A 5-part series to share some warning signs and explore how automation may help.
Part 4 of 5: Are you “hitting a wall” or having trouble scaling your business?
Have you noticed your personnel costs going up faster than your revenue or profits? Does it feel like your people are being slowed down by cumbersome processes? Do you ever feel constrained by “off the shelf” software that you have adapted to run your business? Perhaps you’ve tried to map everything out to find the inefficiencies? Just like snowflakes, every business is different, and you may need a new workflow solution to reach your maximum capacity. Business leaders must find the right balance between the people and computers, and this balance can shift over time.
These challenges exist in both office-based and manufacturing environments. Plant managers seeking efficiency in manufacturing environments are usually familiar with concepts from Six Sigma, LEAN, Theory of Constraints, and other methodologies. These can help you visualize the hidden wastes in your workflows using diagrams like Value Stream Maps. These teach you to look for “non-revenue generating activities” and attempt to remove any steps which don’t add value for the customer. However, these efforts can be challenging to apply to office-type environments, where individual workers often perform multiple and overlapping tasks and every step seems important. Managers of office environments can get frustrated trying to adapt theories like LEAN and are looking for practical ways to remove the heavy burden on their employees while maintaining their standards for data integrity and customer service.
Consider this example from an organization with six (6) employees performing an Account Manager role. Among other duties, these Account Managers spend 1.5 hours each day (on average) on a particular task involving reports for your customers. These reports are imperative to your client success and they must be generated on time, without fail and hopefully without errors which could hurt your customer service. By enabling automation to assist with these reports, this daily task can be reduced to 10 minutes, saving 80 minutes for each employee every day going forward. Imagine saving 80 minutes X 6 employees per day. These time savings can enable your current employees to be more productive and can reduce the number of new hires needed to grow the business. Savings for an organization can quickly outweigh the costs of the technology and implementation. Our clients generally see ROI’s within 6-12 months for our automation-aided process improvements.
Up next in Part 5 of 5: We answer our most commonly-asked question about using automation to help your business:
What does business automation look like?