Working in a service industry environment can come with its operational challenges. When you are dealing with customers, it is easy to get overwhelmed with contacts, referrals, emails, and appointments.
There are, however, solutions designed for small to medium-sized businesses, that will help you keep track of processes through well-coordinated business automation.
Traditionally, business (process) automation is the task of an individual or team overseeing the digital transformation of your company. This role has been refined into what is now formally recognized as a business analyst. It involves a highly detailed audit of your business’s processes and workflows.
This is priced as an input (operational) cost or some form of revenue. The business analyst is a role like that of a quantity surveyor – but essentially with operational software.
The aim is to minimize your operational costs while expanding revenue via the tools and processes used to run your business.
The online tools
A collaboration tool like Skype for Business can help you avoid unnecessary inter-departmental meetings. This would save you loads in travel, hotel, food, and other expenses.
A quick assessment or analysis can help you shift the focus and costs away from a non-responsive product to one that will drive profits.
If a potential product required more attention from a quality or marketing point of view, you can pick up trends using a good business intelligence (BI) tool.
The application would pool all your numbers (prices, product-related interactions) usually stored in your Excel sheets. You could then present in real-time to reflect sales, revenues, staff retention, product demand, elasticity, and return on investment.
These useful actions and reports can be performed with a few clicks of the mouse using the right BI software. Again. this saves you time in meetings and limits the unnecessary requests for data from your colleagues.
File-sharing made easy
That brings us to the next tool that helps you to collate data into central repositories for quick access. File-servers have existed for several decades but are outdated as they can crash. They can also slow down when overloaded or just not hold compatible data.
But what is the point of having data centrally stored when you cannot access it once you leave a certain parameter/network?
When it comes to security concerns (people outside the organization or worse yet – a competitor, accessing your data), you can rest assured!
File-sharing providers have long thought about it. After all, none of them want to get sued for losing your data!
Today several banks and even public institutions consume utilize cloud services for this very reason. Companies like Microsoft, IBM, and Google are making their services more secure as well as compliant to data storage regulations nationally or globally.
They are, however, forced to charge you a small fortune for that added service!
There several examples of how automation helps you streamline or improve operations. For more practical examples and a cost-effective and easy-to-use online tool that you can use, check out Messegely.
Consider social media integration (to where most of your targetable markets are). “Social engagement” is progressively becoming a buzzword.
Having applications that link to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram used to be ‘nice-to-haves’. They are now a necessity if you want to stay in touch with your audience or market.
Recognize the need & act!
The onus is on your business analyst to source the right (most effective) SaaS tools to help channel the digitalization of your company’s social and business operations.
Not doing this may leave you at the mercy of creative destruction. Consider companies like Yahoo, Nokia, and Blackberry.
Failing to adapt to a changing landscape or being rigid with the innovation. Nokia and Blackberry allowed Apple and Samsung to snatch their market share with touchscreen tech.
Failing to streamline how you operate can cloud your judgment. This will lead to you failing to even grasp what the customer needed in the first place!
Automation can help you pay more attention to the client’s needs because you spend less time taking notes. Instead, you will be able to perform the most important task when dealing with customers – listen!
Visit the resources page for an array of top-ranked automation tools you can use. These tools will ensure that you are being as productive as you can – saving you time and of course money in the long run.