Technology is rapidly transforming the business sector, and one of the buzzwords you’re probably hearing a lot nowadays is automation. While it might seem like a buzzword at first glance, though, it’s important to note that automation is a complex and comprehensive term we use to describe the role of technology in facilitating efficiency and productivity, minimizing risk and financial waste, and its role in maximizing growth overall.
Automation has a place and a purpose in every industry regardless of the size of the company, as integrating automation software and hardware can streamline various processes across all departments. Whether it’s marketing and sales, manufacturing and assembly, financial management and order processing, all the way to communication and collaboration, there are many ways you can leverage automation to take your business forward. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best investments you can make to automate tasks and processes that will help your company grow in 2021.
Enhance security and safety in the workplace
There is no telling what might happen in the workplace that might cause business disruption, from slips and falls to serious injuries, all the way to those intangible risks like cybersecurity threats and data breaches. Now, to minimize these risks, you should have strict workplace security policies in place, and you should invest in employee education when it comes to protecting business, customer, and employee data.
However, that doesn’t mean that a good policy, organization, and employee training are enough to minimize liabilities and risks in the long run. A good way to take the human risk factor out of the equation is to automate certain security processes.
In manufacturing, this means investing in automation hardware to take over risky jobs on site, while in a digital agency it means using cloud-based firewalls to automate online security. Regardless of the industry you’re in, you can use automation to keep your employees, customers, and sensitive business data safe.
Streamline and improve employee onboarding
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies around the world have been forced to switch to remote work. This has opened numerous opportunities, yes, but it has also created certain obstacles that many are still struggling to overcome. Aside from the challenge of managing a remote workforce (more on that in a bit) without losing productivity, you’re also faced with the challenge of onboarding new employees efficiently and effectively.
New employees can feel quite overwhelmed when they first come to work for you, especially if the only contact they have with their team members is through a digital platform. You have to make sure that they feel welcome and are able to become productive members of your business. To achieve this, you can automate parts of the onboarding process with video tutorials, interactive training tools, and a digital welcome packet filled with all the information they need to start their first day off right.
Make better use of your employee resources
Speaking of managing your new and seasoned employees, you can’t hope to run an efficient operation by relying only on email communication, nor can you organize everything through your Google Calendar. If you try to manage your employees manually during these trying times, you will quickly find out that you’re wasting valuable resources and that productivity is starting to deteriorate across your organization.
This is why it’s important to get a comprehensive overview of your employee resources and workflow with intuitive rostering software that allows you to create work schedules quickly, enable micro-scheduling to fine-tune your processes, and use rostering templates to automate the employee management process. Scheduling and rostering software helps you run a more efficient operation across the board, but it also helps you minimize risk, financial waste, and employee churn.
Minimize repetitive work and maximize productivity
There is nothing that stifles productivity and lowers employee morale like dull repetition and menial tasks that can easily be handled by a smart piece of software. Whether it’s your marketers answering the same questions on social media or your HR specialists filling out the same forms over and over again, there’s no denying that repetitive tasks are the killers of productivity.
Luckily, nowadays you can find a piece of automation software for any department that will outsource menial tasks to a smart program and allow your employees to focus on more complex, challenging tasks. This will not only streamline your payroll expenses and improve productivity, but it will also go a long way in raising employee happiness.
Build and manage an omni-channel sales approach
On a final note, every growth-oriented business should think about integrating more sales channels and touchpoints into their strategy in order to maximize conversions. After all, you can’t force the modern customer to buy a product on your site if they want to make a purchase through social media or email, because they want to shop on their own terms.
This means that you need to build an omni-channel experience and sales structure, which can be impossible to manage manually. To avoid all the risks and downfalls of omni-channel sales and actually capitalize on this approach, you need a comprehensive ERP (enterprise resource planning) system that will handle inventory management and order processing from multiple touchpoints, streamline your supply chain processes, manage invoices, and use other smart features to make multi-channel purchases a reality for your customers.
Automation is one of the key drivers of business success nowadays, and you should use it to achieve your goals in 2021. While it may seem like a costly investment at first glance, investing in the right automation tools will yield substantial returns in the following year and the years to come.
Guest author, Raul Harman, is a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. While he’s not enjoying football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com