Process automation is a buzz word you hear when digital transformation is mentioned, but often companies are not sure how to apply it to their own business processes.
It is really about making tasks easier, saving time, increasing productivity, and preventing costly mistakes.
When Twin State Tech works with businesses in the Quad Cities area on infrastructure solutions, we delve into the pain points found in their daily business workflow.
By identifying those issues, we can uncover areas where automation can improve workflow, as well as save time and money. Common issues include things like bottlenecks in reporting processes, hiring outside help to collate data manually, and being plagued by keying errors.
Companies that make intelligent use of technology are considered “digitally mature” and are 23% more profitable than their less advanced peers.
One of the biggest advantages of process automation is cost savings. To get an idea of the tangible benefits, review a case study for a client we worked with that saved roughly more than $300,000.00 with process automation to solve several problems.
If You See These Red Flags, It Is Time to Automate
Do you have workflows that could benefit from automation? Look for these five indicators.
1. You do not have centralized data visibility
Do you have different branches or departments that collect data in spreadsheets, but nothing is centralized? This can be a tedious process that not only results in different areas of your organization compiling unique reports, it can also leave management in the dark.
Without visibility into all the data in your company, it is difficult to make well informed or timely decisions on things like inventory ordering or how to best spend marketing dollars.
This is an area where automation can help bring together and standardize your data for consistent and timely reporting in all departments, improving decision making and transparency.
2. You have problems with data entry errors
Data entry errors are costly and can result in inaccurate orders, client details being misspelled, and records that take hours to correct.
How serious can a keying error be? In the health care industry, these types of human errors are the third leading cause of death according to researchers with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Often data entry errors happen because two or more technology platforms do not communicate, requiring data from one system to be manually entered into another. Each time data has to be entered manually, the chance of errors increases.
One of the key components of process automation is to facilitate transmission of data, without human intervention, from one system to another. This eliminates manual errors and allows data to travel much faster from one process to another.
3. You are spending too much for labor to collate data
Do you have to hire outside help just to collate data for reporting each month? If you find that you are spending a lot on labor for manual “wrangling” of your data, that is a big indicator that the software you are using is outdated and not serving you well.
Information should be fluid and consistent throughout all your reporting areas. When each department or branch has unique data collection and reporting methods, manual processes are required to create cross-departmental reports that make it consistent. If manual data entry is needed to create the common reports, errors can occur, and excess time is needed.
Through process automation, you would begin with a consistent and cohesive reporting process, which would allow data from different departments to be integrated at the click of a button.
4. No real-time reporting
Waiting days or weeks to get sales or inventory reports greatly hinders your ability to be agile and prevents you from making informed business decisions.
For example, if you had automated, real-time reporting, you could see upswings in inquires and sales for a particular product. You could then immediately make inventory decisions so as not to run out of a product and end up with a backorder situation or lost sales.
If you cannot view your vital KPIs (key performance indicators) in real-time, then your data needs to be automated and moved to a system that can deliver up-to-the-minute reporting based on the data coming in from all the different areas of your company.
5. Workflows take too long
Do some of your processes feel like you are watching paint dry? If you have several manual processes in a workflow, then things can easily jam and become delayed.
If someone is out of the office, is order entry delayed until their return? This could create poor service and the inability to see actual sales data.
Employees can also easily get overwhelmed during a busy day, and data entry is left until “later,” ultimately increasing the time for the total process.
When workflows are taking too long due to manual processes and systems not talking to each other, it is time to put process automation in action to take over and improve completion time and accuracy.
Get Help Improving Your Processes with Automation
If you are experiencing any of these, it is a sign that automation will make your work life better. Twin State Technical Services would be happy to review your systems to help improve efficiency and lower costs by using strategic process automation.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call 563-441-1504 or contact us online.Tags: programming, software automation