Last week, we examined how CRM software can help automate several vital parts of your business. This time out we’ll discuss automation flow and how it can dramatically increase your productivity.
If, like many business owners, you’re bogged down in manual processes, this week’s blog is going to change your life. What if we told you it didn’t need to be this way; That you could cut out this busy work and have more time to focus on the big picture and progress your business? Automation flow is freeing up an ever-growing number of businesses to tackle long-term projects while automating the small stuff. Here’s how it works.
What is Automation Flow?
In a typical business, processes are usually managed manually through paper files, spreadsheets or email. Depending on the size of the business this can involve several staff members. Automation helps by streamlining the process, removing the need for human intervention, minimizing staff input and dramatically cutting down on the chance of human error.
It allows your team to dedicate more time to actual work and less time on the processes that support that work. It’s been demonstrably proven businesses that leverage the automation flow are more efficient, cheaper to run and worth more.
How to Apply Automation Flow to Your Business
Obviously, not every task in your business is a candidate for automation. Applying automation flow to your organization is a multi-step process where a little short-term pain can lead to exponential long-term gains. Here are the steps to follow to automate your business.
Identify Repetitive Tasks
The first task in achieving automation is to objectively look at your business operations and assess which parts can be automated. Use a whiteboard or even a piece of paper to visualize how your workflow currently operates. Which tasks have several human touchpoints? Could they be refined? It sounds simple but visualizing these processes can be a powerful tool in making them better. It’s also worth consulting with the stakeholders who perform these admin tasks. Would taking them off their plate free them up to work on bigger picture projects?
What are You Hoping to Achieve?
Now that you’ve settled on areas of improvement, your next task is to define your goals. Will you use the extra time brought by automation flow to focus more on customer service? Perhaps you’ll devote the time to more long-term projects that will grow the business. Making the business case to automate is easier when you can justify the goals and how you will measure them.
Settle on a Solution
The time has come to decide on which software you’ll leverage to automate your workflow. The internet is rife with options and the one you choose should be decided upon what’s the best fit for your organization. We recommend taking a look at this article, which lists ten of the most popular automation tools available on the market. Based on what you need, shortlist at least three options and do a deep dive into the cost, features and security of each. It’s important to also consider how user-friendly your chosen software is, and whether your people will be able to adapt. Speaking of people…
Empower Your People
Your staff are the people most affected by automation flow. Involve them in the planning so they’re an integral part of the decision-making process. You’re going to run into people resistant of change. This is inevitable and it’s ok. Providing a clear transition path from your current processes to the new, streamlined workflow will help assuage any fears from your staff and will go a long way to making the transition successful.
Measure the Effects
Congratulations. You’re now up and running in a more efficient manner. It’s recommended to continue monitoring your new workflow and keep an eye out for ways it can be iterated upon. Just because you’ve put a new and improved process in place doesn’t mean the work is done.
Find Out More
Interested in hearing more automation hacks to grow your business? Reach out to GD Commerce and we’d be delighted to discuss your individual needs.