Do you find yourself sighing over a missed sales lead, avoiding a monthly review of your business results because information is not in one place, or simply frustrated over the amount of work needed to get a job done?
Clever and thoughtfully deployed office automation may be the solution.
Like the game Mouse Trap, automating a process can complete a series of tasks in a pre-determined sequence. When the first is complete, a trigger will engage the next, and so on. Specifically, office automation can reduce the amount of time you spend doing mundane tasks. It can mean freeing up people from boring repetitive tasks and follow through and engaging them in more interesting, complicated work or client interaction—things that can impact your business success in new ways. Automation will also make sure you get the same consistent results every time with fewer errors.
If this sounds familiar to you, you should explore automation using business technology. A simple example of this is the automation of email marketing. Your complete marketing campaign can be crafted up front. You enable the automated process and your pre-determined series of events kicks off: send an email, wait two weeks, send another email, wait three days and create a task for your salesperson to make a personal follow-up call. Simple, repeatable workflows that make sure your marketing touches take place when they should and help drive more business.
Adding this type of automation can be revolutionary for your company. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Client feedback – Gather client feedback, routing concerns and issues to the right party for resolution; feeding that information into a database which can produce reports for trend tracking; and store that feedback on the customer record in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
- Data collection – Creating an Excel spreadsheet that tracks data about your organization, performs calculations on the data (e.g., percent of successful sales conversions) and produces reports, graphs, charts. Once you get the right process and spreadsheet in place, you can analyze your business every month with a minimum of effort.
- Approval processes – Streamline your approval processes for vacation requests or documents such as budgets, contracts, or specifications reviews using Microsoft Flow and its integration with over a 100 different services such as SharePoint, OneDrive, Salesforce, Act!, Adobe Sign and much more.
Bear in mind, it is important to avoid “over-automating.”
Creating efficiency is great, but not at the expense of taking the personal touch out of your business relationships. We’ve all been the victim of bad automation—automated phone systems that don’t allow you to exit to a real person—which can leave an unpleasant taste. Sometimes, only person-to-person interaction will do. When designing your business automation, be sure to leave some personal interaction in place.
Office automation will look different in every office and every business. Where do you begin? For starters, likely candidates for automation include: mistake-prone processes, boring repetitive tasks, workflows that require gathering information from multiple places and re-keying it in a different place. Luckily, you probably already have the technology basics in your existing office environment: Microsoft Office 365 with Exchange and the Productivity software (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.) and business applications with readily accessible data.
There has never been a better time to undertake strategic automation in your business. Give IT Radix a call. We’ll be happy to help you build a better mousetrap!
Join us at our next webinar on January 18 as we explore ways to automate your day-to-day tasks and make IT work for you! Click here to register.