Optimizing the balance of quality, quantity, and practicality can lead to significant results that can improve the success of your calling strategies.
Business Expense Tracking
Tracking business expenses has long been one of the pillars of financial security for any business looking to be successful in the long run. You probably have heard of large firms or small companies investing resources into accounting departments and talent, which is entirely a good decision to make.
However, it comes with a lot of costs as well. Setting everything up, recruitment, workspace, and everything else that comes with creating an accounting department is a significant drain on finances itself.
With the rise of automation, cloud accounting services have become an option for many small or medium-sized businesses to take as expense tracking. Even general accounting from these services is relatively more accessible compared to starting from the ground up.
Individual business owners are even using these services to track their business expenses. You don’t necessarily have to be an accountant to track your finances, as automation also lowers the skill floor needed since the platform is already there.
Expense tracking and accounting are business processes that are both vital and draining for companies, but with the introduction of automation, you can enjoy the benefits of this process without needing to pull resources out of your other projects.
New Hire Training & Onboarding
Training and onboarding are probably two business processes that you won’t imagine being on the list, but it actually is. Recruitment is a resource-intensive process as searching, screening, and getting new hires up to speed to start working and being ingrained in the company culture can be challenging and lengthy.
This can eat up necessary time not only for the new hires but also for other employees as well as they have to show them the ropes of how work is done. However, that process can also be shortened and further improved.
Nowadays, you have HR management services that can provide you with a platform to train and monitor employees easily. Creating a workflow, providing manuals, videos, and FAQs are great ways to automate an onboarding procedure without having the need to invest a lot of resources.
What’s even great about automation of training and onboarding is that it can be used on multiple employees. Once you have the system set up, just give initial instructions, and everything else will follow. Plus, if they have any questions, they can go back to the training material to review.
Employee Leave Approval Process
This one is closely related to the previous business process, which pretty much revolves around employees. Companies that provide or are required to provide leaves to their employees typically have to deal with extra paperwork. surrounding this request.
It’s a seemingly small and easy thing to do, but it can even take some time, depending on how the process is done. Rescheduling shifts, taking into account the circumstances of the situation, and available staffing are all things that have to be checked out to see if an employee taking their leave will be suitable and convenient for everyone involved.
That’s a lot of work to do just for someone to take a vacation. Luckily, automation can also skip this step and make an employee leave approval process done with just a simple click.
Modern HR application services allow businesses to see which employees are on leave, who are currently at the office for work, sick or unavailable employees, and many more.
This ultimately speeds up the process of determining whether a leave should be approved or not, as the required information for the decision to be made is already there.
Automation can save time not only for management but also for the employees asking for a vacation as well since there wouldn’t be the need for emails and memos to go back and forth.
Use Customer Support Bots
Relationships with customers matter, and businesses know that it’s the reason why customer support exists and is probably one of the best ways to retain existing clients. However, customer support is also not that easy to do right and certainly not cheap as well.
But with automation on hand, this process of customer support can be optimized further for efficiency on quality of communication between the customers and the company as well as the costs of running a customer support operation.
AI Chatbots are an automation technology that businesses have been ramping up web developers to introduce on their own sites as these chatbots can also offer support for customers with their questions or needs.
The same can be said for customer support agents; AI chatbots can also redirect these customers to the proper channels and instantly send them to the appropriate agents for further communication on their issues. This saves not only time but also important manpower that can be redirected to somewhere else.
Innovate Through Spreadsheet Automation
Another area where automation can significantly expand and support businesses is spreadsheet automation. For this situation, let’s use the healthcare industry as an example.
Specifically, these two companies – InfiniteRecovery and VSM Detox Austin.
Both are rehabilitation centers that cater to patients with addiction.
You can now imagine how important record-keeping is for companies such as these in the healthcare industry. Large amounts of data regarding patient records and their histories are constantly piling up, and each of these data can be a critical piece for each patient.
Spreadsheet automation ensures businesses won’t be overloaded even with the amount of data they have on their hands. This is also coupled with the fact that most of these tasks are often repetitive, which can quickly be done by automation.
