The Step by Step Guide to Automating Your Business Processes
In the [previous article](http://https://www.armco-it.co.uk/news/why-business-process-automation-future-all-businesses-big-and-small), the focus was on why automating certain repetitive processes in your business is so useful. With the automation of business processes being such an ideal step in levelling up your business it probably sounds like it is going to be really challenging to setup and will be very expensive. But the reality could not be further from this as it has never been more accessible to take such an integral technological leap for you and your business.
The Steps to the Automation of your business processes are:
1.Identify repetition or routine
There are many manual tasks and procedures that could be automated. Identifying these tasks is a logical first step. These are often very admin intensive tasks that always follow the same logic or rules. Tasks like the process of manually keying in data or copying data from one system to another are common culprits.
2.Map out or create your business processes
You need to really scrutinise any of your existing business processes. The computer will only do what you tell it to so if you neglect to inform it of any part of the processes it won’t do them. So, taking the time to map out or possibly create a flowchart on the processes to make sure that everything in them is correct and that no steps have been forgotten. You can also create new processes that you want to implement but they will require the same level of meticulous planning to make sure that they run smoothly. You will also need to consider the variables when mapping out the processes. For example, if you receive invoices in an automated system does it need to confirmed by someone if it is over a certain amount.
3.Automation tools and triggers
There are many automation tools available to help you to automate everyday business processes. However, the most accessible tool for you is likely Power Automate. Power Automate is the business process automation tool that comes with certain Microsoft Office packages so, the chances are you already have it. But the main point is to find a tool that you like and that you would feel comfortable starting this process with. The next thing to look for is a trigger to each of the automated processes. The computer isn’t going to complete any of these processes just out of the blue, it needs something to tell it to start. This could be something like an email inbox going from 0 unread emails to 1 or possibly when it comes to collecting and sharing data it could be triggered by the time, for instance at 8:00 am on a Monday it would collect and send the data out. These triggers can come from a different application however, it is easy to link other applications to your automation software as it simply asks what software you wanted to used and then gets you to sign in and give it permission to use it and that is it.
4.Automate data sharing
Any data sharing tasks are prime candidates for being automated because they are so linear and differ so little if at all. It is one of the easiest processes to automate, you can automate the collection and sharing of the data. For example, if you collected the Google analytics for your website every month and shared it with certain people you could have them be automatically collected, put into an email template and sent out to a mailing list each month. This would save however long it would take to, every month, collect all of the analytics, write them up and compose an email with them in and send it to everyone that needs to receive the analytics.
5.Streamlining the communication and task management
Having an automated system in place for knowing what tasks you have to complete and receiving feedback on said tasks is pretty paramount in this modern age. For example, if you have 4 employees completing tasks, you can look over them, leave feedback on all of them and then they can make changes based on the feedback as and when necessary. This eliminates the need for standing with each person completing tasks and looking over them giving feedback individually which would take up a lot of both of your time. Instead, the employee can get on with another task while you’re reviewing their work and while they are responding to changes you can get on with something.
6.Making document sharing easier and faster
Documents could be a real hassle to try and share around to everyone who requires them. However, this is another easily automatable process. Through having a cloud service like OneDrive, you can have all of the files on a cloud service and then anyone that needs documents can sync them to their computer off of the cloud. This saves time on sending files to people, trying to share files individually or even losing work as it is all backed up to the OneDrive servers.
7.Possible Client Correspondence
Having a contact page on your website so that possible clients can get in contact to ask questions or to try and sign on to your service is great however having to deal with all of the information yourself can be really time consuming. However, this can also be automated. You can send out an automated response to any contact you receive and add all of the details they have given to wherever you keep all of the client contact information automatically.
Automation can be revolutionary for your business so take some time to consider and learn about it and if you want support with taking this step here at Armco our team of experts would be happy to assist you.
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There’s nothing we love more than seeing Yorkshire businesses flourish by harnessing the power of IT. Our team of dedicated engineers stands ready to help you overcome any technical challenge and deliver tailored solutions that help your business meet its goals and growth ambitions. From our base in Malton, we deliver proactive IT support and services across York, North and East Yorkshire. We have a strong track record in delivering impactful IT to clients across a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, design and insurance, among many others. We focus on maintaining, optimising and securing your digital estate, so you can focus on the growth and success of your business. Contact our team and let us start our journey together today.