How to choose the best business automation tools
What is business automation?
Business automation is the use of systems and technologies to automate processes.
Artificial intelligence (AI): AI is the science of programming computers to perform tasks that would otherwise require human intelligence. It also includes machine learning, a branch of AI that uses data and algorithms to improve accuracy and drive decision making.
Robotic process automation (RPA): RPA uses automation technologies to mimic human actions and complete repetitive tasks, such as copying and pasting data across unrelated software systems.
Years ago, automation was something only large enterprises could afford. However, advances in technology have made it more accessible to small businesses. You can improve your business processes with the following types of automation:
Advanced and intelligent
With advanced automation, humans and machines collaborate on tasks. This type of automation supports more complex processes within an organisation and is powerful when combined with intelligent automation, which uses AI technologies.
Use basic automation like RPA for repetitive, simple tasks that require little or no coding.
Process automation streamlines business operations to ensure they’re consistent and repeatable. One example is workflow automation, which involves managing repetitive tasks that occur in a particular order. Another example is process mining, which uncovers potential areas for improvement.
The benefits of business automation:
The best business automation tools save businesses money by eliminating the need to spend on manual labour or additional staff members. Automation tools also allow companies to scale their operations quickly without investing in additional resources.
By automating security protocols such as user authentication and access control, businesses can protect sensitive information and ensure that only authorised personnel have access.
Improved customer service
The best business automation tools make it easier for customers to find answers to their questions and get help when needed. This creates a better experience and improves customer satisfaction.
Automating processing tasks saves time and increases accuracy. This leads to improved workflow management across all parts of the business.
Business processes you need to automate:
Accounting & Tax
You can also automate client tax and compliance workflows, improving the efficiency of your operations.
Improve the customer experience by automating processes such as:
generating tickets for customer service requests and complaints
handling returns and issuing refunds
issuing, tracking and updating quotes
processing orders and tracking delivery
responding to customer enquiries.
For instance, automated email responders and AI-powered chatbots can act as primary customer service resources. This increases efficiency and reduces the cost associated with providing prompt customer support.
You can also empower your customer service team to operate more efficiently and with less manual effort by using cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) automation systems.
Workforce management software helps businesses manage personnel. Use automation to:
generate employment contracts
The benefits of a workforce management system include:
Improved employee onboarding
A poor onboarding experience has a very negative impact on employee engagement. Equally though, a positive one may lead to improved employee satisfaction, which can help attract and keep top talent.
Lower administrative costs
A workforce management system can reduce personnel hours and other costs associated with manual data entry and processing. Cloud-based software is also highly cost-effective for most businesses as it reduces IT overheads.
Secure confidential employee information, ensuring you comply with privacy laws and best practices. Standard features of a cloud-based workforce management system include:
data encryption during data storage and transmission
role-based access, so only authorised personnel have access to certain information
system segmentation that allows you to segment data and assign access rights.
Powerful analytics and reporting
A workforce management system can help make sense of employee data and uncover valuable insights for more informed decisions. You can use analytics to track metrics, such as labour spend, performance and turnover rates, and identify areas for improvement.
Maximise your marketing strategy and reach by automating:
email, social media and SMS campaigns
Marketing automation software helps businesses reach out to their audiences with targeted, personalised campaigns that improve the customer journey. It also collects data on customer behaviours, allowing you to optimise your campaigns.
Reduce manual labour, save time, improve accuracy and increase profits by automating:
Here are a few examples of how a warehouse automation system streamlines operations:
A warehouse management system (WMS) provides accurate equipment location and coordination.
Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) optimise productivity by scheduling deliveries and freeing up employees to focus on higher-level tasks.
Collaborative robots (cobots) improve safety by taking over hazardous tasks.
Cloud-based solutions also provide hassle-free integration with your existing applications.
5 steps for choosing the best business automation tools:
1. Identify your needs.
Look at current processes and determine which ones to automate first. Decide where automation will deliver the biggest business benefits and what you need the software to be able to do for you.
2. Determine your budget.
Before you look at options, determine how much you can afford to spend. Consider the cost of the software and any additional costs to your business like:
3. Research available tools.
Research the best business process automation tools, then compare their features and pricing. Read reviews to understand how the tools work in real-world scenarios.
4. Consider user experience.
Automation tools should be easy to use and understand.
Look for software with an intuitive user-interface and helpful tutorials to provide a straightforward experience. You don’t want to invest in a tool that takes too long to learn or that your team don’t enjoy using.
5. Anticipate future needs
Prioritise easy integration with your other applications as disconnected systems thwart productivity. Look for a business management platform that’s scalable, so you only pay for what you need now but can add on new capabilities as your business grows and evolves.
Automate your business processes with MYOB
Avoid business automation tools that perform a specific function but don’t integrate well with your other applications. MYOB is a business management platform that allows you to manage all your business workflows in one place. You can digitise and automate your business processes for your customers, employees, supply chain, projects, finances, and accounting and tax.
This means you have everything you need to run your business in the most efficient way, in one place. Designed to meet your needs today and scale for tomorrow’s requirements, with MYOB you can grow confidently with a solution that’s future ready.
Disclaimer: Information provided in this article is of a general nature and does not consider your personal situation. It does not constitute legal, financial, or other professional advice and should not be relied upon as a statement of law, policy or advice. You should consider whether this information is appropriate to your needs and, if necessary, seek independent advice. This information is only accurate at the time of publication. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information contained on this webpage, MYOB disclaims, to the extent permitted by law, all liability for the information contained on this webpage or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.