Has your business invested in automation? Using technology to automate business processes offers a range of benefits, from enhanced productivity and service quality to reduced costs. Integrating it can come with challenges, however – not least employee resistance.
At the same time, a recent survey found that the Covid-19 pandemic had accelerated the adoption of digital technologies by several years. Businesses that fail to do so risk falling behind in what is one of the most challenging economic periods to date.
If you’re still unsure about embracing automation (or your boss is), read the five key benefits below.
It boosts productivity
Automating complex or time-consuming processes can free employees from tiring admin and allow them to be more productive in other areas. This factor is especially important for businesses looking to grow and scale at speed.
One example is how integrating payroll software can liberate HR professionals. By eliminating the need to spend hours processing staff pay each month, employees can focus their time and effort elsewhere to recruit and retain talent.
It saves on costs
Installing automation software usually comes at an upfront or monthly cost. Over time, however, its use can reduce running costs and contribute to increasing profitability.
There’s less need to hire extra staff for an increase in workload that can be handled through automation, while staff turnover may also drop if workers are freed from completing dull tasks.
It’s always available
Even the fittest, healthiest, and most motivated workers need to take a break now and then. But automated systems can be set up to work all day and night, over and over until the end of time.
This is another way in which automation can boost productivity. Automated customer service bots can assist customers outside of your traditional work hours, for example, reducing their frustration.
Another key benefit of automation is how reliable it is. It’s all too easy for human workers to forget about certain processes or make errors when completing repetitive tasks. Automated systems don’t get bored, however, and never suffer lapses of concentration.
In this function, automation can also boost staff morale by taking care of their less stimulating responsibilities.
It enhances performance
There are various ways in which automation can improve business performance. Some software helps businesses improve the quality of their service to the end-user, as well as serving more users in the same amount of time.
Automated reporting meanwhile can help leaders make important decisions quickly and with greater confidence. By pulling disparate metrics into clear dashboards, it’s easier for senior staff to maintain visibility over business performance and make projections.
On the other hand, there are some disadvantages to introducing automation into the workplace. This could include:
Loss of Jobs
It is no secret that the introduction of automation in the workplace would mean a smaller need for human beings. Automation systems can usually perform tasks without getting the same feeling of boredom, fatigue, and stress from the most mind-numbing tasks. But at the end of the day, these tasks are what pay the bills for some people, and if they don’t have them, they will need to find work elsewhere. Many companies however have found that after the installation of automation they have seen sales rise, therefore creating more jobs in different parts of their business.
Automation can prove to be extremely productive and will offer you a strong return on investment. However, it can also have a very high initial outlay cost. If you are still a fairly new business with little capital, then you may not be able to afford to introduce automation straight away, potentially giving you a competitive disadvantage while your competitors are using their time on more important growth projects. Before making the investment, it is recommended to calculate the return on investment that you would want to achieve compared to the investment needed. When calculating this, it is important to include the increased throughput value, decreased labor costs and the decrease in defects/recalls along with the money spending before deciding whether or not there is an actual business case for investment. With the help of an automation project calculator, you will be able to work out your estimated return and view finance estimations.
Some people view automation as a threat to jobs and human interaction. But when applied with care and consideration, automation technology can boost a business’s bottom line while improving conditions for its workers too.
Automation is undoubtedly key to business growth if you are looking to reach that next step. Not only does it allow you more free time to focus on more important projects, but it can also increase productivity and decrease errors. However, you will need to take into consideration the set-up costs and the impact they may play on your workforce as they watch their jobs being taken by automated systems.