Automation and It’s Numerous Benefits
Automation can be defined as the technology by which a process or procedure is performed without human assistance. In other words, Automation or automatic control, is the use of various control systems for operating equipment such as machinery, processes in factories, boilers and heat treating ovens, switching on telephone networks, steering and stabilization of ships, aircraft and other applications and vehicles with minimal or reduced human intervention. Some processes have been completely automated.
While a number of companies and especially employees may view automation as a job killer, it can also be considered a lifesaver for company setup and looking to streamline their business processes. Automation can greatly help save both time and money. Just because one decides to automate his business, does not mean an immediate major overhaul to all business processes. Automation could be done in stages and maybe start by saving the company an hour a day before progressing. Below are some typical business processes which business can consider automating:
– Accounting, invoices and taxes
This is often a very tedious and time consuming tasks which all businesses have to go through. Plenty of this work involves manual calculations and paperwork which can easily be resolved through automation. These days, there are numerous online invoicing services that automate accounting services ranging from recurring payments, tax filling and deduction, storing or receipts and even bank transfers. It would be good for businesses, especially the smaller ones to resort to such services when it comes to balancing books and filing of taxes during the tax season.
– Data Backup
Computer crashes or system malfunctions are common in every workplace and it would be illogical for a company to make hard copies of all their data and store them in cupboards. This would be a complete waste of time and space. This is where the introduction of cloud comes in handy, enabling business data to be automatically stored online. This way, even if there is some malfunction, data can easily be recovered.
– Tracking Employee’s Schedules
The HR department is normally bogged down with plenty of paperwork and unnecessary timesheets and punch cards simply add to the mountain of paperwork they have. Also, punch cards and timesheets can easily be misplaced, resulting in employees not being compensated for the time they have worked. It would be a much better option for employees to simply resort to the numerous online tools available that can keep track of employees’ schedule. At the same time, employees can also easily view their line managers or availability should there be a need to arrange meetings or discussions.
This is yet another major issue encountered by most small businesses. Not everyone has the means to engage third party payroll vendors, and many simply rely on manual Excel calculations to calculate the company’s payroll and cheques to disburse salary payments. However, such methods are typically highly prone to calculation mistakes and a better option would be to opt for an online payroll services. This may not fully automate the company’s payroll but could take care of time consuming payroll tasks such as wage calculations and tax filings.
– Email Marketing
For small businesses to grow their brand awareness, email marketing plays an important role. However, this is a time consuming task to send individual emails to each and every client. These days, online tools such as Mailchimp and Drip can help business with marketing emails, from email launches to welcome messages and follow up emails.
There are numerous benefits of automation which include better quality and consistency; time saving; enhanced operational efficiency; better turnaround times and of course, reduced costs. Like mentioned earlier, automation does not mean staff cutting. It is something which can complement smaller company incorporation and greatly help them enhance productivity.