EBA: How to increase your business efficiency with digital services and applications?
Kateryna Morozova, Team Lead of EBA Southern Ukrainian Office speaking about the new economic reality which encourages companies’ executives to look for more active ways and means to increase the efficiency of their business.
Thus, modern digital technologies are aimed not only at reducing the business costs but also helping managers to make all operational processes like sales, finance, or marketing, more controlled and predictable.
Business automation can help transfer routine tasks and accounting into services and applications to make all processes more transparent and controlled. If the company has a large amount of information that cannot be processed manually even with the available means of automation for whatever reasons (lack of time, skills, or money) — then automation is a real way to tackle all these problems. But business automation most likely would not solve your problems if you do not have all the necessary and reliable information and cannot coordinate decisions (actions) with the available data. Therefore, after assessing the situation, it is necessary to conclude whether automation will be suitable for the identified problems.
The next step is to deal with the business processes that take place in your company. To identify and define all of them, it is enough to ask yourself a question:
"What do you do within your business to make it profitable and why?"
Therefore, we suggest you the instruction which will help understand how to automate business processes in companies step-by-step:
Step 1. Model business processes
Systematic business management begins with goal setting, formulating a company’s organizational structure, defining each employee’s areas of responsibility, writing clear job descriptions, and building a communication system. To model business processes, it is common to use a system of symbols and their description called BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation).
Step 2. Describe business processes
It is quite difficult to automate business processes without a description of the activity of the enterprise, which can be made solely or with the expertise of external consultants. To facilitate this work, you should analyze in detail and display all the processes related to the scope of your business. Here it is important to identify weaknesses, adjust processes where possible, improve performance, and provide feedback to customers and employees, define roles and form KPIs, and bring all the processes mentioned above to automation.
Step 3. Impose/ business processes on software
Once we have figured out which process or its part needs automation, we choose the most convenient tools that can help in setting and monitoring tasks, sales management, record performance, and building the organizational structure of the company.
It is recommended to automate internal processes (production, composition, development) by your own team resources as in these areas it is necessary to be aware of all the business nuances, therefore outsourcers won’t be able to succeed in that. Standard processes such as time or financial accounting can be entrusted to external experts (here the outside perspective and expert advice — a key to optimization).
Considering that sales are the basis of any business, it is necessary to automate it first. Obviously, there is a difference between sending 10 invoices manually and sending 1,000 invoices with one click, since billing through the program will save time and allow you to earn more. After all, by issuing invoices automatically, the company obtains precious time to solve other important and priority tasks. Therefore, automation should be considered when scaling the business. In the second place, you should automate accounting, production processes, and logistics. And finally comes the automation of creative and intellectual activities, which require a special approach and flexibility.
After you have decided on the processes and stages, the next crucial moment is to choose the most convenient system that will satisfy your desires for automation. Any digital tools can be categorized as one of the following.
Project and task management systems. Trello and Asana are the services in which you can set tasks to employees and distribute them among team members. Meanwhile, ToDo will help you in setting and controlling tasks from the top management to employees as well as to yourself.
1C products and accounting systems. 1C, Delovod, M.E.Doc are financial and warehouse management systems. Such programs automate the issuance and receipt of invoices, salaries, calculation of taxes, drafting legal acts, and other documents.
Customer management systems (CRM). AmoCRM, Terrasoft, Bitrix24 are simple sales management tools designed to be accountable for customer relationships. A card is created for each client, where his contact details and communication history are recorded.
Working time and personnel management systems. PeopleTime, Bamboohr, Hurma are programs where employees can submit applications for vacation, keep track of working hours, number of working days, and weekends.
ESP-systems likeUniSender, MailerLite, Mailchimp. With ESP you can not only create a newsletter but also manage all other related aspects such as creating content, interacting with subscribers, increasing the number of delivered messages, etc., thus optimizing marketing processes in the company.
CMS systems are used to provide and organize a joint process of creating, editing, and managing content. For example, WordPress and Tilda are software that allows you to easily administer the site and work with its content.
Systems for building organizational structure. For example, xMind is a tool that will create and apply the mapping intelligence and build an organizational structure in 5 minutes.
So, the answer to the question ‘’why does the business need automatization?’' is quite simple. The implementation of software and applications could help businesses to control and optimize all aspects of the company’s activity. Also, in this way, the management reporting could be formed quickly and conveniently, while employees perform a fewer number of routine operations per unit of time.
Moreover, this improves the quality and speed of customer service.
As we can see, we are all moving into a new era in which digital tools are used more and more actively. So, let's keep up with the new trends and reach an advanced level of managing the business!
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