Whether you realize it or not, there are ways your company can save money by cutting ineffective processes and implementing automation. Incorporating automation into your everyday business routines can seem daunting, but the benefits make it worth more than just a look.
The chances are that your company could stand to use a bit more help with collaboration, team alignment, and multitasking according to data. A survey by Clear Company found that 97 percent of employees and executives surveyed believed that a lack of alignment within a team directly impacts the outcome of a task or project.
The same survey also found that 86 percent of respondents cited a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. Not only are we having trouble communicating and collaborating, but us humans are not the best at multitasking either. According to the American Psychological Association, brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productivity.
How can you keep productivity high while also ensuring quality? Automation is the answer. Whether your company needs to implement marketing automation, database automation, or an open automation software option to smooth out your industrial processes, it is time to make your business routines a bit easier. Here are five ways to automate your business.
1. Email Marketing
Regardless of whether your company manufactures ships, cars, or aerospace materials, email is still a significant way to reach out to your clients and gain new ones. It is a vital tool that allows you to bring in new leads and cultivate the ones you already have. While it email is essential, your marketing department has a lot on its plate, and it would be nice to save them time and money by automating many of your email marketing tasks. Most email marketing options allow you to trigger emails based on API requests, automatically segment customers based on rules you set, target customers based on behavior, and integrate with other programs to increase sales.
2. Data Collection
If your business uses equipment to fulfill business needs, then data automation is critical. How do you know when it is time for a repair? Does a piece of equipment need an upgrade? How many units is each piece of equipment involved in producing every day? Connecting sensors to your machines allow you to collect valuable data about their productivity and operational tasks throughout the day. You can even put these sensors on a network to automatically move data to spreadsheets, web applications, or other repositories where you house data. This action allows staff not to have to monitor these machines continuously and puts them in a position to act on any dramatic changes they see in data.
3. Project Management
In the manufacturing and industrial world, work life is defined by project after project. Not only do you have to keep an eye on machines, but you still have to manage teams (who are likely across multiple departments). Project management automation can make this a bit smoother. You can reduce meeting times by automatically tracking employee work time and tasks that have already been completed. You can also reassess your project deadlines by receiving automatic notifications of weather, traffic, and other unforeseen factors that could delay shipment. Some advanced project management software applications are even using past performance data to suggest employees who would be the best fit for specific tasks. A robust project management tool can make silos and delays a thing of the past if implemented correctly.
4. Customer Service
Years ago, companies were expected to have large teams of customer service representatives handling client questions, but even this has shifted to an AI and automated-based approach. Today, customer service automation is key to keeping customers engaged and an open to a new sale. Now, some companies are using virtual assistants to answer calls and schedule meetings. They are also using chatbots as a popular automated customer service tool. Many are intelligent enough to pick up on communication cues and answer complex questions customer have concerning a product or service. The IT department is also benefiting from this form of automation. Specific AI programs can route help ticket questions to the proper division, and even provide automated solutions to prevent help ticket requests from falling by the wayside.
5. Information Technology
The work of an IT professional is never done, especially in the professional world of manufacturing. There are many ways you can make the job of your IT department easier as well as save money, and guard against security breaches. IT automation can take the form of the deployment of upgrades and enhancements, automatic user sign-off after a specific time of inactivity, automated system backups, network monitoring, and failure detection. If developing software is a significant component of your enterprise, you can even automate certain aspects of the testing process. Automating these activities frees IT professionals up to be more hands-on to deal with emergencies that could happen throughout the workday.
Automation is not a cure-all for everything. There will always be business processes that would benefit from a manual touch. However, part of the challenge for you is to decide where you can implement some efficiencies to prevent the overworking of your team, save time and money, and quickly satisfy your customer’s orders. When automation is strategically deployed, everyone benefits. Hopefully, the above automation solutions give you an idea of where to look next for your next automation roll out.
What are your thoughts in the future of automation and IoT? Leave us a comment with your thoughts in the section below.
Author: Oliver Curtis
Hi there. I’m Oliver. I’m just a young boy from the outskirts of… Okay, that’s a lie, I’m not a young boy anymore, although I certainly feel that way at heart.