Working in a service industry environment can come with its operational challenges. When dealing with a database of customers, it is common to get overwhelmed with contacts, leads, referrals, emails, processes, 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 (not necessarily IT) 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 cut out the need for physical 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.
But likewise, if a potential product required more attention from a quality or marketing point of view, you will be able to pick up the trends using a good business intelligence (BI) tool.
The application would pool all your numbers (prices, product-related interactions, input costs, etc) 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 and easy 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 File-servers have existed for several decades but are outdated as they can crash.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 streamline or improve the way you operate. 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 the targetable market are). “Social engagement” is progressively becoming a buzzword.
Having applications that link to 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.
Failing to do so properly may not hinder bigger profits even if you have a unique product/service or operate in a monopoly. We all, also, know how quick and merciless creative destruction can occur.
Consider this for a moment: Companies like Yahoo, Nokia, and Blackberry. Failing to adapt to a changing landscape or being rigid with the innovation, as Nokia and Blackberry enabled Apple and Samsung to snatch their market with touchscreen tech.
Failing to streamline the way you operate may even cloud your judgment. This will lead to failing to even grasp what the customer wants from you 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.