How Manual Processes Drag Companies Down & 5 Benefits of Automation
Manual processes require a significant amount of time and labor to complete, making it impossible for businesses to compete against organizations that utilize automation.
Automated processes use sophisticated software to complete standard tasks, allowing employees to dedicate their time and skills elsewhere. Meanwhile, companies that still use manual methods can spend upwards of 20 hours a week on simple, repetitive tasks, such as clerical work, emails, and data entry.
However, by switching to automation, organizations can boost their operational efficiency and overall performance.
Manual vs. Automated Processes
As technology has evolved, developers realized that business processes can be simplified through automation and even solve issues related to manual methods.
A study shows that 62% of nearly 300 American companies said that three or more of their internal process inefficiencies could be eliminated with automation. However, some companies are weary of delving into an automation project as it often requires a digital transformation.
It is important to recognize what separates manual and automated processes-
- Require human intervention to orchestrate every step of a procedure.
- Rely on employees to share data and send notifications.
- Separate physical and digital forms, instead of consolidating information.
- Need every field to be completed manually.
- Require employees to personally locate items.
- Make it easy to falsify data, miss steps, and let fraudulent activity go unnoticed.
- Do not allow communication to take place within a process. Instead, all communication must happen via external messaging, email, or in-person.
- Are programmed to automatically assign tasks.
- Automate emails, mobile messages, and system alerts, which can be programmed to launch at specific times.
- Store all forms in the same database.
- Can autofill certain fields with default data.
- Keep a log that actively monitors where records are located.
- Record every action that takes place within the system.
- Allow employees to communicate with each other through the management software.
5 Benefits of Automation
Organizations that still perform manual processes are often too involved in handling the various stages to recognize its impact on business. While the method may seem to suffice, these companies are slowly falling behind those that utilize the newest technologies.
By implementing automated processes, businesses have access to several advantages, allowing them to-
1. Streamline Processes
Automation promotes operational efficiency, enabling companies to perform daily procedures faster and at low expense. Software is able to filter through and analyze thousands of pieces of data a second, calculating metrics that are faster and far more precise than manual efforts. When automation is utilized for several operations, it can save businesses significant time and labor costs.
2. Increase Accuracy and Eliminate Human Errors
In a matter of seconds, a computer can calculate values using sophisticated equations that would otherwise take hours. On the other hand, manual methods require multiple employees to gather information and crunch numbers, taking an excessive amount of time and exposing the process to human error.
One simple mistake, such as a miscount or miscalculation, can cost a business significant capital to reconcile damages. Software is able to multitask without the risk of mixing up data, enabling companies to run operations simultaneously.
3. Enhance Consistency and Mitigate Risks
Even with a set of detailed steps, employees can complete the same task and yield significantly different results due to human error and unique methods. Even if manual processes produce a sufficient outcome, they are unable to guarantee a consistent performance level.
On the other hand, automated solutions execute operations using the same techniques to ensure the same results are produced every time. This gives companies peace of mind that every task is completed to their satisfaction.
4. Promote Data-Driven Decisions
Without accurate data to reference, management is forced to rely on guesswork and their intuition to make business decisions. This can lead to serious repercussions and even jeopardize a company's value and trust. Even businesses that use manual processes face the risk of making poor decisions as their data could include human error.
However, automated processes generate accurate, detailed reports that ensure management has a well-rounded view of a topic before making any final decisions. Making informed decisions protects companies from the consequences of gut choices.
5. Enhance Employee Development
Automation is meant to improve employee performance, not replace it. Manual processes often make workers feel like a machine themselves, constantly performing the same repetitive task. The software handles these tedious operations so employees can gain skills performing more demanding procedures, adding value to both the company and workers.
There are various forms of automated processes, from inventory ordering systems to point-of-sale (POS) systems, that can improve a business's daily workflow. However, companies can also plan for the future by implementing forecasting software.
A forecasting solution incorporates data from the established automated systems to detect trends and project future outcomes. Regardless of the industry, this solution can help prepare businesses by anticipating fluctuating customer demand, supplier prices, and sales.
These projections enable businesses to optimize stock levels, operations, and staffing to maximize profits. This provides organizations with a significant advantage over companies that still utilize manual processes.
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