Ding. Ding. Ding.
Congratulations! That’s exactly right! Automation IS the correct answer to growing your business. Now it’s time to start asking questions.
A little backwards, you say? Not really. Automation addresses multiple issues with a wide range of solutions. Most providers’ marketing will suggest theirs is the only tool for you. It’s important for you to hone in on the unique aspects of your business that would benefit from automation and then seek the specific solutions. Let’s walk through a few basic questions to get you started:
1. What are your process pain points?
Nobody knows better than your employees where process repeatedly goes awry and time is wasted, so ask their expertise. Does process get caught up in looking for or recreating forms and documents? Where is data being duplicated manually? Does work get hung up waiting on next step approvals? Are there outdated processes in place that are no longer even necessary to the business flow? Look for consistency and trends in the data collection from this question. Those areas might be begging for automation.
2. What can you learn from the current manual process?
Don’t automate a process unless you’re fully familiar with the manual steps and their cost. Otherwise, you won’t be able to monitor and manage success in automating. Analyze the steps that would streamline a manual approach before making the transition to automation.
3. What’s upstream and downstream of this process?
Understand who will be on the feeding and receiving ends of the process, and the impact of automation on each. This is an essential discovery step for ensuring true functionality.
eBook - The Best of Business Automation Download the eBook
The Best of Business AutomationDownload the eBook
Once you have a handle on your automation priorities, consider integrated platforms that work together for maximum efficiency:
1. Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM)
Tools such as LabTech allow you monitor, identify issues, and provide routine device maintenance all through remote access.
2. Business Management Platform
An automated operating system, such as the one offered by ConnectWise, centralizes information and tasks related to service delivery, sales, project managements, billing, and more.
3. Quote and Proposal Automation
Streamline the time-consuming process of building quotes and proposals and provide visibility into the sales process with software such as Quosal.
Starting small is smart when it comes to automating your business. Create a plan for one area, test it, and act on the feedback until you get it right. Then move forward.
Business process automation almost always pays for itself by redirecting resources toward more profitable activities. But sometimes employees can be resistant to the change. In my final post of this series, we’ll look at change management techniques for automation.