Automation has recently been a popular buzzword in the computer world, and for good reason: programming a process to operate on its own based on multiple data inputs reduces the need for a person to operate the process; this saves a company time, money, and frustration.
This is especially useful for optimizing internal company operations. Automating tasks like invoicing and ad buying, for example, frees up your employees to focus on more strategic tasks.
So, how are today's most successful technology companies automating their internal operations? Here are some ways to strategize your implementation of automation in your business.
1. Take It Slow
An iterative approach, rather than designing end-to-end solutions to automate entire portions of your organization, can be less expensive and faster to implement. Find a manual process where simple tools can be inserted to make it go faster, for example. Try implementing a solid python formatter for a first steps solution. As these technologies become more advanced over time, you may naturally transition to a fully automated process.
2. Add Automation Where It Makes Sense
Because not every business function is a suitable fit for automation, each company must determine which ones are. Processes that need a lot of time and resources and those prone to human error should be the first to be looked into for automation. If they can be hastened through automated processes, it frees up time to focus on other aspects of the business.
3. Repetitive Tasks Benefit from Automation
Your company processes many new hires every year. This entails entering employee information such as names, residences, dates of birth, and other personal details into various travel and expenditure, payroll, and insurance systems. A software tool that automates this time-consuming, manual procedure can help this process. The program can take five minutes to do what would take a human 30 minutes every new hire.
4. Go Small
Employ software that allows you to automate small activities. Sending emails at moments that are most convenient for your partners is one example. This allows you to communicate with partners all around the world without worrying about interrupting them while they are with their families or elsewhere. It only takes a few minutes to set up, but it will save you weeks of lost connections.
5. Helps You Optimize
If you haven't done an optimization audit in a while, now is the time to figure out which data entry, approval, and review processes require the most user input. The number of clicks and levels and interactions and cycles can all be used to quantify these activities. Those who have the most numbers have the most need and the biggest return on investment. Develop solutions with your vendors or internally.
6. Be Sure Systems are Integrated
Within your development team, create a code-checker and time-tracker to automate some software testing and reporting operations. Your project management suite, which also serves as a customer relationship management and human resources tool, integrates with both software solutions. This one platform can save your organization many hours of effort, increase transparency in management, and enhance the quality of outputs.
7. Understand the Process Before Automating
To begin, you must first comprehend the manual process you are attempting to automate. Then, by reducing each step down into smaller tactical stages that can be easily coded, turn each step into an executable strategy. Check and fine-tune each step. Every solution for each stage should be able to evolve and communicate with the rest of the system.
8. Focus on the Core
With email messaging, rules-based lead selection, and funnel management, you can automate sales operations. For social media and advertising initiatives, employ data-driven marketing automation. You can even use bots for customer service, scheduling, and development operations. This allows you to maintain, grow, and thrive by staying focused on your core capabilities.
It's important to plan out every step of automation before beginning. Having a solid strategy will make the transition easier and yield better results.