Getting your business started with automation

February 25, 2022

Automation is a rising trend across industries for higher production rates and increased productivity, but as businesses initiate these new systems, it can seem like a daunting task. However, automating your processes doesn't have to be taken on all at once. If your business is looking to reap the benefits of automation but isn't sure where to start, here are a few simple steps to get started:

1. Consider why you might utilize automation
Automation isn't a new concept, but with rapid advancements in technology and artificial intelligence, organizations are seeing unprecedented improvements in quality, speed and accuracy. The combination of these breakthrough technologies has made automation desirable and applicable to a wide range of processes in recent years. In fact, a 2019 study from McKinsey found a third of the tasks in two-thirds of current jobs could be automated. As more and more organizations utilize enhanced automation to improve their operations, it's likely a good time to consider how these systems can work in your favor as well.

2.  Start with low-skill, time-consuming tasks
As you begin the automating process, it's unnecessary to implement cutting-edge technology immediately. Instead, it's more efficient to start small, as automation is an effective solution for repetitive, menial, error-prone and time-consuming tasks in your organization. Consider the low-skill practices in your business that could be handled by these improved systems as an initial assessment. While introducing automation to your organization, employees can save between 10% and 50% of the time they previously spent doing manual tasks, according to a report from Salesforce.

3. Recognize automation as a long-term investment
While automation is beneficial to simplify and improve an abundance of operations, implementing these systems can be time-consuming in itself. However, because of the long-term advantages of automation, it's necessary for organizations to view these processes as a long-term investment as well. Establish reasonable expectations as you get started, and invest time and energy while being cognizant of a delayed return on investment.

4. Implement proper training along the way
Automation can't help improve your business operations without the proper employee training to utilize this technology. While you initiate these systems, ensure your workforce understands the processes being automated and how to take advantage of them efficiently. As you start to employ more complex and cutting-edge solutions, this will ensure a smooth transition for your employees.

While businesses start their journey to automation, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the procedures involved. But, the long-term benefits of improving your systems are clear. Not only can organizations expect to see lower operating costs, increased production output and increased efficiency, but they'll also reap a host of unexpected benefits including improved worker safety and a smaller environmental footprint. According to a report from McKinsey & Company, 31% of businesses have already fully automated at least one function, so it might be a good idea for your business to follow suit. Start your journey slow with menial tasks and work toward more complex processes from there.