Whether we realize it or not, technology has impacted and become an integral part of our lives. Not just staying confined to businesses, technology has proven its significance in our home and has played an active role in improving our lifestyles lately.
And in today’s competitive landscape, every enterprise aims to get the most out of its resources. To make this possible, businesses in today’s date no longer stick to traditional methods to manage their business operations; instead, they count on automating their business to manage their business processes more smartly. Apart from reducing the overall operational costs, implementing automation in the business strategy has become necessary to survive in the competitive market and gain an edge over others.
However, this is not the end of it!
Let’s discover the second part of this tech revolution and understand the current dilemma of the businesses!
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Automation: The Enabler of Improved Business Operations or Not?
To the point where human intervention isn’t required, technology in the form of automation can automate business workflows and processes, helps to save money, efforts, and resources, and eliminates the scope of human errors. But not every business succeeds in reaping the benefits of automation and implementing machines in their business to streamline workflows and manage other processes.
Not all business processes are the best fit for automation, and businesses need to realize it right away that whether it is worth continuing or not. At this point, companies have to identify which all business processes need to be automated. Well, in this post, we’ll learn the nitty-gritty of how automation is helping specific business processes and explore the areas where automation doesn’t seem to be a great fit as of now.
Moreover, we’ll learn even the compelling reasons why automation is becoming a necessity for businesses to resist the highly price-competitive environment. So, without wasting any more time, let’s get started!
Areas Where Automation is Proving its True Potential!
In the recent global market, every business has got the pressure to quickly bring products to the market and be the first one to market it. Moreover, companies even have immense pressure to economize their business processes to boost their margins in the long run.
Automating the business operations and processes that demand plenty of time, effort, attention, and resources will help minimize the scope of errors and accelerate the entire business operations in the long run. If businesses automate the processes, you can expect the rapid product to market and minimize the operating expenses, which further improves the margins. So, let’s discover the major business areas where automation helps and ensures fruitful results.
In the majority of the businesses where the employees have to make quick and smart customer-related decisions, there are chances that the employees don’t have enough information or knowledge of that segment and fail to make the correct decision. For instance, a person visits a bank to apply for a loan and checks the background and loan limit of the person; the bank employee has got a mobile loan app with only limited functionalities. In that case, counting on software automation for the loan approval process can help the bank employee quickly run the person’s financial analysis and credit check and inform him about the amount of loan he is eligible for, interest rate, and other important conditions.
In the absence of automation tools or software, it would have been impossible for the employees to make an accurate decision and deliver the correct information in such a short span of time. So, we can say that having the tech-driven apps or tools that don’t have the required functionalities are just pointless. You need to analyze your business needs and find out where all areas you need automation so that your workforce experiences hassle-free operations and make accurate decisions at the right time.
Repetitive Business Processes
Repetitive business processes such as inventory management, billing, shipping, auto security updates, and project management tasks are few tasks that are manageable and predictable with automation. It will reduce manual pressure and involvement during the business processes and minimize human error chances. With this, the workforce is free to get involved in other productive tasks, which requires more human attention.
Risk Identification and Mitigation
Identifying and working upon the rapidly evolving business risks is the major challenge faced by the majority of the business nowadays. For ensuring safe and reliable business processes in the long run, addressing the business risks has become important than ever before. At this point, the business processes that are managed by machines and intelligent technologies are easy to govern and enable business owners to identify and mitigate risks in the first place seamlessly.
Every business has to continuously evaluate the fundamental business processes for identifying the gaps that might expose your business, the workforce, assets, and client to risk. Backed by automated technology and machines, businesses can re-plan and redesign their business processes for clarifying the rules and accurately define the roles and responsibilities without missing any important factor. Once the stakeholders and other business members are clear about their roles and learn what is expected from them, it helps ensure all the business processes get carried out consistently and accurately while adhering to the business policies and other parameters.
Moreover, it even helps enforce supervisory controls and detect the risks or errors before they take the form of a critical threat to the business. And this can happen if businesses still count on traditional and paper-based methods. With these manual methods, you’ll have to go through silos of data and email threads every day. It becomes challenging to maintain data accessibility and visibility needed for risk management.
For attaining end-to-end visibility of vital necessary business operations taking place outside the organization walls, the majority of the businesses are leverage IoT technology in the form of sensor-based tracking and alerts. Like in the case of cargo-bearing containers, we can install sensors to regularly track its movements, get real-time alerts whenever the seals are broken, or track any other malfunctioning in the container. Getting all this important information in advance can help businesses to avoid major losses and take appropriate actions in the first place.
