As a business owner, you know that time is money. One of easiest ways to save time and therefore also save money is with automation. As you look around your business, you'll likely notice several processes that you can automate. Discover more about how you can simplify your workflow with the right automation.
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The first and most important step in automating your business processes is figuring out which ones you can automate. To begin, make a list of every workflow and process that occurs in your business and how long it typically takes. Make sure you include everything from complex work projects to simple tasks. Once you've written down every process, look for ones you can automate. Chances are if the process follows a set of rules and is repeatable, you can likely automate it.
Write Down the Steps
Once you have a list of the processes you can potentially automate, you need to write down every step in the process so you know how it works. You have a few key factors you must to consider. First, you need to understand what causes the process to trigger. Is it an email arriving? Is it when the beginning of the month arrives? Second, you need to know the result of the process, such as an outbound email or a monthly report.
Clean Up Inefficiencies
After you know every step that goes into your processes, you're ready to clean them up. Look for processes that add no value to your business, and eliminate any steps that are inefficient. You might also begin to discover areas where your team needs help. For example, about 47 percent of accounts payable professionals say manual processes are their biggest challenge, which means automated processes could help them out significantly. Finally, look for any duplicate or overlapping tasks you can eliminate.
Choose a Process Management System
At this point, you're ready to select a process management system to help you simplify the business processes you've targeted for automation. For example, one system you can consider is Sage Enterprise Management (Sage X3), which offers both functionality and flexibility. This system supports a variety of business processes, including manufacturing, finance, and distribution. Plus, since you can configure this system to meet your specific needs, it can also help you streamline operations, reduce costs, grow your business, and increase productivity.
Even after you've worked your way through all these steps and implemented the right process management system, your job isn't complete. No process is perfect, even after it has been automated. Instead, you need to refine your processes over time to make sure they're always as efficient as possible. Also, your business will likely add new processes as it grows, so you'll want to make sure you're ready to follow these steps again when the time is right.
When you're ready to simplify your business processes and help your company run more efficiently, follow these important steps to incorporate automation to the right workflow areas.