Not only does spreadsheet automation decrease the demand for manpower and lessen the chances of human error happening. Spreadsheet automation can also provide two things for companies regarding their data, consistency and sustainability. Both are hard to achieve with human talent, especially on repeating tasks.
Spreadsheet automation allows work to go on even without personnel supervision, making it a reliable alternative for businesses to take. Standardizing the process through automation also makes it a lot easier to report and visualize the data.
Social Media Marketing Management
Lastly, social media management is another business process that can and should be automated already. Marketing strategies benefit from consistency and accurate scheduling, which can be easily addressed by automation.
Just like how email marketing automation can benefit from pinpoint accuracy on scheduling and sending emails, the same can be said for posting content on social media or video sharing platforms.
The time marketers spend on getting content ready to be posted can instead be put into creating more content or further improving them.
It’s just like how you buy camera stabilizers to improve video production further and also provide convenience, automation for social media marketing is just like that. It is a software that provides a much easier time for marketers to schedule and post their content as well as planning marketing strategies even further on the timeline.
Let’s say you have created content to sell your Valentine’s Day lingerie costumes and have readied your posters, videos, and showcases. However, with the amount of content you’ve made and the platforms you are gunning to post, it’s hard to track them all simultaneously.
With social media marketing automation, you’ll be able to track each individual post on their scheduling and metrics without having to spend so much time and resources on doing all of these things yourself, saving you precious time to focus on other items that matter.
3 Benefits of Automating Your Business Processes
We’ve talked about the business processes that you should automate, but it’s also essential to know the reasons why automating these business processes is well worth it.
It was already mentioned before as to how good they are with manpower issues and whatnot, but it’s still best to go deeper into it.
The trend of adopting automation technologies for business processes is still increasing up to this day as a recent global survey shows that around 31% of businesses have already fully automated at least one significant function of their business process.
Here are 3 reasons why you should consider automation of your business processes.
Reduces Strain on Manpower
It goes without saying that automation lessens the work that your employees have to do or provides convenience and efficiency to the work that they do. Automation offers businesses a higher chance of retaining talent rather than risking burning them out with repetitive tasks.
This ensures that your talent is used on matters that they are most suited for and can also provide you better flexibility in distributing your resources into areas where you need them the most. Plus, employees stuck on repetitive tasks aren’t learning and growing.
Businesses often always try to find ways to maximize their operations, some say to outsource staffing from companies like Aloa, but in truth, it’s always better to just automate tasks and make them more convenient for your existing employees to do.
Less manpower is equal to fewer expenses. Sure, starting off with the automation process always needs an initial cost to start operating, plus the software that you will be buying for automation will also be something to keep in mind, but the benefits of automation go by in the long run.
The fact that automation reduces the chances of human error, provides convenience for tasks, retains talent, and makes everything much more optimized and efficient is a no-brainer in terms of cost reduction.
Business automation is akin to investing in a tool for the long run, and each instrument that you purchase makes tasks a lot more forgiving to do and provides results that are of higher quality.
In manufacturing, streamlining means making sure that everything has fewer delays and fewer errors along the production process. The same principle can be used in automation. Automation technology is certainly good at being consistent in their tasks.
Even without human supervision, a well-made automation process can keep working on its own without any intervention for as long as possible. This makes business processes fast and reliable as human error is entirely taken out of the picture for functions that have been seemingly transferred into an automated role.
Automation in the world of business is just unavoidable due to the number of benefits it brings, from being cost-efficient, reliable, and even faster in producing results than workers.
It’s certainly a growth hacking strategy that is being the expected trend for many big and small companies to be involved in, and as technology continues to grow, this trend will seemingly only grow stronger and popular amongst companies.
Author: Burkhard Berger is the founder of Novum™. You can follow him on his journey from 0 to 100,000 monthly visitors on novumhq.com. His articles include some of the best growth hacking strategies and digital scaling tactics that he has learned from his own successes and failures.