How to Use Existing Business Resources Better
Every business wants to be able to do more than they're doing now; do it better than the competition; and improve profitability. Efficiency, communication and leaner processes can help get you there.
The Role of Processes Automation
Labor is one of your biggest expenses. Finding a way to make better use of the labor force that you have can have a major impact on your profitability. For instance, if it costs you $40,000 per year to add an additional team member, that person needs to add $100,000 value to your core business to maintain your current level of profitability. Back office departments (accounts payable, human resources, payroll) contribute nothing to your core business profitability. So, an additional employee in the back office detracts from your profitability. But, if there's more work to be done than you have people to do it, you need a solution!
That's where business process automation can save the day. Process automation uses software solutions and artificial intelligence to help you automate routine, repeatable tasks, ensuring that they're done right every time. You'll get more value from each employee, while freeing them up for more valuable and interesting projects.
Business process automation, creates a win-win situation. Employees no longer must perform boring and repetitive manual tasks. You free them to focus on projects that lead to more revenue. Generally, process automation solutions cost far less than adding an additional employee.
Automation Doesn't Replace People
While business process solutions and automation make processes more efficient, they don't replace people. They redirect people to work that is more related to the company's core business. This is an important distinction! Automation often gets a bad rap for causing job loss, but office automation leads to more interesting jobs, not lost jobs!
Guidelines for Automating Office Processes
There are many different business process automation solutions that aid with office processes. One potential negative occurs when you automate one department at a time without considering the big picture: If all the process automation solutions that you use don't integrate, you'll lose efficiency. Automated solutions that stand alone create content silos, resulting in the need for employees to hunt information in multiple systems.
There are a class of process solutions that can be expanded and adapted so that a central silo serves many departments and various automation needs. The most efficient and cost-effective of these solutions are SaaS/Cloud technology. SaaS/Cloud solutions offer a centralized, scalable solution that enable companies to store and access data without capital costs. They provide 24/7 online data access and no additional investment in hardware, software or IT personnel. ImageSilo® is one such solution.
By using a centralized data silo and leveraging automation, companies can eliminate the need for duplicate entries, ensure that processes are documented and repeatable, and enhance communication. The centralized data source ensures that nothing falls through the cracks, while providing management with an easy-to-access overview of all processes. No more guessing what stage a project is in -- just log in to the system and see for yourself. This visibility also helps maintain accountability and reduce human error.
Finding the Right Solution
There are many SaaS/Cloud solutions that are marketed as centralized data storage and process automation solutions. How can you cut through the marketing hype and decide which is best for you?
We recommend starting with A Checklist for Business Process Improvement. Once you've determined what your company's unique problems are, you can start to look for the right solution. When you know what you need, you know what questions to ask to get you beyond the marketing hype. Asking for solution trial is not a bad idea either!