The question these days is not whether you should get your business online, but rather, how much of your business you should get online. We’re talking about the processes, functions and protocols that make your business operate.
Research shows that investment spent by businesses automating manual business saves money in the short and long-term, as well as providing a range of other business-health benefits. But it’s automating using web-based solutions that gives the extra assurance of resilience, customer satisfaction and ‘work anywhere’ capability that propels your businesses to the next level.
Your workforce will shine with a new energy
If you have any of the following, they are signs that you have room for automation; are not using technology to your best advantage, potentially wasting staff time, and draining life and energy from your business:
- Sending communication about work, outside of the ‘workflow’, in other words, separate emails back and forth
- Completing all areas of paper or digital forms manually
- Keeping paper and/or digital forms in separate places
- Sending reminders via human beings
- Going through emails to find out progress
- Using humans to assign tasks in a process
It is likely that your processes have evolved over time. But a fresh pair of web-savvy eyes can easily automate these, for instance, by using a workflow tool instead of humans and email trails, so that all tasks, assignments and communications are captured within the workflow itself, including progress updates. Areas of manual forms can be auto-populated, as can reminders.
Automating these tasks free your staff from being bogged down by boring admin and having to ‘find’ things; it gives them the gift of energy to do the actual work and innovation you are paying them for.
Your customers will love you
If you are paying attention to automating your processes internally, it will reflect well on your brand and organisation. Positive moves to make working practices more efficient and robust will make your staff happier and affect behaviour.
Even if you haven’t yet got around to making processes smoother and more automated from the customer’s perspective yet, starting the ball rolling internally sets the tone for how you are going to be focused on your customer and how you want them to enjoy dealing with you. Starting to automate means you are on your journey to innovating the customer experience and they will feel the change.
Be wowed by the power of data
Without automation you have little to no data. How can you measure success? Are you going to count completed order forms at the end of each day, check a handwritten list or standalone spreadsheet reliant on someone manually filling it in? If you are, you have room to transform your business to an unrecognisable degree. And this is just one, simple example.
Imagine having order data in view at the touch of a button, or on a constant live dashboard. If your processes are automated you can keep daily, hourly track of orders, the nature of these order, how many are fulfilled and any issues, live as they happen. Or anything else you want to automate as a process and track data on. The power of data immediately gives you the power to respond and wow your customers in turn.
Audit-anxiety is a thing of the past with online, integrated automation. Manual processes are easy to manipulate. End sign-off processes can be altered, documents can go missing, as can electronic files. With end-to-end automation, everything is captured and nothing is left to chance. If you need accounting information from two years ago, you can recall it in a breath.
Particularly with a web-based solution for automation, you have the security of knowing that everything is retrievable by anyone with the correct permissions. And, since you’d have to set security permissions anyway, as part of the protocol of a web-based solution setup you are automatically attending to your organisation’s better security and compliance management.
See the future
By automating your manual business processes using web-based solutions (we’ve given you simple examples here, but the possibilities are endless) you are propelling yourself into the future, with more time and room for the constant innovation your customers demand, and will likely get from your competitors.
Your compliance and security will instantly rise to more manageable, professional levels, as well as your flexibility and resilience to work from wherever you want to, away from the need for any physical premises, but simply via access to your people and systems. More businesses than ever are seeing the benefits of web-based solutions for automation of process and the need to be able to operate remotely and safely, now and potentially more in the future.
Will we work from home forever?
So now that businesses have gone through painful changes to get their workforce setup from home, the question is whether they’ll ever want to change back.
Zoom makes us question our own security
The debate over how secure Zoom is has raised questions for business owners about the security of their own systems. Here are some answers.