Business efficiency is one of the key reasons to automate your business. ‘Efficiency’ however is defined by a number of factors - all of which are equally important when determining the overall success of your business.
In order to build and maintain your competitive advantage you need to succeed at retaining revenue, reducing complexity, responding to your customers needs quickly and dominating customer service. All while making consistently well-educated business decisions.
A balance too difficult to maintain? Absolutely not.Here are the top 5 reasons to automate your business:
1. Automation can Solve Revenue Leakage
Revenue Leakage is a challenge for almost any organisation. This is especially true for Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) where you are delivering ever more complex services to a rapidly growing customer base.
Disconnected processes, manual interventions, lack of accurate and real-time reporting and inappropriate software are often catalysts to rapidly reducing profit margins.
There are 3 ways business automation can help with this particular plumbing problem:
- Visibility of key business metrics through dashboards
- Collections processes with automated reminders, all linked to ageing reports
- Customer billing is accurate, every month
Take a flip through our Slideshare “3 Ways Business Automation can Solve Revenue Leakage“ to find out more about how business automation can solve your revenue leakage challenges.
2. Automation Speeds up Time-to-market
Everyone knows that it’s no longer ‘big business’ that wins all the market share, but rather, it’s those that are the most agile. Agile businesses respond to their customers’ needs quicker by adjusting their product/service range accordingly - getting to market - and grabbing that all important attention.
Business agility is very much defined by (1) company culture, and (2) the restrictions your current processes place on you. If your processes are cumbersome, manual, disconnected and time-consuming, you’re unlikely to be able to respond to anything quickly enough to make an impact. Whereas, if your processes are flexible, scalable, integrated, and provide you with great metric visibility - you’re setting yourself up for success.
Automated business operations that are able to grow and change with you significantly increase your time-to-market. Just ask these guys.
3. Automation Increases Customer Satisfaction
Nothing is more irritating than terrible customer service. And ‘terrible customer service’ covers a few different bases, for example:
- Bad phone etiquette
- Slow deliveries
- Departments that don’t seem to communicate with each other
- Having to tell your story to a number of ‘advisors’ before reaching the person most able to help
- Terrible websites where information is hidden or not in a logical place
- No ability to self-manage
- Bad, incorrect or hard-to-understand invoices
… Just to name a few.
Automation takes these disconnected (often manual) processes and uses software to ensure that specific steps are automatically and consistently taken to achieve your process goals.
Here are some examples of how automation increases customer satisfaction:
- Single Database: Connecting your entire business to one single database where customer service reps can find the information they need to answer queries and track issues raised
- Trouble Tickets: Automating the processes around trouble tickets means that, once raised, tickets are automatically allocated to the correct department for review, action and reporting
- Billing: Automated processes ensure all billing is accurate and real-time. Fewer errors mean fewer frustrated calls to your contact centre and happier customers
- Customer Portals: Providing useful and relevant customer portals that allow effective and real-time self management
Happy customers are long term, repeat customers.
4. Automation Reduces Process Complexity
Complex processes take time, suck up resources and ultimately cost your business money. Communication failures compound complexity and a lack of traceability means there is no available audit trail.
Why would you choose to run your business with that handicap? The bottom line is that you wouldn’t. Your current processes have likely evolved over time as your business has grown. And it’s unlikely that, given a clean slate, you would structure your business in the same way.
Automating your business operations gives you a chance to remove complexity. Automation ensures your workflows are executed correctly 100% of the time without duplication or human error. This reduces complexities - saving time, freeing up resources and helping you to recover revenue lost through poorly managed transactions/processes.
5. Automation Increases Business Visibility
Access to reliable reports is essential to the success of your business. The information they produce is the foundation on which you make your strategic and operational decisions. Having the right information in the right place, at the right time, is what helps you do what you do better than the competition.
Disconnected systems and software that requires manual intervention means that reliable reporting:
- Takes too long to produce
- Isn’t real-time
- Isn’t necessarily reliable
- Is restricted by the filters and fields available
Automating your operations means that a single, integrated and real-time database drives your business. As soon as all your information is stored centrally it becomes much easier to run reports against that data - giving you the visibility and insight you need to make key decisions. Dashboards generated by an automated business operations platform connect all of your key business metrics and display them in a single, easy to understand format. Our Slideshare “6 Reasons a Great Dashboard is Essential to your Business” goes through the how’s and why’s in more detail.
Business process automation has become an essential tool in the business efficiency focused executive’s toolkit. This is mainly due to the many business benefits it offers - chief among them is efficiency gains. Having the ability to do more with less is very valuable in a marketplace where flexibility, the ability to sell and plugging any revenue leaks is essential to maintaining and increasing your competitive advantage.
The reasons to automate your business are fast outweighing the reasons not to - can you afford not to investigate your options? If you'd like to know more about business automation in general, head over to our blog post "Everything you need to know about Business Process Automation".