Technological automation - improving efficiency and budget rationalisation
1. What is technical automation?
Technological automation is all types of solutions that facilitate and accelerate time consuming works which are done manually. Even relatively small automation, like for example sending automatic emails, may save much precious time for business owners and employees. By implementing solutions that optimise time of work on crucial processes in our company we can significantly improve marketing, order management, logistics or customer service. At the same time we don’t have to increase costs connected with hiring and maintaining new employees.
2. Useful technological automation
What automation will be useful for you depends predominantly on characteristics of your industry and your customers needs. First of all, think about which activities take the most of your time and attention. Which manual activity generates the greatest number of mistakes? If you run a company for sure you can recall many tedious processes that you will willingly improve or pass to someone else.
In our case one of the most time consuming activities was conveying information between customers and developers. The appropriate solution was to implement a system that allows for sending automatic emails to customers when the status of their task has changed. The whole correspondence can be conducted within the system, directly between a customer and developer who does the project. Thanks to this developer sees all comments on the project or attachments sent and can work immediately on updates. On the other hand the customer has all of the information in one place and can check anytime how the realisation of his project goes on.
3. Automatisation in online store
E-commerce is a sector where automatisation of processes is important for accelerating orders realisation and customer service. Independently on the size of the online store, there are many repetitive activities that are usually time-consuming. There are for instance preparing parcels, sending emails to customers, adding products to the online store or updating stock availability on various sales channels.
Very helpful can be solutions such as Baselinker thanks to which we can integrate our online store with many marketplaces, courier services, accounting systems or wholesales. Manually adding products to a few platforms or preparing invoices to each order will take much time for sure. Think how much time you could save if you would be able to transfer all of the products by just a few clicks and send invoices automatically when someone places the order.
Automation can be implemented even in a small online store. For example, only integration with a courier company is enough to accelerate time consuming activities connected with sending parcels, such as copying customers data from the order to delivery note or manual update of order status. Thanks to integration with a courier service, customer data will be downloaded automatically, shipment status will change in the system when the parcel is sent or delivered and customer will receive the email with the information about the shipment status.
4. When should you implement technological automation?
If you still lack time and you can’t deal with everyday duties and because of that your customers have to wait longer for response or realisation of the service it is a time to think about changes. Of course, not every activity can be automated with technological solutions. However, there are many various tools that can help to improve efficiency of your company within the range of managing the team ,communication, preparing offers and estimates or booking meetings. Thanks to them you can gain more free time that you can spend on other important tasks that require human resources.
5. Technical automation and costs of employment
Various automation and integrations can unburden you and your employees. After implementing proper solutions, employing new staff members may be unnecessary, especially when their scope of duties would be limited to a concrete task, like sending invoices or adding products to the marketplace. Even the best team is not able to update thousands of products within several minutes. Then it is worth comparing costs of implementing technical automation and employing and maintaining a new staff member. In some cases human resources are irreplaceable, but we can still make our employees have more time on development and new challenges.
6. How to start technological automation in the company?
For sure you know which processes you want to accelerate. Maybe you were even able to find a good module or system that can help you. In case of a ready-made solution, it is good to check the whole list of their functions or technical documentation. Then you will make sure that a chosen solution in which you want to invest, will really solve your problem.
If the specifics of your business requires untypical solutions, it is good to consult with a programmer, who can verify your project from the technical side and can tell if you need a dedicated solution or if there is any ready-made tool that you can base on.