Efficiency & Sustainability: How to combine both and what you surely haven't thought of yet
What do efficiency, sustainability and automation have in common? Correct, they are hardly ever associated with each other. The fact that automation can increase efficiency in companies is no longer a secret. But that this increase in efficiency can promote sustainability in the next step is little known. In our everyday work as an automation agency, we notice time and again that the topic of automation has not yet reached the consciousness of many people, despite the immensely increased possibilities.
However, one business area that can benefit enormously from automation is that of sustainable business models and products. How can something like this succeed? Where does automation help sustainable business models? What challenges do sustainable business models still face?
To answer these questions, we spoke with multiple co-founder Marius Würzner about how automation can promote sustainability and why efficiency, sustainability and automation go hand in hand.
Marius has already founded four companies during his professional life, not always with sustainability at the heart of the business idea. Since the beginning of the year, however, he has been intensively working on his latest project: Sustainable children's toys. It was clear that this sustainable alternative had to be as simple and striking as possible so that customers of all kinds would be convinced of the product in milliseconds. Because sustainable products still struggle with more expensive production costs and a correspondingly higher purchase price.
This is exactly where automation can help to reduce internal operating costs and free up valuable time for customer acquisition and product development, not only during the start-up phase.
Did you already know? Wemakefuture offers companies with sustainable business models a 10% discount on the project price.
From the idea to the product: sustainable children's toys for all
The idea for sustainable children's toys actually came from Marius' wife. Because especially small bring-along gifts, which are available at supermarket checkouts, for example, are almost never sustainable. They are packed in plastic, made of plastic and disappear in the bin after only two plays.
Since the topic of sustainability has also become more important for them in the family in recent years, he thought about an alternative for parents, grandparents or friends who would like to give small children a treat. These considerations took into account not only the problem of materials, but also the lifetime of such products. In the end, the product Pyramido was created, which will be launched on the market in the coming months.
How efficiency, sustainability and automation are connected
Of course, such a business model also needs a corresponding IT infrastructure in the background. Marius approached us for this and we helped him to implement automation in the young company right from the start. He explains why this was so important to him as follows:
“In my opinion, a sustainable product requires a special focus on efficiency. More sustainable products are still more expensive in terms of production costs. So in order to compete, all options must be used to work as efficiently as possible. In the meantime, the market offers many modern products, many of them cloud-based. And especially for a small or medium-sized company, you don't want to tie yourself to a huge system that may be completely oversized - and too expensive. So people look for smaller, often more customised solutions in the area of accounting, CRM, merchandise management, support, etc."
It was clear to him that he wanted to build on a system that saves time and is future-proof right from the start. It is true that at the beginning it is usually still possible to jump back and forth between individual applications, such as CRM, accounting or merchandise management, in order to enter and transfer data. Nevertheless, such activities are very quickly annoying time wasters and cause more frustration and errors than real added value.
Today, we have rows and rows of APIs for connecting such applications with each other. Marius also knew about this.
"But this is an area that is not very accessible to many "end users" of systems. The many details that are important for a high-performance business software are hard to keep track of. There is always the possibility of bringing the relevant competences in-house or having them covered by external partners.
"And this is where providers like wemakefuture come into play, enabling exactly this connection and secure synchronisation of the systems. In my opinion, this form of service pushes into a very underestimated and, until now, also neglected niche."
Efficiency Sustainability: Efficient working is indispensable for sustainability
For him, the advantages are clear: a clear structure right from the start with automated applications saves already scarce time, which can then be used for customer acquisition and product development. As the company grows, the high scalability of cloud automation means fewer challenges for a company. Automation also saves money by enabling more efficient use of salaried employees.
"For me, efficient work thus goes hand in hand with sustainability."
Did you already know? Wemakefuture offers companies with sustainable business models a 10% discount on the project price.
Sustainable products hold more challenges than just the software
For Marius, however, the challenges during product development went far beyond the topic of software. Sourcing raw materials and product components from truly sustainable sources is enormously difficult, despite numerous seals of approval.
Even if the wood used has an FSC seal, it does not take into account where it comes from. But a long transport route from Asia or South America also pays into the environmental account of a product. It was a difficult process to source sustainable and even more so regional wood for the children's toys. Such experiences also show how much should still happen in this area.
Apart from the product, the young company also strives to realise sustainability within the company. Green electricity is easy to implement. But bicycles, electric cars or the train as a means of transport for business trips are also important aspects. Of course, sustainability is also anchored in the vision and mission of the start-up.
