by Chintan Jain, Associate Director of Product Marketing at Kissflow Workflow
Although many people initially thought automation would cause more harm than good, the reverse seems to be the case. Now, a lot of departments currently benefit from automation because it sharply reduces manual labor, optimizes cost and speeds up the internal processes. Business owners have realized that this helps save time, capital, and energy. Introducing workflow automation into your business allows you to allocate your time and money to more critical business processes.
The increasing popularity in the last few years has led people to educate themselves on automation and how it can benefit them. But peeling off just the first layer isn’t enough. To ensure that your organization has unleashed the fullest potential of automation, the right questions must be asked. This helps in easily evading a lot of complexities.
This article will help explain the most important things to keep in mind before implementing automation in your organization.
The Right Questions:
What Problem Are We Trying To Solve?
Before you decide on integrating any form of automation into your business, you have to understand what pain points you’re trying to solve.
Sadly, many business owners don’t know what problems they’re solving for their customers. These people are more focused on profits and returns than actually helping solve a problem. Perhaps this is why only 10% of startups and businesses stay running past five years of establishment.
That said, understanding what problem you’re trying to solve for your customers would allow you to get the right automation services and equipment for that cause.
What Are The Expected Returns?
Because the type of automation needed differs across multiple industries, there is no primary method of determining the expected returns. Unfortunately, people tend to have unrealistic expectations when it comes to automation. What’s worse is that when automation doesn’t work in the way they wanted, all forms of automation are discarded, tagging it “a waste of money.”
For you to get great returns, you have to understand the impact of automation on a particular department. For example, if you’re planning to automate the processes of the accounting department, you would expect most of the manual elements involved in an accountant’s day to be done almost instantly. This saves time and energy, bringing in huge returns.
How Will It Help The Business And Employees
With automation, your employees no longer have to be stuck on repetitive tasks that take them all day to complete. These tasks would be completed in minutes, allowing your employees to focus on more critical tasks. Doing this would positively uplift your business by exponentially increasing its productivity and performance rate.
However, how would it affect your own business? Every business is different, so the effects of automation would be felt differently. Make sure you ask this question before you implement automation to reap its full benefits.
What Processes Are We Automating And Who Should Be Involved?
With the massive movement towards automation nowadays, it can be easy to decide to automate all processes in your business. But before you do that, it would be better to assess what part of your business needs automation deeply. Although complete automation of your business processes can be a good thing, doing it all at once can lead to catastrophic results.
Additionally, it would help if you quickly determine who should be involved in the automation. Try to bring an automation engineer onboard, as they are often responsible for planning, implementing, and monitoring automation.
How Will We Be Leveraging Automation In The Long Run?
As beneficial as automation truly is, not everyone knows how to fully leverage its advantages. In fact, many people still have skeptical views about it. That’s why before you think about integrating automation into your company, it would be best if you understand how you’re going to make the fullest use of automation and reap its benefits.
If you can’t do it expertly or alone, try to hire someone who would take care of automation matters, allowing you to focus on other aspects of the business.
How To Select The Right Tool/Software
Selecting the right automation tools and software can be tricky, especially if you’re new to the concept. There are dozens of tools and software to pick from, so try to pick one that almost perfectly aligns with your business model and objectives.
If you have some knowledge of automation beforehand, you can always pick based on your discretion. However, if this is your first time, the best thing to do is hire an automation expert for consultations and implementations.
Admittedly, trying to answer these questions can be pretty challenging. It takes a lot of introspection and honesty to answer. However, provided you answer these six questions truthfully and build off of them, automation could become one of your greatest assets in a matter of months.
Chintan Jain is the Associate Director of Product Marketing at Kissflow Workflow, a unified platform that enables organizations to manage all types of work in one place. Chintan is a skilled marketing practitioner who writes extensively on topics like workplace technologies, work management, and digital workplace. He also actively contributes to various business and technology platforms.