What Is Automation? And Why You Need to Incorporate Automation Solutions Into Your Business?
If you are a business owners who believe that automation entails the replacement of human workers with high-tech robots, it’s time you stepped up your workflow practices and learn more about the benefits of automation today. Any small company owner is more than likely already utilizing some automation technologies in both their personal and professional lives. The power of automation is already at work in your business if you utilize software such as G Suite, Zendesk, Hootsuite, Zapier, or IFTTT.
With automation technology, you can enhance customer satisfaction by increasing responsiveness while lowering expenses as well as enhancing productivity and decreasing delays. Using an automation plan helps you to methodically deploy the correct tools in order to maximize the advantages of these innovations and increase your bottom-line profits.
So, what is automation and why do you require automation solutions to take your business to the next level?
To put it simply, business process automation (BPA) refers to the use of technology in order to automate tasks that were previously done manually by a team of human workers.
A business process is any sequence of activities meant to accomplish a specific purpose, especially those that are repetitive and usually involve IT systems. Business process automation is used to automate a complete process, or even just a portion of it, depending on the requirements of the organization.
Business process automation allows enterprises to simplify and standardize operations, leading to efficiency benefits and cost savings, by removing or considerably decreasing the need for human involvement. That's why the term "workflow automation" is often used to refer to BPA.
It's almost hard to discuss BPA these days without mentioning robotic process automation (RPA). Automating corporate operations using modern technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning falls under the umbrella of RPA.
While RPA may be used to automate low-level activities, such as invoice processing or emailing, it can also be used to automate higher-level cognitive functions such as answering customer service inquiries or monitoring software audits because of the sophistication of AI and machine learning.
Robotic process automation is generally used to replace human labor, while business process automation is used to augment it.
What's the Purpose of Automation?
First of all, your company, no matter how large or little, requires automation in order to stay competitive, particularly in a market where customers are continuously demanding a lot from you, as well as in meeting their ever-rising expectations. The widespread use of automation has the potential to save businesses significant sums of money. In fact, by 2018, 26% of American businesses had already implemented automation solutions in their operations. During 2022, corporations can expect to save up to $165 billion simply by automating. Even the tiniest amount of automation may have a profound impact on a firm.
The consumer will always appreciate automation, no matter how modest it is. In essence, this indicates that you care about your customers and are prepared to go the additional mile to meet their demands and make it simple for them to do business with you.
For the majority of people, the advantages of automating procedures include removing tedious and time-consuming chores and saving money. For all of these reasons, you need to make automation a top priority in your company.
Types of Automation Small Business Owners Should Consider Implementing
Automation may be used in a variety of ways to simplify company processes, boost productivity, and save costs.
Small firms may get the most benefits from automation in the following areas:
- Automation Marketing Tools: Customer data is used to guide how the correct marketing message can be delivered to the right audience, at the right place, and at the right time. Automation marketing tools such as email marketing software, CRM software, and chatbots can help to provide timely assistance, in order to increase customer acquisition and retention.
- BPA Tools: It is possible to automate repetitive processes in the workplace, reducing time spent on each one while also boosting productivity using business process automation tools. A few examples of BPA tools include forms such as those used for hiring employees, billing, time-off requests, doing mechanical activities such as copying and pasting data and transferring files, and travel authorization are just a few examples.
- Chatbots: You can have a chatbot running for you all day, every day. With a chatbot, you can provide round-the-clock assistance, access information instantly, and boost productivity while providing the best experience to your customers.
Benefits of Automation Solutions
Here are some of the key benefits you get by incorporating automation solutions into your business:
- Improved Quality and Consistency
Your customer's first concern is the quality and consistency of your product. Maintaining your quality is essential. You can be guaranteed that every action or process is conducted in the same way. This will provide consistent and high-quality outcomes.
Automated customer service, ensures a high level of consistency. In this way, you can guarantee that your consumers will always get the same quality of service from you.
- Helps to Reduce Cart Abandonment
For e-commerce enterprises, cart abandonment may be a genuine pain in the neck. The reality is that you can't escape it. Over $4.6 trillion in e-commerce purchases have been lost due to cart abandonment, according to reports. However, online customers can be encouraged to continue their shopping after cart abandonment by providing them with a way to easily pick up where they left off.
Automated marketing messages can help you avoid cart abandonment by reminding customers to return and finish their purchases. There is a good chance the consumer will complete the transaction after receiving an automated reminder.
- Scalability and Flexibility
Because you don't need to recruit additional personnel to accommodate variations in consumer demand or order volume, automation provides you the scalability and flexibility to adapt to the ever-changing market conditions. As an example, you don't have to recruit and educate additional personnel to manage stock, manage orders, or process payment when there is a surge in order volume since automation can handle numerous repetitive jobs.
- Reduce the Cost of Labor
Employing people to do labor-intensive and time-consuming jobs that don't bring much value is a common practice in most small businesses. Because automation reduces the number of humans required to do these operations, it lowers overhead and increases profit. It also enables you to concentrate on the quality rather than the number of your staff, allowing you to acquire superior talent to accelerate business growth.
- Increase Your Marketing's ROI
You can save money and obtain better outcomes by using marketing automation. Email marketing, CRM and sales, programmatic ad purchasing, audience targeting, and e-commerce are just a few of the numerous economical technologies you can utilize. A fundamental benefit of automation is its ability to help you handle, analyze, and organize enormous amounts of customer data and use personalization to reach a highly targeted audience.
- Eliminate Human Errors
Manual operations like re-keying data from one system to another usually result in expensive mistakes, such as inaccurate invoices and accounting. An inventory management tool that counts goods automatically reduces the need to count inventory by hand, whilst shipping software ensures that the correct labels are properly printed for fast and accurate delivery.
- Collaborate More Effectively
Complex projects require that you keep an eye on every team member's responsibilities and make sure there is a smooth flow of communication. The good news is that project management is made easier with automation, as it allows you to maintain tabs on the progress of a project as well as share important dates and milestones with your team.
- Increased Customer Satisfaction
Customer expectations are met and confidence is built when procedures like marketing, order processing, shipping, and post-sale assistance are automated to provide a consistent shopping experience. Using this method, you can also collect data and fine-tune procedures in order to simplify the client experience and increase revenue at the same time.
- Improve Customer Support
It is possible to increase customer satisfaction and efficiency by using customer support technology like help desk software and a searchable knowledge base.
For instance, some simple questions and links to useful information can be handled by chatbots so that clients don't wait for a human representative. It's also possible for them to filter inquiries and point clients in the correct direction with automation services.
- Better Compliance
The expense of complying with government and industry laws, such as tax compliance for trip reimbursement or the management of client information in highly regulated industries like healthcare and banking, may be prohibitive for many small firms.
Fortunately, you can verify that your personnel is adhering to industry norms and laws by automating your operations. You may also use workflow management rules to guarantee that the relevant conditions are satisfied.