Top ways to introduce automation into your business

Business today relies heavily on automation to improve efficiency and to speed up many processes

Although it might seem that automating everything you possibly can will be the best strategy for your business, this is not always the case. Careful planning will ensure that you use available resources and time as effectively as possible.

Take a long-term view

New solutions will need to stand the test of time, so consider whether they are flexible enough to accommodate any changes that may occur within your business. Processes may change, and you need to avoid a scenario where you can no longer control the automated solutions you are using.

Take time to evaluate the process

Before you embark on automating a process, ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of it. You may need to implement changes prior to introducing automation, particularly if you are aiming to streamline an existing process.

Work out the return on investment that automation will give

Introducing automation can be both time-consuming and expensive, so it is important that you estimate the expected savings and compare them to the time and money you will be investing to ensure that the costs are acceptable. You will also be able to make automating the most time-saving processes and those with the greatest return your first priority.

Introduce careful forward planning

It is vitally important that you plan ahead. Changing to automated systems can be complicated, so you need to be sure that each step of the process is well understood. There may be an argument for manual solutions initially when you are building an MVP and changing to an automated system when the domain is fully understood.

Understand the workflow

Be careful not to create workflows that are not user-friendly. This can occur when logic-based deviation and task dependencies are used in the automation process. Divergent critical paths can be created, and this can cause problems. Allowing the triggering of larger task blocks at any particular time could be a way of avoiding non-user-friendly workflows and allowing the workforce the opportunity of making automation work for them.

Involve your team

Involving your team in the testing and implementation of new solutions enables them to adapt more easily to the changes and can also save resources. It is also important to manage the changes you introduce effectively so as not to alienate the team that will be affected by them.

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