Job market thanks sustainable business models
Marius increasingly sees a sustainable business model as a decisive advantage on the job market. When choosing a job, more and more employees are also considering where they want to contribute their labour, which industry, which company. When personal interests and values coincide with those of the organisation, intrinsic motivation is created - that has not been a secret for a long time. And sustainability can be just this factor.
The start-up and investor scene currently reflects this very well. The increased interest in sustainable business models is also interesting for the workforce.
Efficiency Sustainability also increasingly important in the future
In order for sustainable business to become more attractive in the future, Marius believes it takes a lot of courage and will to bring sustainable products and services to life.
"If a product or service is explicitly designed for sustainability, it already has a very positive connotation per se. In order to be able to meet the challenges of the future, special solutions are needed that always aim at sustainable management. Who could be better predestined for this than founders who are 100% committed to these goals? This is how innovation is born.
It will also be important for the German economy how well it can adapt to the rapid changes and demands. And despite the current Corona crisis, Marius sees climate change in particular as a much bigger problem here.
"And this is not a problem that will happen sometime in the future, but we are already in the middle of it. Digitisation brings opportunities and in this respect I hope that in 25 years we can say that the generation of that time understood what had to be done and set a good course.
He sees himself as the founder of the company. As a multiple co-founder, his experience has always been characterised by the fact that he could specify what the company stands for and which vision and mission are decisive.
Did you already know? Wemakefuture offers companies with sustainable business models a 10% discount on the project price. We support you in implementing a sustainable IT landscape right from the start that grows with you and can be used individually. We are happy to support you in the analysis and subsequent automation of business processes, explain possibilities and individually address the company processes.
Cloud Integration, iPaaS, SaaS, BPA… Ough, hard to keep track of all these terms. They are currently used frequently (and increasingly) in the context of automation, and it is sometimes difficult to make a clear distinction and distinction. We have already written blog posts on the terms iPaaS, SaaS and BPA, but we’ll take them up again here to make the difference.
But let’s start with cloud integration, because that’s the central umbrella term in which we embed all the other technologies in this blog post.
To illustrate these advantages, an example is suitable that we know well from our everyday work as an automation agency:
The central data to be used here is the data of a major customer. This can be the simplest information, such as the address. This address is required in numerous but completely different processes in the company: on the one hand, for correct invoicing in accounting. On the other hand, in the CRM system, where all the data of the large customer is also stored. But the address is also important in sales, for example, when employees go to the sales meeting on site.
Now the customer announces that the address of the company has changed after a move. This information will reach you by e-mail. There are now two options:
01. The e-mail is forwarded to all affected departments, accounting, sales, customer service, marketing… All persons open their corresponding program, CRM, accounting software, marketing tools (such as newsletter marketing) and change the data already stored there of the customer. This means that in multiple applications, different people do exactly the same thing: change one address. 02. But there is also an alternative: By connecting your applications, thus by integrizing them, the customer’s e-mail, or rather the information it contains about the address change, is automatically passed on to all affected applications: CRM, accounting, marketing, ERP. This does not require any clicks, because the cloud integration detects a trigger, i.e. address change, and thus automatically starts the process.
What sounds unimpressive in a single process becomes more effective when such a process occurs several times a day or weekly. Because there is a lot of data that is available in different applications and should always be correct. If these applications are cloud applications they are suitable for cloud integration.
But cloud integration doesn’t just happen. There are now a variety of applications that enable and implement this. Such tools usually allow us to link the relevant cloud applications on a central platform and define clear rules on when, how, where, how much data should be passed on and what happens to them.
IPaaS, SaaS, BPA, ABC – who can still see through it?
To realize cloud integration, there are various applications and technologies that are sometimes used interchangeably.
Cloud integration cannot be done without SaaS, iPaaS and BPA
Cloud integration is rather an umbrella term that includes numerous technologies, such as SaaS, iPaaS and BPA, and this is also absolutely necessary. Cloud integration is a concept that is made possible by appropriate technologies.
However, all terms share the commonality that they are cloud-based and thus offer enormous potential for growth and scaling. In addition, they are often cheaper to implement and maintain because changed requirements are easy to implement.
As an independent automation agency, we implement cloud integration according to your requirements. We use a variety of SaaS tools and iPaas (strictly speaking BPA) software. Together we find individual solutions that are flexible and scalable.