Risky Manual Tasks
The workforce of various businesses is regularly engaged in numerous risky works like working in rugged terrain or walking continuously on concrete aisles in the warehouse. All these jobs are hazardous and accompany many risks for the workforce. However, implementing automation in unmanned trucks, UAVs, and other risky areas can help carry out and report most of these risky tasks and keep the labor on the safer side. So, why involve your resources in risky operations when automated machines and robots can perform it accurately.
Scenarios Where Automation Might be a Bad Idea
Undoubtedly, machine learning and automation has gained the spotlight and proved its significance in every business segment, but there are scenarios where automation might get in the way of dynamic business processes. Prior to introducing automation to your customer-facing business processes, every business owner needs to think carefully.
There are many instances where customers would love automation in one place and hate it in the next place. People usually like automatic ticket booking while avoiding any interaction with human agents and saving their time. But if they get in some trouble or need assistance, they will not prefer a complicated automated call; instead, they demand human assistance to fix the things right away. Similarly, there are many decisions taken by machines that are not at all appreciated by customers.
In the case of optical sensors on automated vehicles might miss the important environmental cues that result in accidents. Automation is not always perfect in all scenarios, as it might create miscommunication among businesses and customers. Moreover, machines and automation tools need to be implemented in the right way; otherwise, things will turn the other way round.
Why Automation is Inevitable for Businesses in 2020 and Beyond?
In the recent tech-driven age, a business can’t expect to be successful without process automation. The benefits automation can bring to your organization’s growth is simply impossible to ignore in today’s digital world. The point is that how you should automate your business and know which all business processes need to be automated based on the industry you are dealing in.
Regardless of the industry, there are a few compelling reasons for automation becoming an unavoidable part of a stable business journey.
If you still have any second thoughts about the necessity of automation, take a glance at a few reasons that will help to put things in perspective.
- Reduced Operational Costs: The majority of the businesses have got repetitive tasks that demand additional labor and if you are hiring staff for filing these roles, you simply get a financial burden. Deploying the right automation tools in your business can save you a huge capital and perform those repetitive tasks over an automated platform. Of course, companies might hesitate to invest in automation tools initially, but automation will pay back for itself in the long run. And the best part of automation tools is that they are scalable; as the business grows with time, the new tools adapt to this change rapidly.
- Real-time Business Insights: Unlike manual methods, automated processes are always easy to track. The automated system has got the exact idea of time, resources, and efforts needed to perform a particular task. With the right automation tools, you get valuable and real-time business insights that help improve your business and make wiser and accurate decisions. Instead of making guesses and unrealistic decisions, automation tools assist you in making real-time decisions that are based on facts and real-scenarios. Making wise decisions on the basis of real-time business insights can keep businesses on the safe side in the long run and ensures you never make decisions that might end up in hampering your customer’s experience or put your business at a loss or any other risk.
- Scalability: Scaling a business has always remained a daunting task, and it involves considerable business operational costs. If your business has more manual processes, more difficult it would be to scale your business. But once you automate your business operations, scaling the business becomes quite easy. You just need to ensure that your systems can accommodate that growth; otherwise, you’ll just have to make some minor upgrades, that’s all. Moreover, it is also more of a budget-friendly and less complicated approach as compared to traditional and manual methods.
- Minimized Scope of Human Error: No matter how experienced a person is or the level of training and instructions are given to n person, humans are always prone to committing mistakes, knowingly or unknowingly. But luckily, machines are the opposite! From keeping you covered from the minor mistakes to avoiding blunders, automation shines in removing the scope of any mistakes and errors. There are numerous repetitive tasks carried out manually and cause human errors; automating these tasks is the best you can do to save your time, efforts and avoid the major mistakes that might hamper your customer experience.
Automation is just here to make our lives smart and better, not to overrule us, destroy jobs, or anything. Rather, it’s coming to improve our jobs and businesses and keep the global business automation trends to thrive for the long term. In today’s digital ecosystem, there are countless reasons to make automation a necessity for businesses to survive in the competitive market and expect outstanding results by automating your business operations in the long run.
Prior to automating the business processes, you need to define automation goals and measure outputs on a phased-in approach to adoption. Moreover, the businesses’ workforce needs to be thoroughly and properly trained about the automated business process so that they can comprehend not only the process but also their new responsibilities. And training your workforce isn’t going to be an overnight thing; rather, it demands ongoing and regular sessions to keep the people informed about the latest updates.
Regina Deemer is a content writer, mobility strategist and blogger who writes on the latest technology and business-related topics. At present, she is working with Cerebrum Infotech, a leading custom software application development company.