If your business isn't already using some form of automation, you're falling behind the competition. Business automation can help you streamline processes, improve efficiency, and boost productivity. According to McKinsey, 60% of occupations could save 30% of their time with automation.
Business automation is vital in this competitive landscape because it can help you improve efficiency and productivity at scale. Automation can help businesses to save time and money internally by reducing the need for manual processes and tasks. It can also improve results for your customers on an external basis. Additionally, automation can help businesses to improve their customer service or marketing processes.
At Increment By One, we’ve helped businesses grow by implementing bespoke automation tools – so we’re happy to share our thoughts on how to best plan and implement effective automation.
What can business automation help with?
There are a number of ways you can automate your business, from simple tasks like email marketing to more complex processes like order fulfilment. The key is to identify the areas where automation can have the biggest impact for your business.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few ways businesses tend to implement automation:
- Marketing automation helps businesses streamline their communications, boost brand awareness and generate enquiries/sales. Automation can vary from simple tasks such as scheduling social media posts through to complex email campaign chains.
- Customer support and services can also benefit from automation. Consider the rise of the social media AI chatbot for e-commerce brands, for example, which helps refine customer queries and direct them to the right team – eliminating time wastage.
- Financial processes like bookkeeping and invoicing can also benefit from automation – most modern accountancy platforms offer some form of this in their own suite, but some businesses can benefit from going further and developing complex automation to manage payroll, expenses and other costs.
Bespoke automation vs ‘off-the-shelf’
To automate effectively, you’ll need a bespoke software or web app solution that is built for your business needs. Even if you take a pre-existing automation platform, you’ll need to adapt and tailor it to suit your specific business requirements – so it’s often worth going further and having a fully bespoke business automation platform designed for you.
Bespoke automation’s true value is in being as efficient as possible for solving your business requirement. It avoids wasting time or money trying to automate every aspect of your team and workflow and instead gets built to solve a specific problem.
To do this, you’ll need to map out your existing processes and identify the areas in which automation can most effectively help. Some will be more valuable than others, particularly those that are end-user facing and can therefore increase customer satisfaction and sales.
For example, when we worked with a digital agency that specialised in ad-revenue websites, we first assessed their entire business process and spotted a challenge around site launch speeds. By introducing automation, we were able to cut their site launch timeframes from over three hours to a matter of seconds.
Understanding is critical
Automation can’t ever be ‘prescribed’ because every business is different. It would be fairly easy for a brand to quickly overburden itself with a range of automation platforms or tools, trying in vain to improve every part of the business.
Instead, take a step-by-step approach to your automation efforts, prioritising the areas where saving time will result in the highest return on investment. For many businesses, this very act necessitates hiring a bespoke software development partner that can create focused automation tools that cut out the complexities and concentrate on results.
If you’re interested in exploring automation, don’t waste time trying every off-the-shelf solution. Get in touch with our team to cut to the heart of the problem and introduce bespoke automation that will drive commercial success.