Why Automation? Why Now?
Automation seems to have a bit of an image problem in the world of business. Often times it’s seen just as a way to cut head count, when in reality it’s more of an addition to the tool belt of your workers. It makes work easier, more efficient, and more productive.
It may not be as sexy as AI or Blockchain, but automation is the unsung work horse that drives progress forward. It provides businesses a viable way to scale without the typical growing pains. Although the real kicker is that – unlike an Artificial Intelligence or a Blockchain – automation does all of this with minimal disruption, minimal training, and at a relatively low price point.
Automation Removes Inefficiencies
Optimization is a word that gets tossed around a lot in business. Of course, there is no company that exists that is fully optimized. It’s an impossible goal, but nevertheless a solid ideal to strive after. On average, companies lose 20% – 30% of revenue each year due to inefficiencies. This means that there is plenty of room for improvement. Automation tools work to cut down on things like maintenance and administrative tasks that waste your team’s time, and for no good reason.
The other component of this is how automation allows for a company to more effectively scale. As your company grows, those inefficiencies become magnified. The time you were wasting on one process for 10 clients is doubled when it now applies to 20. What’s more, your employee who was struggling to service those 10 accounts can now service 20 without any reduction in quality. As your organization grows, you will almost certainly need to hire more people. With automation, your team isn’t being stretched so thin that you have to ramp up head count overnight. It gives you the breathing room to scale at a more consistent, healthy pace. Ultimately, automation saves time, it protects quality, it opens the door for growth.
Automation Makes for Happier Employees
Automation allows for less repetitive tasks, which not only frees up time to be more creative and productive, but it also increases employee satisfaction. In a 2021 survey, 67% of employees reported feeling like they were constantly doing the same tasks repeatedly. Investing in automation is a proven way to increase productivity across the board for your organization, and beyond that, it communicates to your employees that you value their time enough to not make them sit through hours and hours of mindless data entry.
Think of it as an investment in the well-being of your people as much as it is the output of your business. People are creative by nature, and when more than half of their day is spent doing the same thing over and over, you can understand why they might quickly become disillusioned. Employees with fewer monotonous tasks are likelier to stick around longer, and on the flip side, onboarding employees becomes easier, too. `In the midst of this Great Resignation – when the competition for good talent is so high and retention so low – this reduction in repetitive work could be the competitive advantage that tips the scales in your favor.
Automation Increases Revenue
Not to bury the lede here, but if you’re still not convinced as to the transformative power of automation, then look no further. From IT to marketing to accounting, one thing everyone can agree on is that more revenue is good. One study found that investments in automation were directly tied to a 5-7% increase in revenue – not to mention a 15% hike in productivity!
Not only does this justify the investment, but the great advantage of more revenue (and really the crux of my case) is that it allows you for greater flexibility. What would an additional 5% of revenue allow you to do? My guess would be a lot.
When you have extra money to work with, when you’re not drowning in senseless activities, you have more time to think clearly and strategically. All this time saved allows you to work on the business, not in it.
Automation represents a unique opportunity to positively impact your bottom line while simultaneously leading to happier employees and fewer inefficiencies. It is on the lower end of investments financially, while also being on the upper end in terms of ROI. In a market littered with failed investments and projects, automation is a low stakes point of entry for those trying to harness the transformative power of technology. As an easily integrated solution that folds into workflows without interruption, it can build your team’s confidence and act as a stepping stone to future investments on top of all the other benefits.
Investments don’t always have to be intimidating. When the business case and the evidence is there, they can actually be pretty painless.