Arguably, every job has a tedious task. Analysts have to aggregate data, HR officers have to onboard new employees, and marketers have to schedule social media posts. While all tasks presumably serve a purpose, these do not produce equal amounts of value — and spending too much time on one type of task takes time away from higher-value ones. To illustrate, qualifying marketing leads is important, but that shouldn’t take time away from actually converting those leads into customers.
Fortunately for New Jersey businesses like yours, many processes can already be automated. In addition to freeing your staff to accomplish more valuable tasks, you also get to standardize procedures to ensure consistent and predictable results. Let’s take a look at some that are easy to implement with little to no disruption to your operations.
For most businesses, having predictable purchase order cycles is a great sign of stability. Normally, a team submits a purchase request to the purchasing department, which examines the request and either approves or rejects it. If they approve the request, the purchasing department sends a purchase order to the supplier and sends carbon copies of the order to the requesting party and the inventory team.
If this process gets delayed — let’s say the printed purchase request was lost, resulting in delayed PO approval — then production may be hampered because materials aren’t resupplied in time. If the purchasing department forgets to inform the inventory team of the incoming order, the team may not be prepared to receive the order when it arrives. Additionally, recordkeeping can become messy if done manually, and correcting mistakes can be time-consuming.
By automating the purchase order process, every step can be done properly in a timely manner. Sending POs late is prevented, and everyone who needs to be notified is kept in the loop. Furthermore, all process-related communication is retained for easy recordkeeping.
Cash supply problems often stem from sending late invoices, and strains in business relationships can be caused by invoicing errors like overcharging. Thankfully, invoice processing can be laid out in a workflow, streamlined, standardized, and automated — all in one day for immediate implementation.
It’s often the case that a business’s customers outnumber its customer service representatives (CSRs). Fortunately, not every customer concern needs to be addressed by a CSR. For example, a bank’s automated attendant can provide commonly requested services to customers, such as credit card balance inquiries. A more recent tool is the eCommerce chatbot. It can drill down to the item a site visitor is looking for — and some sophisticated chatbots can go so far as to facilitate the sale of that item!
Onboarding of new hires
Preparing a new hire to work for your organization normally involves primary steps, such as connecting payroll to their bank account and social security, being introduced to the company’s culture, and the creation of identification, access paraphernalia, and corporate email and app accounts. All of these steps may be included in a workflow for automation.
Employee onboarding may differ from department to department and from hire to hire. For example, one department may train their new hires first, while another may cycle through different mentors to assign to each new employee. This is not a problem since automation programs allow organizations to create new workflows to accommodate process variations.
Marketing and sales automation
Websites are sophisticated enough to automatically respond to the actions of site visitors. For instance, emails pertaining to account creation, newsletter sign-up, product pitches, wish list reminders, and order and delivery confirmations are all auto-generated. If you leave a product or service page or abandon a cart, you may just spot a retargeting banner ad that, if clicked, would bring you back to where you left off.
Machine learning (ML) takes automation to the next level. To illustrate, ML-powered eCommerce sites can discern your preferences based on your purchase history and the histories of other people. The more sites learn about their customers, the more accurate their automatic product recommendations become. Some large catalog sites can even automatically adjust what these display to visitors based on what they’ve searched for or navigated toward. For instance, a customer visiting an online furniture store may spend a considerable amount of time looking at different types of olive green sofas. When that customer revisits the site, they may be greeted by displays of olive green sofas (and pieces that match) right at the home page.
These are just some of the many processes that businesses can automate. To learn more about automation and how you can apply it to your business, talk to our IT specialists at Online Computers.