Why is Business Automation Important?
Automating your business is no longer a nicety. With modern demands and expectations, it’s becoming a necessity. Given the right tools and the right help, automating your business technology dealership can be surprisingly easy. What’s more, automating workflow steps within your business for presales, sales, documentation, and fulfillment can help you reap major benefits.
Understanding these benefits, choosing the right tools, and preparing for change management will help you develop a good strategy for an operations automation project.
1) Reducing Operational Costs
Whether your business is in imaging, IT, managed services, or some combination of these offerings, businesses across the channel are facing pressure to increase their profitability. Reducing operational costs is one very effective way of increasing your margin; but how do you do so without negatively impacting your capabilities or productivity?
Automation software works to facilitate an intelligent approach to cost containment and reduction by increasing the productivity of your existing resources. Purpose-built automation software represents the greatest opportunity to increase service to the customer (end-user) while systematically reducing costs.
Since any software is an investment at face value, management often overlooks the potential for savings in time, along with savings related to error reduction. Yet, cost reduction is frequently cited as the number one benefit of adopting a more automated workflow strategy.
2) Increasing Productivity
As the demands on your dealership grow, productivity becomes a bigger benefit of the adoption of an automated workflow process. In the information age, the expectation for instant gratification has affected the way customers behave in all relationships, especially those that concern their business technology. Automating your sales team and operations staff can help your team be more productive so that they can work more efficiently and give your customers the attention they deserve at the speeds they expect.
Automation is a critical component in increasing the efficiency and productivity of your dealership. Therefore, adopting a tool that connects members of your staff across different departments is catalytic to a complete and comprehensive business automation plan.
At SalesChain, for example, our onboarding team helps our customers create workflows for sales and fulfillment, to keep teams focused on their next steps. With integrations to ECI e-Automate, ConnectWise, and CEO Juice, our system passes information between systems automatically to minimize the need for duplicate data entry. We can also help customers feel included by sending them notifications when documents are signed (including a copy for their records), when equipment is ordered or built, and when delivery is scheduled.
Case Study: Delivery Workflow Automation
In this video testimonial, Crystal Manning talks about how SalesChain’s delivery workflow management tools cut KDI’s DSO in half.
3) Increasing Reliability
Productivity is an obvious benefit of automation. But reliability in your processes and services can make or break your relationship with a client and is a significant benefit of business automation. Reliability is the cornerstone of any good business technology operations department and without it, you have confusion, chaos, and unhappy users.
Automated workflows ensure that data which is passed from sales to operations is complete, accurate, and timely. Clearly defined workflows ensure that jobs are assigned in order and not hung up on one person’s desk. Data on these workflow steps can help detect bottlenecks and drive action by allocating additional resources or assigning additional tasks.
Software products can handle complex tasks dynamically and intelligently, based on predefined parameters. Yet, critical company functions such as assigning jobs, processing paperwork, and ensuring communications, are still often performed by entry-level individuals at office technology dealerships. The benefit of an automated system is that these functions are reliably executed by the automation software, relieving personnel from hours of tedious, boring, and manual tasks, and removing the human element from precise data entry.
4) Gathering More Data
If you can automate more processes in multiple departments within your business using one system or software suite, it means you can collect and analyze more data easily. Since SalesChain serves as a repository of information for your forecasting, sales, MIF, lease portfolio, achievement, fulfillment, and order information, we can present data to you in easy-to-understand reports and charts which give you a clear view of your business.
Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, famously quotes/said? (Is this his direct quote or is he quoting someone else? I had the same question on the BI handout): “You can’t fix what you don’t measure, so you’ve got to measure everything.” SalesChain’s business intelligence utility was built with this principle in mind.
One of the most challenging things to achieve with a dashboarding tool is complete, accurate data, especially if that tool is not integrated directly into the source of the data which it serves to view. SalesChain has a unique advantage when it comes to data accuracy since sales rep activity, leasing activity, service activity, and more are all being logged in our system already. Since we have the data, we can very easily add it directly to your charting tools. This means no cross-pollination or manual entry across disparate systems, eliminating potential points of error.
5) Optimizing Performance
Every dealership would like to operate with the efficiency of an enterprise-level organization. If your dealership has limited time or resources, it can be difficult to achieve these efficiencies without the right tools. Frankly, you could be the biggest mega-dealer out there and still have operational woes if your automation tools are not connected to each other completely and accurately.
What we want to emphasize is that it’s possible to improve your organization’s performance with the resources you have now by empowering employees with the right tools. Once you have the right tool setup in a way that works for you, the performance of your business can increase substantially.