Business automation has been a growing trend in recent years as companies seek to realise efficiencies and make improvements across a range of systems and processes. And while it may seem beneficial and tempting to make improvements to only one part of your business, there are specific approaches that will make digital transformation in your business as powerful as possible.
In this article, we detail how businesses can tap into the power of automation to realise benefits across the entire organisation.
What is business automation?
First, it’s important to understand what business automation means for your business. The term can have a different meaning and impact depending on your industry and the stage you are up to in your digital transformation journey. What’s consistent across all businesses, however, is that automation means assessing, identifying and implementing the appropriate technologies to help you achieve your business goals. Through these technologies, whether it’s software programs, robotics or automated machinery, the goal is to reduce human intervention to:
- Create efficiencies
- Reduce business costs
- Increase productivity for employees
- Free time for the business to focus on strategic work
Future proof your business and its finances
Automation and digital transformation was already commonplace for businesses before COVID-19, but the challenges of the last year have accelerated the rate at which businesses are improving and transforming. The rate of change and modernisation in companies means it’s becoming increasingly important to future proof your business and its finances with modern, adaptable systems.
Improve accountability and transparency with automated systems
The most value can be extracted from automation when it’s integrated across your business. For example, if you implement integrated payments infrastructure, it should connect with your accounting software and ERP management system. This will allow teams across your business to collaborate more effectively, while the risk of data entry errors is reduced. Further, by assigning specific tasks to people and teams across your business, accountability will be clearer ensuring the right people are looking after each task at the right touchpoint.
Eliminate and minimise manual processes
Manual processes are time consuming and costly for a business, especially in a country such as Australia where salaries and wages are relatively high. In fact, a study by Unit 4 found that professional workers in offices spend around 69 days per year on administrative tasks, costing companies close to AUD 7 trillion per year. Not only can reducing the time spent on manual processes such as recording transactions and account reconciliation make your business’s reporting more accurate, your people will have more time available for strategic work. In time, this can make your business more profitable too.
Provide time and freedom for strategic work
One of the biggest criticisms of business automation stems from a fear that people will lose their jobs. While this may be true in some circumstances, automation gives people in a business more time to focus on strategic work that requires skills, knowledge and insights that can only be developed through a person’s professional experience. Further, employees that have the time to stretch their capabilities and continually grow provides more value to the business as these professionals understand how to take calculated risks to not only grow themselves but the business too.
What can be automated in a business?
In short, any repetitive process or system in a business can be automated. According to McKinsey, 45 percent of current activities in a company could be automated, which equates to around AUD 2.8 trillion in salary and wages. Some of the key areas your business may consider automating and modernising includes:
Updating your payment systems and processes for faster payments and more ways for your customers to pay, including credit card and buy now, pay later (BNPL).
Automating how your team and customers book and change appointments and streamlining the process from service delivery to payment.
Growing your business through setting up or improving an existing online store.
See how stock in your warehouse is tracking in real time, with automatic updates every time a sale, refund or stock transfer occurs.
Make it easier for customers to place purchase orders, with the ability to shop from multiple suppliers in one place and automatic creation of separate invoices for each supplier.
Process sales faster, make it easy for employees to find what they need, and integrate your POS system with your accounting and ERP systems.
Automate your business, grow and get paid faster with Spenda
Spenda’s solutions help organisations across a range of industries to create efficiencies, become more strategic and experience stronger finances and cash flow. Whether your business is looking to offer your customers more ways to pay, or you’re streamlining your inventory management systems, amongst many other options, we’ll work with you to build a tech stack that meets your business’s unique needs and goals.
If you’d like to see Spenda in action, why not book a demo with one of our business transformation experts? Alternatively, if you have any questions, contact us and our team will be more than happy to help you out.
*This article is for general information purposes only. Consult a qualified financial advisor regarding any changes to or decisions about your business’s finances.