What is Automation? | Genie Automation

What is Automation?

“Automation” has become a significant buzzword in business, but too many people use it without really What Is Automation?understanding what it means. When you talk about automation, and especially when you plan to use it to improve your business, it’s important to know exactly what business automation is, and how it applies to your processes.

What is Automation?

The word “automation” means to reduce the need for human intervention to a minimum, and create a largely automatic process.  At its most basic level, business automation is a strategy to automate business processes to contain costs. The need for human intervention is often minimized through the use of applications and software.

The business processes that are best for automation are those that have a lot of manual work involved. Look for processes that contain one or more of the following traits: they generate a lot of paper, require workers to look for specific information before they can act, cause bottlenecks as people wait for instructions, are time-consuming, have a high error rate, or can be completely derailed when someone goes on vacation.

Why is Automation Important?

Automation can solve many problems that businesses face when their processes are not completed correctly, such as the loss of great leads or the shipping of subpar products. There are several benefits companies see when they automate the right business processes:

  • Save Time. You can save employees from doing repetitive, time-consuming work by using automation. This allows your staff to be more productive, and you won’t need as many labor hours as you did before.
  • Consistency. Two of the best benefits of automation are guidance and governance. Automation helps you orchestrate, or guide, the efforts of your employees in the right direction at all times. Also, automation serves as a check to help keep your processes from going “off the rails” – that is, it provides governance. With automation in place, you get more consistent results with fewer errors.
  • Minimize Costs of Errors and Inefficiency. Many times, automation makes existing processes much more efficient. It can also prevent errors by removing the human element from certain parts of the process, keeping things going smoothly. Both of these things minimize the costs to your business. Late payments, delayed replies to inquiries, and slow approvals can all cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Automation can reduce or eliminate those costs.

What Can You Automate?

There are many processes that are ripe for automation in any business. Automation will help you stay competitive in any industry.  If you don’t do it, someone else will, and you’ll lose out! Here are a few areas you can look for automation opportunities.

  • Easy Processes. By “easy”, I mean any process that doesn’t have a lot of human value added to it. Forwarding documentation, providing key information repeatedly, and other simple processes can be easily automated.
  • Processes that can be eliminated. Your employees know what processes are complete time-wasters. When you look at the business processes you could automate, focus automation efforts on collapsing processes that no one wants or needs to do.
  • Specific areas where time is at issue. When you look at an area of your business that absolutely must have quick response times, and key information provided without error or delay, you’re looking at the perfect place to implement automation. For many companies, marketing is an area where they benefit greatly from automation.

Marketing Automation is Key

Because marketing is the key money-making department in your organization, it’s the first place to look for automation opportunities. It is amazing how many leads get dropped, and sales are missed simply due to human error, inefficiency, delay, and misinformation.

Fundamentally, marketing automation is about optimization. How can you streamline processes, remove human error, and make sure that no one person is so important that a vacation or sick day derails the whole thing? You want to optimize your employees’ time, optimize which leads get the most focus, and automate repetitive tasks.

When you can optimize the way your employees approach their work, you can multiply your returns significantly. You’ll see increased revenue, and when you use lead scoring as part of your marketing automation, you can also see increases in the average sale and much better return on investment from your advertising.

If you need more information about automation, or would like help automating specific parts of your business, I’m here to help. Get rid of the minutia, and get yourself and your employees back to doing what you love best. Contact me for a free strategy session today!