That’s where automation comes in: To remain competitive you need to automate–or someone else will automate you out of business.
Here are 6 ways to implement automation into your business:
1. Automate the easiest processes first.
Pick rote tasks where there is no human value-add. Automation lets you avoid human error while saving time in execution.
2. Build a culture that embraces automation.
Employees are often reluctant to embrace automation because they’re concerned they’ll automate themselves out of a job. Yet in most businesses, the highest performers tend to automate the most, whether formally or informally. (That’s one reason why they’re top performers.) Those are the people who automate themselves out of the current job and into the next job.
When you talk about automation, talk about the benefits to employees, both in their current functions and in how it will allow them to grow into higher-level positions. Automating easy processes first will allow you to walk the talk.
3. Start small and focus on one business function.
For example, we worked with a company that was provisioning new smartphones in about 20 minutes. After automation, they cut the time to two minutes. The business value was huge.
Pick a function with a solid ROI. Then pick another function. Once you get a few wins under your belt, your employees will be asking you to automate certain functions. You won’t have to push your employees; they’ll pull you in.
4. Automate the process away.
When you start to automate, at first you define the process, then you codify it, then you automate it, and often what naturally happens is the process starts to collapse.
Ultimately, the process goes away because it is in support of some other process that you automate.
Collapsing a process generates value; collapsing processes of processes generates tremendous value. Don’t be afraid to chip away instead of taking on the whole thing.
Start small and automate incrementally; don’t tackle massive all-encompassing initiatives.
5. Create an automation service bureau.
Once you reach a certain scale, you’ll find you have one or two automation experts in your organization, plus a few more employees who are on the periphery but aren’t experts. Don’t be afraid to set up your own “automation service bureau.” If you’re seeing the results you should, creating a few positions focused solely on automation will more than pay for itself.
6. Build a history.
Document what you do: Where you started, what you spent, what the results are, etc., and do that for every project. If you don’t, you’ll take for granted how far you’ve come and you’ll hesitate to pull the trigger on projects that may yield incredible ROIs.
To discuss ways to streamline and simplify your business operations, click here now so that we can discuss how to make more money while working less without doing any of the heavy lifting.