All businesses seek to streamline their processes, save on cost and provide a better service to their clients, and adopting new technology helps companies to do all of those things. But acquiring new equipment and processes can’t just be seen as a little extra help. Technology is developing so quickly that in the future of business, failure to adapt will leave companies way behind their competitors.
5 Reasons to Bring Automation to Your Business
When many of your company’s processes are automated, your employees don’t need to waste time doing the repetitive, time-consuming tasks that used to be a necessary evil. For example, you could use software that automatically sends out scheduled marketing emails or standard responses. The software would know that it’s a customer’s birthday or that they just bought a certain product. The customer could get then personalized greetings and future purchase ideas without any of your employees having to take note of the individual details of every customer. That doesn’t mean that your employees are no longer needed and will soon be out of the door. It simply means that they can spend their time doing something more productive and worthwhile.
Management consultants McKinsey & Company reported that they expect automation to significantly improve GDP around the world. Global GDP could grow by 1.4% annually purely due to the impact of automation and its effect on productivity. The report also said that the growth will be based on the assumption that “human labor replaced by automation rejoins the workforce and is as productive as it was in 2014.” In other words, humans will still be needed in the future of business, but they will simply be doing different jobs (and mostly likely better jobs).
Automated processes save on waste by refining supply chain management. Your business will no longer order products that end up going to waste, or alternatively find itself unable to fulfil orders on time because you didn’t have enough supply. Bringing automation into your supply chain management means that technology will let you know exactly what you currently have and exactly what you need to order. In fact, it can do the ordering itself without you having to use your time to do it.
These improvements are not only about making sure you have the supply to send out to your customers. They’re also about ensuring that you have the tools to keep your business running smoothly. Let’s take the example of a trucking company with on-site tanks for their fuel supply. They could install technology to measure the level of fuel left in the tanks, and link it to a system that automatically orders more fuel when it gets low. The company will avoid costly downtime as a result.
Automation saves cost in every area of a business. Other examples of cost saving include refining the recruitment process and scheduling meetings. While it might take the knowledge, instincts and intuition of an experienced professional to shortlist interview candidates and hire someone, artificial intelligence can sort through the large volumes of resumes to sift out any time wasters. With software to efficiently schedule meetings and let everyone instantly get updates on their mobile devices, none of your employees will find themselves sent to the wrong place, waiting around, or arriving at a double-booked meeting room.
Improved Safety and Security
Your definition of a safe working environment likely differs depending on what sector your business is in.
Manufacturing companies need to think about the physical safety of employees who are working with potentially dangerous machinery. One of the most long-standing forms of automation in this sector is having robots do work that may be hazardous for human workers. But no matter how much this practice expands, factories can never be completely safe without reliable safety assessments. In the near future, artificial intelligence will be used to constantly assess every process happening in a manufacturing location. High level machine learning will allow AI to know immediately if anything unusual is happening, and alerts will be sent out long before human safety officers would have known something was wrong.
Businesses involved in clerical work also need to take care of the physical safety of their staff, but daily security threats are more likely to come in the form of data breaches. Security breaches are very often caused by human activity, whether it’s an error or malicious action. Automated processes remove temptation as well as the potential for error. Machine learning can even analyse an employee’s digital behavior to know if anything is amiss or indicative of actions that could lead to a breach.
Visibility for All Departments
Automation of a business process should involve using a single platform that performs a series of predictable actions. The actions will be pre-programmed and also logged after they happen. With this setup, any authorized employees can log on and access the record of activity. For example, they will know what has been bought, what has been sold, what has been delivered, and what has been invoiced. Staff will no longer need to wait for paperwork to notify them that a task has been completed, and they will no longer find themselves waiting on email confirmation from someone who they didn’t realize just went on vacation.
A Better Customer Experience
Your customers will benefit from all of the streamlining mentioned above. If your business is automated, clients will also get instant notifications when something relevant has happened, such as an order being dispatched or an invoice payment received. They may even benefit from reduced costs that your company saved elsewhere through efficient automated processes.
Automation means that sales reps will no longer have to tell customers “I’ll get back to you.” With automated inventories and marketing collateral at their fingertips on handheld devices, they can bring up information for customers instantly. This is the case even in companies offering thousands of products, which even the best sales reps would find difficult to know off by heart. Marketing teams could use data to create exactly the kind of content that certain customers want, based on recent customer interaction, behavior and preferences. They could then make the tailored content instantly available to their sales reps on the same automated platform.
At Sanvada, we offer cloud consulting, automation solutions, and a range of other services to help companies enhance and secure their operations. Contact us to find out more.
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