5 Questions to Ask Before You Automate Your Business Processes
What you should consider before automating your business processes
With all the recent innovations in technology and software, it has been said that 2016 is the year of business automation. Companies around the world, from SMEs to international conglomerates, are seeing the merits and value of automating routine business processes. It can save time, effort, money, and resources.
There are a lot of reasons to automate your business processes, but before you do so, it is important to carefully consider how you should proceed. There are questions you need to ask yourself before pressing ahead with automation. This will maximise the impact and benefits that automation will have on your business, its relevance, and its ultimate success.
1. What is the nature of your business?
Before investing in automation, you need to consider the nature of your business. This will have a large bearing on what software package to opt for. It will also be the deciding factor in which business processes should or should not be automated.
If you are a debt management professional, you should invest in insolvency software such as LogiDebt. LogiDebt has been carefully designed with the needs of Insolvency Practitioners and other debt management professionals in mind. LogiDebt can track client information, debt and finances, automatically generate payment plans using Best Advice Model (BAM), and automate administrative tasks such as incoming and outbound communication. On top of this, LogiDebt has an intuitive, user-friendly interface that makes the user’s experience straightforward and enjoyable.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for property portfolio management software, you should pick a package like LogiPro, as your business’ needs will be vastly different. LogiPro offers accounting functionality, which tracks all receipts and expenses from suppliers and tenants, distributes payments, manages contractor jobs, and redistributes service charges to tenants. This software can also be integrated with electronic banking to reconcile payment records. LogiPro can also manage and track key information, create and distribute documents, and keep track of important dates.
Other software products include legal case management software, claims management software, direct debit software, and funeral plan management software. Regardless of your business, you should consider which software package offers the best solution.
2. Which business processes are heavily dependent on paper?
There is no need for any modern business to be reliant on paper. Although a completely paperless office may not be immediately feasible, there are measures you can put in place, through automation, to seriously reduce the amount of paper used within your organisation.
Research recently carried out by Loudhouse has shown that a British office worker uses, on average, 10,000 sheets of paper per year. 6,800 of these sheets are ultimately waste. When you consider that the average total paper usage per employee amounts to four £10 boxes of paper, and you multiply this by your entire workforce, you could be wasting a considerable amount of money.
Determine where paper is being used excessively within your organisation. Are you still writing meeting reminders on paper? Are you still printing out documents for a digital signature? Pinpointing this inefficiency can greatly help when it comes to deciding which processes to automate.
3. Which business processes take up the most amount of business time?
Time is precious, but a lot of businesses are wasting time needlessly. One prime example is that of booking and organising appointments and meetings. The average business spends almost five hours per week scheduling meetings, which amounts to roughly six weeks per year. This is time that can be spent better elsewhere. When you automate the process of organising meetings, calendars are checked for clashes and reminders are sent out, making the whole process much more streamlined.
If you’re spending too much time with data entry and filing, automation can be incorporated with the use of barcoding technology. This ensures all data is centrally stored, and easily accessible at the touch of a button. Regardless of where your biggest time sink lies within your company, there are automated methods to resolve this problem, and make your organisation more efficient.
4. Which business areas experience a high degree of human error?
Your company could be suffering greatly from the effects of human error. Human error will never be entirely eliminated as a business risk — but there are ways of automating tasks prone to high degrees of human error. If this isn’t a huge concern for you at present, it should be; it has been estimated that a company with 100,000 employees loses roughly £31 million per year due to human error.
Certain tasks are more likely to be affected by human error than others. More monotonous, routine (but important) jobs are particularly prone to human error, especially if employees are asked to spend a large amount of time on the same task. Determine where your company suffers greatly from human error — these are the areas you should begin automating.
5. Which unique processes need to be taken into account?
Every company is unique and individual. As such, each company has its own challenges and demands. No two companies will be in need of the exact same software. For this reason, any good software provider will be able to work with you to personalise the software at the core, resulting in a bespoke package to match your particular business’ needs.