How to make your business smarter and more efficient
“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.“Bill Gates
What exactly is business automation?
Business automation is taking tasks within your business that are repetitive, and having someone or something do them automatically. For example, you may send a reminder to your customers after their invoices are more than 30 days late, or you follow up with a customer 5 days after they visited your restaurant and you send them a customer satisfaction survey.
You may even add in a little business intelligence in there as well. For a positive survey that a customer left you you may ask them to leave you a positive Google Review, and for a negative survey response, you would send them a coupon for 20% off their next meal. These are just some small examples of business automation in your company.
What is the first step of business automation?
First, you need to identify some of the areas where you can automate your business, and where it can actually help you make smarter business decisions. We suggest you look at your Always & your Everys.
Find out in your business where you, or someone on your team, says the phrase: “When x happens, I always do y.” A great example of this would be, “whenever a customers invoice is more than 30 days overdue, I always send out a reminder email.” Or, it would be, “whenever a customer’s invoice is 45 days overdue, I always resend the reminder email, with a $100 late fee attached.”
Where can technology help you with the Always & the Everys?
If you already are using accounting software, or your website already collects customer satisfaction surveys – those are already great areas where you can automate your business.
Some areas are less obvious than others though. We had a customer in the utility and rental space, and whenever one of their tenants had a leaky pipe, they wanted to create a warning to flag their maintenance department that there was a problem.
Their question was, how can a computer system figure out that a pipe has physically broken or that a pipe has developed a leak? Those are areas where you are not exactly sure if technology can help out your business. The solution that we found was, as a proxy for determining if a pipe has physically broken, we can determine if their water meter has used a significant amounts more water (whatever the threshold that you set would be) then it will send an email to the customer that their water bill has increase by 20%.
By identifying where you can automate parts of you business, you can in turn have higher productivity, increase performance, and help to reduce your operating costs. Think that you have an area in your business that could be automated, but need some help with the technical side of it? Contact us to chat about it!