It’s no secret that business operations have a lot of moving parts that need to be considered. The thing is, these parts are most likely the simplest elements of any workflow, but take up large portions of time simply due to the number of them that need to be addressed.
I bet that you could easily list three such processes off the top of your head, right now.
These processes, while needed, can ultimately be more of an annoyance than anything else. There’s just so many to see to, and your efforts could really be better used working on another task.
A Hands-Off Solution
The technology that could help you the most is known as automation, where certain processes can be automatically seen to once another has been completed. This is already a common enough solution.
For instance, many websites have a handy dialogue box to help you better find what you are looking for, returning contextual answers that may solve your problem without the need to call in one of the website’s human support team members.
The infamous Clippy, the Microsoft Office Assistant that would pop up and offer assistance with certain processes in Office applications, could be considered a very basic use of automation. If the user began to format their document in a certain way, Clippy would appear and try to advise them on how to do it properly, along with other pieces of unsolicited advice.
Fortunately, not all automation is quite as insistent or obtrusive as Clippy was. Most of it can take place entirely behind the scenes, eliminating many of the time-intensive requirements that hold back significant productivity.
Automation solutions today offer three particular benefits to those that leverage them:
- As we’ve mentioned, smaller tasks no longer require a user’s attention. This allows your employees to focus more on their bigger responsibilities in service to your customers and clients.
- Instead of spending time scheduling certain tasks to move to the next employee in line to work on a project, the right automation can take care of this, well, automatically. As a result, it is easier to maintain productivity and a standard operating procedure.
- Automation is also less error-prone than a human being would be, making it a faster and more accurate means of routing information to the applications that require it.
Of course, no solution ever comes without any challenges, automation included. Some are more technical, but the major one that always comes up speaks to deeper human concerns.
One the technical side, automation presents two major challenges:
- Automation still requires at least some monitoring by a human resource to ensure that the automation is functioning properly, and is also delivering a better return on investment than a human can. Otherwise, it may not be worth the effort it takes to implement and, again, monitor. This is something that many delegate to an outsourced provider.
- All of your different solutions and systems may not play so nicely with each other, making it necessary to integrate them into a single chain of automated processes. A technology professional from Heart of Texas Network Consultants can assist you in selecting the right ones for your needs.
Finally, the last (and in many ways, worst) obstacle you may encounter is pushback from your employees.
Yes, I know, you’re actually making their jobs easier and allowing them to tackle more important responsibilities - but look at it from their perspective for a moment. If you don’t fully explain the benefits behind your choice to implement automation, they may see it as their job being replaced by a machine.
Therefore, to avoid this, bring your employees into your implementation process. Make sure that they are made clear of the fact that this is to help the entire business, and that they are a part of that business. Giving them more significant tasks and responsibilities will also help with this.
If you want assistance in planning and implementing your business automation strategy, give Heart of Texas Network Consultants a call. We’d be happy to assist you with any of your technology needs. Call (254) 848-7100 today!