Bringing in Business Automation to Streamline Your SME

07

AUGUST, 2019

As the owner of an SME, you can easily find yourself and your staff caught up in the daily mountain of menial, yet essential tasks clamouring for your attention, rather than focusing on the endeavours that can grow your business. Even if you have several tools and devices at your disposal meant to simplify processes and save you time, the scope of your operations and the regulatory compliance needed to thrive in today’s business environment only continues to expand. With smart business automation you can keep up with that pace of change, while improving efficiency and encouraging business development.

Why Streamline Your SME with Process Automation

Thanks to the rise of intelligent, automated software, many operational systems can be automated, freeing up enormous amounts of time and energy so you and your employees can focus on the activities that will generate revenue. Smart automated systems, based on Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, can improve efficiency and accuracy, support a flexible, innovative environment and even help with data security and regulatory compliance. Many of these platforms are also designed to grow and develop along with your business.

RPA, for example, is designed to streamline high volume, rule-based manual work, such as data entry. This kind of work tends to be repetitive, and the data often needs to be collected in various formats across different systems. Thus, it is prone to human error. With RPA there are significantly higher levels of accuracy and efficiency, and this leads to considerable cost savings.

Many SMEs are already using or thinking of using some form of automated processing. According to one recent study, 88% of SMEs are considering RPA to improve their IT security and data compliance.

So, if you want more available time, energy, and money to develop and scale your company, then you need to learn how and where to automate the business processes that are hindering your performance, consuming your limited resources and even preventing your businesses from growing.

How to Bring Business Automation into Your SME

Automating the business processes in your SME does not have to be a painful, difficult, or even costly endeavour. Here are a few key points to consider:

Identify the obvious areas for automation. Every single business has its own mixture of menial, repetitive tasks that need to get done, but the most common examples include:

Paying bills

Updating social media

Ordering products and supplies

Sorting and classifying documents

Organising and responding to emails

After compiling a list of potential tasks for automation, you can then look for a solution that will complete the job as well or better than you and your staff can.

There are really two goals at this point: 1) to find easy ways to add automation to your SME’s operations, and 2) to get comfortable with the idea of letting an app take care of a particular job.

Learn about your options for customer-facing online automation. An increasing number of SMEs in Ireland are now using automation and sophisticated data analytics on their websites to create an automatic lead generation system that can adapt to user behaviour. Popular features and techniques include: hosting automated chatbots, providing customised content and offers, and making product recommendations when visitors conduct a site search for a particular item.

Consider advanced solutions that will scale with your business. You’ll need robust platforms that will help you to automate the core operational activities in your business as it grows and develops, such as accounting software, payroll processing, CRM solutions, and employee on-boarding and training systems. Many of these platforms are enhanced by AI and machine learning to further improve efficiency and offer valuable insights. Many are also cloud-based services, offering advanced data security features, and are priced with SMEs in mind.

In short, not only does business automation promise to streamline operations and encourage innovation in your SME, but it is the simple way forward in an increasingly complex digital world.

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