Work more efficiently through automation - 2 tips & tricks
Where to start automating....
Chances are you have automated something without even realising it.
Get an automatic email before a calendar event starts?that's automation. But automation is not just about receiving notifications. Automation means getting rid of tedious routine tasks, working more efficiently and saving a lot of time.
What is the benefit of automation?
Tasks that need to be done frequently or on a fixed schedule are perfect for automation. You need to spend less time each day on repetitive tasks that can quickly become annoying. It's not about saving a few minutes here and there. It's about how that time adds up in the long run. 15 minutes saved per working day, over 252 average working days in a year, equates to about 3,000 minutes saved. That's more than 60 hours. We see the upheaval in service process automation in the next few years.(Source Gartner)
What is suitable for automation?
Almost any recurring routine task can be automated - even if it's just an annual task. Automation can start with simple things like transferring calendar events, scheduling meetings or filling in spreadsheets. But you can also automate your entire bookkeeping. Especially the tasks where you use paper can be automated.
Let's face it: copy-and-pasting is time-consuming and terribly boring. So are other manual methods of moving data, such as exporting CSV files from one application and then importing them into another. And if you have to repeat the process several times over the course of a day or week, it quickly becomes unmanageable. Tasks that involve moving data between applications are perfect for automation. For example, you can create new leads in your CRM when someone fills out a form on your website or subscribes to an email marketing campaign.
What can be automated
Just because something can be automated does not mean it should be. It is important to distinguish between high-value and low-value tasks.
Low-value tasks are those that have minimal impact on your customers - things that happen in the background of your business and are not important. They are also tasks that don't require anyone to decide anything. They simply need to get done: Recording transactions in your accounting ledgers, having employees fill out their tax forms, sending invoices or processing payments. Low-value tasks are perfect for automation. Usually, software can do the job faster, cheaper and more accurately.
What you should not automate
In addition to the reteaching process, it is important to ask yourself whether a task really needs a person to solve it. Does it require creativity, problem-solving skills or emotional intelligence? If so, perhaps you should not automate it.
High-value tasks are those that are central to the delivery of your service. They are tasks that have a direct impact on your clients, the relationship you have with them and the quality of the service you provide. They can also be tasks where a decision has to be made by a human being: Determining strategy, creating a customised product, design work, sales calls or meetings.This is where you build relationships with your customers and get feedback on your service - which is critical to your success. Automation should be approached with extreme caution.
But you can automate around these high-value tasks to make them easier to accomplish. For example, meet with your clients in person to schedule projects. But use an automated scheduling tool to reduce the time you spend emailing back and forth to actually get the meeting started. Cloud BPA is a great tool for this.
Conclusion: To automate tasks or not?
If you want to automate a task, there are two simple questions you can ask yourself to decide whether to automate or not.
Tips & tricks to find out what can be automated.
1. what is the value of the task or does this task take place in paper?
2. does someone (a human) have to make a creative decision to achieve this? Complexity can be automated in a rule-based way.
In summary: Identify tasks you wish you didn't have to do. You automate tasks that keep you away from what you would like to do. If you are now asking yourself, how do I go about automating my processes and with which tools, then we will be happy to help you! We are happy to support you in uncovering potentials, illuminating possibilities and implementing automation.
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.