Sometimes, the most monotonous tasks are also the most essential to everyday business.
Luckily, business process automation can make almost anything less time consuming, stressful and repetitive. Automating business processes allows you to shift your focus towards more important tasks with the added benefit of improved accuracy.
If automating business processes is on your mind this spring, here 10 business process automation ideas to start thinking about:
Surely, someone is managing your social media. Chances are they’re not sitting at the computer all day typing witty tweets directly into Twitter or walking around the office snapping photos for the company Instagram feed.
A solid social media strategy is planned – well in advance. The day-to-day is best managed by drafting posts ahead of time and scheduling them in a platform like Hootsuite. Making use of social monitoring tools that alert you to brand mentions (whether you’re a part of the conversation or not) makes responding to critics and learning about your brand’s reputation online a breeze.
Spreadsheets are the vain of existence for many, especially when they get repetitive. A few tweaks to how you handle them can result in a big business process improvement.
If you use spreadsheets for reporting or pull data from a separate location, get a process down to make it easier. This may include linking your charts ahead of time as not to relink the same data month-after-month. Schedule exports at a regular time instead of logging in and downloading them every day. You’ll be amazed at how much time this business process automation can save you each month.
Sending Marketing Emails
Sure, you can sit down and knock out follow ups one-by-one, or you can utilize a platform like MailChimp to automatically welcome new customers, follow up and bring them back with special promotions. Aside from saving time vs. doing it yourself, business process automation through a third-party software like this provides the added bonus of connecting with customers automatically and possibly driving online return.
Automated data backup to either the cloud or a local server could be a lifesaver, and is undoubtedly a necessary business process improvement for any organization. You just never know what could happen.
Very small businesses can take advantage of services like DropBox, while your IT department should be able to implement some sort of regular backup schedule to avoid manually moving files over to a secondary location. For some businesses, Managed Backup Services like those offered by ThrottleNet take the burden away from your company completely.
Your work computers should automatically schedule critical updates either before the workday or after it ends. It’s always frustrating to have to save your work and sit out a 15 minute required update when you could schedule it to automatically run after hours.
Windows has instructions on how to schedule updates automatically, and most, if not all of the software you use on a regular basis should have similar functionality.
Responding to Emails
There are plenty of ways to make responding to emails easier. Tools like SalesForce offers businesses the ability to set up auto responses to potential leads or customers letting them know that someone at your business has received their response and that you will get back to them shortly. Just be sure to get back to them in a reasonable timeframe.
Google has also recently introduced a Smart Reply function, making it easy to send quick, actionable canned responses.
Filling Out Online Forms
If you find yourself constantly typing your name, address, phone number and everything else into a web browser, you’re doing it wrong.
LastPass, which is incredibly useful if you’re one to forget passwords also features secure form fill profile functionality. You can store your credit card, SSN, phone number and other sensitive data securely online in predefined or custom fields of your choosing.
Posting Website Content
Most CMS systems allow you to schedule start and end dates for web pages, which can be helpful if you are managing a blog or events calendar. Automating posts keeps your content cycle fresh while saving you time posting every time something is ready to go live on your site.
Handling Help Desk Tickets
It does no good for an incoming trouble ticket to go to the wrong person when a simple script could help move the process along quicker. Business Process Automation can be implemented to prioritize requests according to rules, assign them to the correct person, notify users of resolution and prevent requests from getting lost.
When your office runs out of paper towels someone is either contacting your vendor or running to the store. Not anymore! Amazon Dash has expanded to provide instant ordering buttons for over 100 well-known brands. It may not save you a ton of time, but it is certainly a cool program.
Make your Business Run Smarter with ThrottleNet
It’s impossible to do 25 hours of work in a 24-hour day – especially when you need to find time to sleep at the end of it. For some businesses, Information Technology is best handled by a qualified outside vendor who really gets to understand your business processes and how they affect every aspect of your organization. Along with automating business processes, partnering with ThrottleNet for Managed Network Services can make everything within your organization run more smoothly. Contact us to learn how we can help you today!