Three indicators that suggest you are ready for automation.
Imagine it’s lunch time and you’ve decided to order a pizza for your team. You get on the phone and now have to juggle a constant onslaught of changing orders, preferences, customizations, all the while trying to communicate with a complete stranger that a few hungry employees need a different pizza each second. And then you have to wait staring doe-eyed at the door waiting for the magical sound of the delivery person. Sounds terrible right? It is. That’s what a manual and disorganized process looks like.
In the app-age, everyone has uses phone apps or online web-apps that do seemingly the simplest of tasks: such as order a pizza. By doing so you are reaping the benefits of automation on a very basic level. Today not only can you make a group pizza order instantly, but you can also track your delivery right down to the doorbell.
As a business, there are key workflows that govern your daily operations. While some of them may seem relatively straightforward, such as seeking a management approval for capital expenditure, some workflows are quite large and elaborate, like onboarding a new employee joining your team. Regardless of the complexity of the process, in a study for the Research Foundation for Humanity, researchers concluded that automation, through various variables, lead to increased employee efficiency.
Today, you cannot afford to allow your operational workflows to disintegrate into chaos. Now this does not mean you should simply jump on the bandwagon and automate for the sake of automation. As analytical business owners and managers, you must examine your operations and identify key indicators that point to a need for automation. Here are three key indicators that suggest that you are ready for automation.
Consistent bottlenecks in the process.
Key decision makers are often at a loss due to the overwhelming influx of requests they get. This can lead to a bottleneck that causes missed communication, missed deadlines, and ultimately missed opportunities for success. If there is a persistent bottleneck in your approval process, automation can help you designate proxy roles in case the original signatory is unavailable. This ensures that there are no breaks in the chain so the process continues seamlessly.
Lack of intelligent reporting and tracking
Consistently finding yourself at a loss when you’re asked a general overview of all pending approvals can be quite frustrating and emotionally taxing. Seeing what stages a particular request is in at a glance can allow you to stay on top of all your pending approvals. This also presents an opportunity to increase traceability and tracking of successful approvals over time. A general track record of approvals can point to increases or decreases in productivity within your team and having that KPI can help direct your organizational change management strategy.
Sending endless emails or calling someone endlessly leads nowhere if the person you’re trying to reach is just simply unavailable or left out of a chain of emails. Furthermore, to stay on top of constantly changing approvals that are of high urgency becomes cumbersome when you have to send out updates in real-time. In an organization, there are countless opportunities for communication and Ingram Micro Advisor suggests that in global teams, the better a team communicates, the higher its ability to realize its productivity.
Don’t let your processes be limited by the means of communication. With automation, you can automatically execute key communicative processes that would notify the responsible personnel of any changes and updates as they happen and you can continue with operations assured that no one is being left out of the loop.
As a business, it is your key priority to ensure that all processes run and mesh together like a perfectly run ship. With any leaks or breaks in the chain, you become susceptible to capsizing like a rampant boat in a storm. Does your business consistently face bottlenecks and ineffective communication within stakeholders? Are you finding no reproducible way to keep track of all your processes and measure your performance over time? Your business might be ready for automation to kickstart your influence in the age of efficiency.