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The Growing Role Of Automation In Business

Home / Future Sight / The Growing Role Of Automation In Business
17th November 2022
7 Minute Read

There are now few industries that automation hasn’t touched, and it has become so ingrained in our day-to-day lives that we often now don’t even realize we are engaging with it. From checking in at the airport, ATMs, to automated social media posts at work.

 

How Automation Can Help Your Business

 

Automation can routinely improve profitability and productivity while reducing labor costs. Certain tasks such as billing, customer service, and marketing are all ideal for automation, freeing up staff to concentrate on more important tasks, which need a personal touch.

Employing a good CRM system in your business is a good introduction to automation. The CRM will automatically manage your contacts and communications, as well as generate statistics on KPIs, track your marketing, and handle your leads.

 

What is automation in business?

 

Business automation involves the use of technology applications that effectively minimize the need for human input. An automation platform enables the creation of workflows, which can automatically carry out different tasks.

This automation simplifies and speeds up business processes, making them less error-prone and more accountable, and once set up, able to conduct tasks repeatedly.

Automation platforms are constructed with several key features which are mostly involved with the efficiency and data security of the workflow. Typical features include:

 

1. Workflow design tool

The automated workflow process is designed using the workflow design tool. This is an easy-to-use interface with intuitive technology for adaptability. New iterations of the software are easily generated and applied.

 

2. Access controls

By assigning workflow steps to specific users, who have dedicated knowledge, the accuracy of the data is maintained.

 

3. Participant alerts

Participants in the workflow can be notified by email using a notification tool, when their input is required. The participant can react promptly and enable the workflow to proceed.

 

4. External integrations

As well as the workflow, automation software links are required for other business tools, such as a CRM or an email marketing campaign.

 

5. Tracking workflows

It is very useful to track workflows step-by-step. Any bottlenecks can be quickly highlighted using either a step timer, which shows the length of each step, or a step indicator, which shows which step is in progress at any one time.

 

6. Data security

The workflow automation software should be fully equipped with browser security, encryption, and passwords. Security breaches are becoming ever more frequent, requiring effective controls.

 

Why automation is important

 

Businesses are constantly faced with an increasing burden of exterior regulatory control and the pressures of interior accountability. Combined, these led to colossal paper trails, which were almost hopeless to manage.

These lengthy procedures are partly responsible for energizing workflow automation and finally more and more businesses have woken up to the need for automation in an increasingly digitized workplace. Studies have shown that 60% of occupations could automate 30% of their workload, resulting in considerable timesaving.

Initial fears about automation making staff no longer required have slowly been replaced with improved streamlining and efficiency benefits. Understanding automation’s transformative impact on industry has changed from ‘if’ to ‘when’.

 

The Benefits of Automation

 

Using automation to perform repetitive tasks can be a significant timesaver. The ability to “set and forget” certain aspects of business processes give us greater freedom to pursue areas that need personal attention. The benefits of automation span many different areas of business, but the effects are more general and can be subdivided into the following headings:

 

Reduces operational costs

In any business, there are repetitive, routine administrative tasks that need to be carried out. Replacing these tasks with automation reduces the associated labor cost considerably, as well as the physical costs of a paper trail.

In a manufacturing context, automation enables quicker production throughput with increased efficiency. Labor costs also reduce and so the cost per item also falls creating better profit.

 

Boosts productivity

Automation in the workplace provides staff with more free time, which creates several benefits. Firstly, staff can spend more time dealing with clients personally, which has positive business effects for both parties. Secondly, staff feel less pressurized and enjoy better job satisfaction, which makes them more engaged with the company and better able to provide quality input.

 

More efficient

As automation in the workplace emerged it became initially associated with manual labor and low-wage jobs. However, this was quickly disproved, when it was shown that while only a few jobs can be entirely automated, most paid jobs could benefit from partial automation improving efficiency. Additionally, with fewer errors in the workflow, there are fewer mistakes to correct, with an associated improvement in productivity.

 

Increases accountability

The process of implementing workflow automation assigns clear roles to the staff associated with each process and task. Employees are fully aware of their responsibilities and consequently much more able to be accountable for any problems that arise. This accountability enables employees to micro-manage their workload themselves, rather than having to engage with their manager each time.

 

Increases reliability

When employees undertake repetitive tasks, it is only human nature for boredom to arise eventually. This leads to a lack of concentration and resulting errors. Automation eliminates boredom and errors creating a much better environment of reliability. Automation software can also monitor much more effectively so that if any errors do occur, they will be immediately highlighted.

 

Optimizes performance

With the increasing use of AI associated with workplace automation, workflows are increasingly self-regulating. Slight changes in the workflow can be quickly picked up and an appropriate solution applied. In this way, the workflow is constantly regulated and adjusted for optimum performance.

 

 

Conclusion

Currently, 51% of businesses worldwide are using automation as part of their business practices. This figure is only set to grow as we move inexorably toward a digital culture. Any business that tries to ignore this transformation will struggle to remain competitive on costs, profit, efficiency, accountability and the job satisfaction of their staff.

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