SOLID Business Automation Blog

Annette Gardner

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Recent Posts

How Automation can Benefit a Small Business

Posted by Annette Gardner

22-Feb-2017 08:13:00

A small business is required to do pretty much the same tasks as a larger business, but with fewer people. This presents a few very specific challenges around processes, time slicing, scalability and skill sets.

Automation can benefit a small business by easing up manual tasks and streamlining processes. Automation also allows you to benefit from the skills of others (affordably), and gives you more time to dedicate to networking; the bread and butter of small business.

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Topics: Business Automation, Process Automation, Small Business

What is Debt Collection Software?

Posted by Annette Gardner

12-Jan-2017 08:30:00

Debt collection software transforms your monthly 3-day ‘find the spreadsheet, update it so it’s accurate(ish) and then try and contact everyone..nicely’ collections trauma into an effective, instant and reliable mechanism for managing debt recovery.

Debt collection software manages your entire debt collection process. It starts with your database and a list of overdue invoices. It then matches money coming into those invoices and if an invoice remains unpaid for a specified amount of time, the ‘debt collection’ process begins.

And this is all done automatically. (Hurrah!).


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Topics: Definitions, Financials, Bad Debt, Collections, reporting

A Beginners Guide: Why Automate Your Business

Posted by Annette Gardner

09-Mar-2016 08:00:00

You can’t seem to read an article these days without bumping into terms like ‘Business Process Automation’, ‘BSS/OSS’, or ‘Automated operations’. These terms are popular because they describe real solutions to problems such as operational visibility and process complexity.

So, it’s clear that automation can actually help, but the most pressing questions you have are ‘how’ and ‘why??’.

To answer your questions we’ve written this guide. It runs through automation from A-Z, explaining how it gives you the information and infrastructure you need to propel your business forward - and why you should automate your business.

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Topics: Business Automation, Benefits, Advice, Beginners guide

The Best Tips for Automation Success

Posted by Annette Gardner

20-Jan-2016 09:27:00

Embarking on an automation project is never undertaken lightly. Business operations and processes affect almost every part of your business; from Agents on the ground, to Engineers, to Finance and Technical Support. Adjusting the processes that form the backbone of these functions can be daunting to say the least - even when it is for the ‘greater good’.

Customers usually seek us out once they’ve hit a critical point in their business operations where current processes are no longer manageable and their bottom line is being affected (aka Revenue Leakage).

So - when you’re at a pivotal moment in your business operations history - and you’re kinda NEEDING your automation project to be a success - how do you go about making it happen?

I asked our team of engineers who work daily on automation projects from South Africa to Uganda and everywhere in between, to come up with their best tips - and this is what they said:

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Topics: Business Automation, Process Automation, Advice, Tips

The Ultimate Checklist for Successful Automated Provisioning

Posted by Annette Gardner

17-Dec-2015 08:59:03

As we all know, setting up a successful automated provisioning process isn’t as simple as just stringing a few tasks together with mailto links and hitting “go live”.

Complications arise because of the cross-departmental nature of provisioning processes; Originating from your call centre or Sales teams, they are intrinsically linked through to engineering, installations and then on to the finance department. Not to mention how these internal processes directly and indirectly affect customer satisfaction.

With such a detail orientated and complex collection of processes to compile, understand and automate, it can be hard to keep the bigger picture in mind. So in an effort to make things a little easier for you, we have compiled a complete online automated provisioning checklist you can bookmark and use to make sure your next project is a success.

 

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Topics: Business Automation, Process Automation, Provisioning, Automated Provisioning

5 [Great] Reasons to Automate your Customer Portal

Posted by Annette Gardner

02-Dec-2015 08:00:00

Customer portals are like email signatures - ‘property’ owned by you that is very rarely taken full advantage of. Rather than an afterthought (i.e. more than a simple, but non-functional place where customers come to be frustrated); your customer portal and its functionality should be automated.

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Topics: Automation Feature, Customer Portals, Customer Service

Why Billing Reports Should be the Next Process You Automate

Posted by Annette Gardner

18-Nov-2015 13:49:28

When it comes to billing, even the smallest mistake can have the most severe impact on your bottom line. 

ISP Finance departments capture, process and organise volumes of personal, transactional and credit information. Typically, these reside in separate (disconnected) software applications. Add the constant high tempo of transaction and data processing required, and it’s clear how small, yet significant errors easily creep into the billing process. 

Automated billing reports provide transparency, identify profitability centres, eliminate unexpected errors and enable detailed billing analysis. Combined, this delivers key information the finance team needs to shore up revenue leakage and add considerable business value.     

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Topics: Billing, Process Automation, reporting

5 Signs Your Business Needs Automated Provisioning

Posted by Annette Gardner

04-Nov-2015 08:30:00

As a CIO or COO you’re constantly seeking out simplified systems that give you a competitive edge. Simplification means fewer errors, less expense, better (and quicker) service delivery, stronger controls and more time for you to add value to the business. For ISPs, service provisioning is a core, 24/7 function that occurs at speeds that demand the utmost accuracy and efficiency. In working towards simplification - automated provisioning is key.

In this blog, we’ll identify five signs that your business is relying on the wrong solutions to your service provisioning challenges, and how automated provisioning systems can remove some of those operational headaches.

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Topics: Process Automation, Provisioning

4 Reasons You Shouldn't Ignore Customer Churn

Posted by Annette Gardner

16-Apr-2015 08:00:00

Losing customers is as natural to business as gaining them. ‘Customer Churn’ is a measurement of your customer gain-to-loss ratio. Low churn indicates a well performing business in a stable environment, whilst high churn can be a sign of bigger business or environmental challenges.

A certain amount of natural customer churn is to be expected as people grow, change preferences or pass-away. And a business might experience a relatively high rate of churn that is standard for their product or industry.

It’s the rate of ‘un-natural’ churn that you need to monitor closely. This is when your numbers creep above what YOU deem to be regular or acceptable. 

A higher than average churn rate can be a result of a number of factors - here’s our list of the top 4 things to keep in mind if you notice any significant changes in your customer base.

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Topics: Advice, Business Metrics,, Dashboards, Tips, Customer Churn

Automated Provisioning: 3 Top Benefits

Posted by Annette Gardner

09-Apr-2015 09:00:00

"Provisioning" specifically refers to the act of setting up or configuring the necessary hardware and software to activate a customer's purchased services. Automating that process results in, amongst other benefits: increased business agility and minimised revenue leakage.

Rather than relying on time consuming and error-prone manual processes, changes to an account’s status are propagated to remote systems instantly; without timely human errors or process-breakdown delays.

In our recently published eBook “How Automated Provisioning Technology Enables Business Agility” we detail 9 ways in which Automated Provisioning supports operations through software, technology and architecture.

In this post, we’ve detailed 3 of those benefits:

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Topics: Business Automation, Process Automation, Provisioning, Automation Feature