You can't mention business automation without technology popping up as the two are pretty inseparable. When business process automation was gaining traction across industries, there were concerns that robots and technology would replace human labor and render people jobless. However, this hasn’t been the case. Automation is designed to work hand in hand with human intelligence.
Business automation uses technology to perform repetitive tasks. These are tasks that human beings would typically do. Automation helps free up employees to attend to work of higher value that you can't automate. There are two types of business automation: attended and unattended automation.
Attended automation is used when the entire business process can't be automated. In this process, the bot requires a level of human input for it to execute its functions. The human input could be the entry of data, among others. On the other hand, unattended business automation uses technology and bots that function independently of human actions. This technology performs batch operations that don't require human intervention. An example of an unattended bot is a job scheduler for critical batch processing used to automate the process of job scheduling.
Other than job scheduling, there are many more advantages of unattended automation. If you're looking to leverage on it, here are some tips to help you do it right:
Relying on technology to perform tasks with humans is cool, so it’s normal for business owners to enjoy the idea of what robotics can do. However, it’d help if you didn't forget the primary goals for the company such as making profits, solving problems, or serving customers' needs, among others. When aligning the automation with your company's vision, make sure the robotics help serve both the business's short- and long-term goals.
For example, if the primary goal of your business is to achieve customer satisfaction and it should be for all companies, your customers' needs should be at the core of the automation process. Customers can benefit from a communication automation process. Thus, consider having a website for your business with chatbots that help customers navigate it.
When designing your website, make sure it's compatible across various devices since different people use different gadgets to access the web. This helps to ensure no potential client is left out due to technological problems. Other than that, ensure that visitors can see important features such as the contact us section. It’s one thing to have traffic on your website and another to convert it into sales, which will help you meet another business goal.
As above, business automation takes over repetitive tasks so human labor can attend to other high-value activities that’ll benefit the enterprise. Therefore, if you're looking to automate your company, identifying these repetitive tasks is the best place to start.
Write a list of activities done in the business process, from administrative to manufacturing, as well as from front-end office activities to back-end office activities. Under every task, take note of how often it's done and how long it takes. The more frequent an activity is, the more they need automating for that task.
Before automating the process, they were doing the tasks manually, right? This is where automation starts. You have to understand the manual method first before you can automate it.
Start by writing the manual process step by step. If you're having a hard time doing this, seek help from a team member who’s more knowledgeable on the process you wish to automate. Understanding the manual tasks helps you identify sectors that’d pose a challenge and navigate it before it happens. The best way to understand a task manually is to imagine you're explaining it to a new team member who should take over the job.
Other than identifying problems prior, understanding the task helps the automation experts create custom business automation that better serves the enterprise’s specific needs.
With your list of tasks to have automation processes, the company's vision and goals, and a better understanding of the manual tasks, you're set to automate your business. We recommend that you start small in your automation process. The larger the task, the more complex it’ll be to automate it, hence the more challenges you’ll face.
Facing hitches at the beginning of your automation can be disheartening. If you want to maintain the excitement of business automation, start with the small, easy-to-handle tasks. Then proceed to the much bigger and complex ones. Alternatively, you can break down the large tasks into small manageable activities to streamline the process.
Hire experts to help you with the automation. The experts will help you identify the best automation tools for your tasks. They’ll also study the business process, and together, you'll automate your company one small task after another.
You now have a stable foundation for unattended business automation with the five tips discussed above. What are you waiting for? Start today.