Business Automation Tools to ‘Better’ Your Business

Business automation tools are more than just a quick fix. They help both companies and their customers by automating business processes, and day-to-day and repetitive tasks. Business automation tools free up employees of their often time-consuming ‘extra work’ and allow them to focus on more important and strategic projects, with an auditable data trail. Data trails are used by company management and teams to drive the business forward, increase efficiency and productivity, and power critical business decision-making processes.

If it sounds easy, that’s because it is. Business automation tools serve organizations of all sizes, and can scale up to boost operational processes, projects, and tasks, across companies, departments, and teams. The benefits of automated business processes are immense, but at the top of the list, are time, resource and cost-savings.

So, what could be better for you – and your business?

6 Perks of Implementing Business Automation Tools

Business automation tools actually use technology in order to replace the manual work required to carry out numerous repetitive and day-to-day business processes. From sales to accounting and human resources, almost every business operation can benefit from ‘smart’ implementation of business automation tools. Here are six of our top reasons:

  1. Say goodbye to paper. Good for the environment and your business, digitizing all of your paper files, is the ultimate automation tool. Digitized data can be stored more easily, managed more efficiently, and tracked down when you need it most, plus it saves you the time of archiving relevant documentation manually.
  2. Increased productivity. Business automation helps you enhance your overall business productivity. This factors into your initiating and executing plans and strategies, selling intelligently, and getting exceedingly more innovative with your product or services offering.
  3. Greater visibility. Because ‘seeing is believing,’ automation tools enable you to ‘tag’ all relevant aspects of your business operations. The tagging process allows you greater visibility of your assets, in real-time, with a holistic view of the actual state of your organization, for enhanced and more strategic planning.
  4. Improved forecasting. Before the advent of technology, business projections, or forecasting, was next to impossible. However, with a strong and reliable business automation tool, you can skillfully create, build, and monitor these projections at any time. In turn, this will enable you to have greater, more accurate datasets which will lead to more conscious business projections, especially in terms of future goals.
  5. Save valuable time & costs. When you automate your business, you can finally multitask, and stop investing in manpower. To get some much-deserved sleep, without worrying that your business will fall into, the proverbial rut, set up your automation tools day or night, and let them do the work for you.
  6. Global reach. With automation, your business can appeal to an audience exceedingly wider than your local one. Manually managing this process is an endless struggle, but automated business tools will get your brand connecting and interacting with a global customer base, in any location, in any time zone.

Types of Business Automation

When companies make certain business processes ‘automatic,’ the process actually eliminates the enforcement of multiple repetitive tasks and helps improve overall productivity. The process also reduces countless hours usually wasted on a variety of redundant tasks. Driven by the power of automation, more and more organizations are implementing this process as a part of their performance.

Currently, there are six rather popular types of business automation solutions. Here’s how each one works, and who it serves.

  1. Marketing Automation. Thanks to powerful marketing automation tools, companies can generate high-quality leads, which are then readied to engage more sales. These types of tools can also provide a framework for teams to build, target, measure, and execute the success of their predefined digital marketing campaigns. Some software tools used in marketing automation can be integrated into email marketing, enabling companies to align their campaigns, and in turn, measure and track a prospect’s activity. The process also helps deliver leads to sales once predefined criteria is met, and helps identify when a lead meets buyer readiness.
  2. Customer Relationship Management. Commonly referred to as CRM, automation tools that serve to enhance the customer experience, offer a wide range of features and functionality. CRM provides a central repository where companies can store up-to-date customer and prospect data, track customer interactions, and share this information with sales, marketing, and other departments, to personalize communication with customers across the board. CRMs can also be integrated with third-party applications to enable digital marketing campaigns, e-commerce, and more.
  3. Shopping Carts. Shopping cart automation tools can do wonders for your business. They set up the storefront of your website, manage payments, and ensure maximum encryption and security along the way. Shopping cart automation tools use open API interfaces, suitable with other platforms as well. With an automated shopping cart, you can monitor purchases, and manage average customer lifetime value. Plus, you keep your shoppers shopping on your site!
  4. The Full Package. Unlike standalone automation software solutions, all-in-one automation tools manage various tasks at once. Although they are pricier to implement and use, they can save you both time and money in the long run. There are two popular full-package automated solutions available today, Infusionsoft and Ontraport. To use each or both, you will also need to adopt a complementary inbound marketing and sales solution to support your activities, such as HubSpot, 3dcart, or Salesforce.
  5. Accounting & Finance. By automating your organization’s accounting and financial functions, you can save valuable time and resources on accounts receivable/, accounts payable, collections, billing, data backup, credit card transactions, and more. Business automation tools can also support core financial processes, such as general ledger and bank account management, in addition to generate a wealth of financial statements and reports.
  6. Human Resources. A Human Resources Management System, or MRMS, is an exceedingly valuable tool when it comes to automating the entire employee lifecycle. This includes, but is not limited to managing the entire recruiting/hiring process, storing employee data, managing payroll, benefits administration, time and attendance, employee performance management, and tracking competency and training records.

Work smart, not hard.

Many fear that automation might cost many employees their jobs, but it’s actually the other way around. Namely, for your automation process to succeed, you’ll need to, first, set it up accordingly, and second, have your employees run it smoothly. When humans and technology collide, your business opportunities will know no limit.

Without a doubt, business automation is one of the most efficient solutions for organizations of all sizes, with measurable results, ensuring (virtually) effortless multitasking, greater scalability, and far better management and control of your business – today, and well into the future.

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The Author
Johan Pintens
Managing Director, Western Europe

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