Sometimes, automation gets the short end of the stick. When misinterpreted, people speak of automation with fear – as something negative that will play a part in disrupting economies through the reduction of jobs available for a human workforce. However, this is a short-sighted approach to automation. In fact, when automation is used well, it’s far less about replacing people, and much more about empowering them – removing repetitive manual tasks and allowing them to focus on their core role and on their clients with a refined understanding of their strengths and abilities.
Automation can be implemented on scales large and small, but every layer of automation that’s added in a way that complements your business will bring with it marked changes and improvements in the way your team operates.
Beginning to understand how automation can be a part of your workflow doesn’t need to be an overwhelming process. Instead, by starting with a simple automation audit, you can start to take a look under the hood and understand how automated processes can lead to increased productivity and workplace satisfaction.
To carry out an automations review on your own, start small and work your way up to larger automation endeavours. Here’s some simple tips to help you begin.
Look for Repetitive Tasks
Are there areas of your day-to-day business activity that involve heavily repetitive tasks? Perhaps it’s the creation of new customer logs and profiles when you first engage with someone new in a sales capacity, or the manual updating of order fulfilment records. Maybe it’s hours spent answering simple customer questions over email in order to keep them engaged and satisfied with your service. Wherever the repetition, there’s a high chance automation can pave the way to a different solution, freeing up your employees to spend their time on work that brings with it increased profit growth opportunities. Make a list of any areas that involve repetition – you’ll need this when evaluating automation options designed to answer these needs.
Examine Job Descriptions
Particularly in the world of small businesses and bootstrapped startups, employees can often end up covering a number of areas that don’t exactly fall within their core job description. If your sales managers are answering customer queries, or your administration team members are finding themselves stretched across social media and marketing management, then you may find your monthly results begin to reflect these stretches. Automation can offer the freedom your employees need to truly focus on the work they were hired to do, letting automated systems run the show in other areas. The less ‘sticky’ an area is, the better. Look for areas where your employees are stretched or working outside of the role they were hired for, and consider how automation could provide a cheap alternative to bringing them back into their area of focus.
This is just the scratch of the surface when it comes to a full-scale automations audit. If you’re looking to grow your understanding as to how automation can majorly improve and enhance your business function, take us up on our free automation review calls – Shaun from Agility Automation can do the heavy lifting for you!