Intelligent Business Automation in the Caribbean
Business automation can help your organization to reduce costs, increase profits, and at the same time improve the customer experience.
So let’s talk about it.
What is Business Automation?
If you type “business automation” into Google you will get a lot of similar-sounding results.
For the sake of this article I want to define business automation as the following:
“Business automation is the use of technology to automate and streamline repetitive tasks to increase productivity, reduce costs, and improve the customer experience.”
The Current State of Business Automation.
To give you an idea about the current state of business automation, I want to share some impressive facts and statistics with you.
1: 94% of workers say they perform repetitive, time-consuming tasks.
2: 88% of SMBs say automation allows their company to compete with larger enterprises.
3: 2 out of 3 knowledge workers say automation helped them to be more productive at work.
4: 63% of SMBs say automation allowed their company to quickly pivot as a result of the pandemic.
Think about all the boring and mundane tasks that you and each of your employees have to do every day.
It doesn’t add value to your business, but nonetheless, the work needs to be done.
Think about all the time you waste in accounting, invoicing, and day-to-day paperwork.
I don’t know about you, but from my experience, these tasks are often extremely draining and demotivating.
That is why accounting, data entry, and other repetitive administrative tasks are predestined for automation.
Think about all the ZOOM meetings you attended in the last 12 months. How much time did it take to schedule them? All the back and forth emails...
Benefits of Automation.
So what are the specific benefits of automation?
1: Speeds up processes: A software or robot doesn’t get tired or bored.
2: Increases productivity: Now one human employee can do the work of two.
3: Make more room for creativity and problem-solving work.
4: Improve your customer experience: Offer an enterprise-level experience.
Which use cases are best suited for automation?
All the stuff that most of us don’t like doing:
Reducing manual data entry, including copying/pasting data from one platform, database, document, or system to another.
Managing inventory and distribution.
Document creation and organization, including creating meeting agendas, to-do lists, etc.
Improved customer support and service, reduced response times to inquiries.
Tasks that require a high level of attention to detail.
What types of processes should you automate?
Just because you can automate a process, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should.
There are a few guidelines that can help you to decide which tasks and processes you should automate, and which not.
Rule-Based: Automate rule-based, and clear repetitive steps.
High volume: Only automate tasks that have a high enough volume.
Data - Structure: Only automate tasks where you have clear and structured data.
Standardized task flow: The more standardized and the fewer exceptions the better.
Where should you start?
Ok, now you know that the right automation can substantially increase your business outcomes.
But where should you start?
There is no one-size-fits-all solution here.
But I think there are some general rules that you can follow:
Apply the Pareto Principle to these two areas:
The probability is high that you or your team are spending 80% of their time on tasks that only produce around 20% of the business outcomes.
Try to automate as many of these tasks as you can. E.g. data entry, inventory management, and documentation, etc.
Cost savings through intelligent automation usually range from 40-75%.
Which are the 20% of tasks that create 80% of your business outcomes?
Look for ways to improve this 20% as fast as possible. E.g. marketing automation, lead follow-up, customer service.
Imagine you could lower your cost by 40% and increase your productivity and sales by 25%.
What would that mean for your business?
So if you are operating an organization in the Caribbean and want to stay competitive, you might want to start thinking about an automation strategy.
Because your competition does.
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