The fourth industrial revolution is bringing forth a rise in automation, redefining the trajectory of corporate growth, labor markets, and the economy. But with all the software and tools available in this modern age, it’s surprising how some businesses still spend their time doing repetitive manual tasks. Data from Zapier’s 2020 Report shows that only 64 percent of workers use automation software at work.
Even if the index only measures a confidence level of nearly two-thirds, the advantages of automation are real. About 96 percent of respondents experience self-improvement and agility, but the business potential of automation doesn’t end there. Aside from saving time, automating processes can also help businesses save money.
Every business has varying needs and culture, and there’s no clear formula to calculate how much your business can save money using Zapier, Integromat, and other automation solutions. However, research suggests businesses could potentially save millions of dollars annually. This industrial trend affects several business aspects that ultimately lead to a reduction in costs.
Automation drastically streamlines processes and improves efficiency. The same report from Zapier found that employees who use automation software complete projects within a short time. Without those tedious, repetitive tasks, employees can maximize their productivity and focus on more meaningful and revenue-generating work.
Since machines have a predetermined set of standards, automating tasks also increases efficiency. When you input data correctly, then you can ensure accurate output. Mistakes and errors in businesses can cost you a lot of money. Last year, a simple human lapse caused U.S. banking giant Citigroup to send almost a billion to Revlon Inc.’s lenders.
Automating processes also reduces operational costs. Every company is under pressure to increase sales and deliver profits. While some will think investing in more people will solve this issue, hiring employees is expensive, and there are additional costs aside from their salary. Automated systems identify and cut off redundant processes, thereby reducing the need for other employees.
Automation software is a tool that helps organizations create systems to handle repetitive manual tasks. Since they save time, improve efficiency, reduce operational costs, and help organizations save money, these automation tools are used in various industries and sectors, including financial institutions, medical fields, and manufacturing companies.
However, there’s no one-size-fits-all automation solution. Since every organization has varying needs and cultures, you will find different types of software automation to help you address those gaps. Here are the three primary types of automation.
This type of software automation involves simple, rudimentary work that is easily understood, replicated, and organized. This level of automation is all about digitizing high-volume tasks that take time and are prone to human error. Basic automation uses tools to centralize and streamline processes. For example, your organization can take advantage of a shared messaging system to improve communication instead of having information in disconnected departments. Some types of basic automation include robotic process automation and business process management.
This next level of software automation involves more sophisticated and specialized processes. An example of a task where organizations can use enhanced automation is scanning business emails for specific information. Since it’s more advanced, this type of automation can be used in industries where complex tasks are more prone to human error. Some examples of work areas that require this level of automation include IT, finance, and accounting.
Cognitive automation is the most complex level of automation since it’s a subsection of Artificial Intelligence. This type of automation takes things a step further since the machines imitate human functions such as thinking and reasoning. Due to its analytical capabilities, cognitive automation tools can learn and make decisions based on past events they encountered and analyzed. An example of this is automated customer service and support.
While automation holds real business potential, not everyone experiences the advantages it offers. The answer lies in understanding the different types of automation software. With those tools, organizations must also develop and implement a strategy that fits their needs. Here are some steps you can use as a guide to successfully invest in business automation.
If you’re starting your automation project, you must first understand your goals and determine what you want your business to achieve. Then, compare this to your capabilities and ensure you have the right people on board. It’s crucial that you developed a strategy for the initial steps and have rules to help you focus on your results.
Once you have defined your business goals and prepared your organization, begin with a few pilot programs or basic automation. Although investing in basic programs will only give you some small wins, this will protect your organization from massive losses until you get the hang of it. No organization is the same, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Take your time in implementing your first automation project correctly, and learn from the mistakes.
Keep in mind that progress isn’t linear, and the needs of your business may often change. That’s why you need to look for opportunities where automation can help your business save money. Once your basic automation shows success, be prepared for the plethora of automation requests within your company. Use the lessons you learned from your pilot programs and adjust your business strategy accordingly. However, you need to re-define your rules and have a clear approach on which automation to prioritize.
Despite varying viewpoints about automation and claims of it taking over human jobs, this technological advancement delivers several benefits that can launch a business to the road of growth and success. It goes above and beyond your simple solutions and tools to save time.
Automation software enables organizations to reduce operation costs, increase production output, operate efficiently, which eventually helps businesses save money. Today, several processes can be automated at work. But before an organization can reap these benefits, they will have to understand each automation software and take careful steps in implementing solutions.