By Carlos Rodriguez
As dynamic as many companies are, there are almost always some repetitive tasks that need to be carried out for a business to succeed. These tasks are often data-centric, requiring someone to sit in front of a computer, possibly for hours, typing data into a spreadsheet. These kinds of tasks are prime candidates for automation, but most companies don’t have an in-house software developement team, and the cost to hire a consultant seems, at first, to be very off-putting. When you take a step back, however, and look at all the factors, it’s clear that automating your business process is a sure-fire way to stream line your company’s work flow, and save a ton of money.
So how much time is your company spending on these kinds of tasks? According to research commissioned by Redwood Software, 64% of respondents spend over a quarter of their time performing tasks that can be easily automated. That’s 10 hours of work a week! Multiply that by your workers hourly wage, and factor in the fact that their time could be better utilized elsewhere, and you can see how much this affects the bottom line. Spending a few thousand dollars to ensure that your employees don’t have to waste time on these tasks, freeing up their time to make more money in other ways, pays itself off almost right away.
That’s not the only way that software automation can save you money. Many companies report a data entry error rate of about 4 to 5 percent when entering data manually. And these errors aren’t always easily identifiable. Often times, these errors are only discovered when the damage has already been done; when a client is upset or your inventory is a mess. It’s hard to put a price tag on the cost of these kinds of errors, but they are substantial. Once a process is automated, you can rest assured that these errors aren’t slowly creeping into your business process any longer.
Let’s say that your business process needs to change as your business expands. If a process is not automated, your company will have to invest time into training your staff about the new procedure. Even something as simple as adding a bit more data to your system can create tons of errors, as employees forget to follow the new standard. Automation frees you from this as well, since a business process change would only require a small change to the software that manages it. It becomes painless, cost-effective, and efficient.
If you don’t have an in-house, software development staff, then an experienced software consulting team may be exactly what your company needs to save money, and increase productivity.