With client needs and team capabilities constantly changing within the business world, we recommend you pause and reflect on your own critical business processes to see if you can spot opportunities for improving efficiency and reducing waste.
There’s no better time to do this than at the beginning of a new financial year.
Get your team together in a room or a Zoom meeting to brainstorm the processes or work that:
- frustrates them,
- has highly repetitive tasks, or
- is time-consuming.
Then, you should examine how you might be able to automate these processes to improve your business’s productivity and output better.
Business automation can occur in order to improve external performance and experience of the business for your clients, OR it can be used to improve upon the internal processes of your business.
For example, communicating with your employees is one constant in your business. This is obviously important, but you know it could be improved. You don’t need to have as many meetings as you are now. You should be able to share feedback faster. So how can this be improved?
Automated business processes can be split into four basic types outlined below.
Basic automation refers to the most straightforward jobs that need to be performed, like creating a centralized place to store a mix of related information. This can be automated through a project management tool that prioritises collaboration and communication to seamlessly pull together a patchwork of data into a single platform.
This tool should automatically organise all of this information to make it understandable and usable.
Process automation involves a dedicated network of software and apps used to document and manage your business processes, such as budgeting or project management.
Integration automation allows machines and software to monitor and analyze how employees perform tasks and imitate them. You simply define the rules of operation.
An example would be your project management software integrated with your customer support software. A customer complaint comes through, but instead of waiting in an inbox for someone to process it, the integration automatically sends it as a task to the person assigned to handle them.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Automation
Artificial Intelligence (AI) automation is when you combine AI with your integrated software tools for faster, smarter decision-making. The system can now make choices on your behalf with the data it’s presented (such as sample data).
Some general examples in which your business could benefit from automating key processes could include:
- Email Automation – Automating your inbox can assist in automatically processing information from your email quickly and efficiently
- Automated Business Application Integration – With businesses using more and more different applications, a lot of business processes can involve multiple business applications at the same time
- Automated Order Entry – You can use business process automation to automate your database interaction processes without writing a line of code
- Browser Automation – Even if a part of your process involves going to a website and clicking on fields or grabbing information, business process automation can make it faster and more efficient.