Automation strategies for mid-market businesses
When automation is done well, it accomplishes more than just saving time and money. It minimizes errors, improves productivity, increases employee satisfaction, and enhances the customer experience. When incorporated into a business strategy, employees get more done, in the same amount of time, allowing them to focus on the important objectives of their role.
While automation may not be the latest advancement in technology, it will have the greatest impact on how we do business over the next decade. IT managers who fail to employ automation will likely lose their competitive advantage. Gartner estimates a 25-percent reduction in customer retention over the next year for companies that choose not to incorporate automation into their business strategy.
What is automation and why do it?
Automation enables the workflow to proceed without human oversight. Automation can be deployed in place of traditional manual systems such as entering purchase orders, customer service, data analysis, and reporting. Eventually, nearly all IT teams will automate some aspects of their businesses. As businesses grow, automation will expand customer service without increasing the number of employees. Successful automation enables your existing teams to manage additional customers with the same speed of service. Simply put, automation allows the company to accomplish more with less.
Automation benefits both the company and its customers. Customers report an improved experience due to better consistency in order fulfilment, faster response times, and lowered costs. Improved customer experience will improve brand loyalty and increase customer lifetime value. Automation empowers companies to optimize the way they allocate internal resources to save money, and take advantage of new opportunities to increase sales. In other words, businesses are either saving or earning money when they automate.
Automated reporting comes as part of the package with BI solutions such as Phocas. Users can access relevant and timely data on how the business is performing across all domains. By instantly converting raw data into actionable information, automated reporting eliminates the challenges associated with traditional forms of reporting. Now users can see what has happened, what is happening, and what is likely to happen in the future.
Reports can be generated automatically at set times, such as every Monday morning for the weekly sales meeting. Reports also may be triggered by certain events, such as when sales figures fall within a certain range. Self-service analytics also provides users with a customizable dashboard for on-demand reporting based on job role. A dashboard allows users to see what is happening in real-time, and to drill down into the details to see the root cause of problems, as well as to identify new trends and opportunities. From sales teams to inventory managers, users have access to up-to-the-moment data from anywhere, on any device.
The cloud offers cost savings as well as added security benefits. IT managers and CTOs work with the SaaS providers to determine the level of access to be provided to users in their business. They can determine when devices should be able to access resources and restrict permissions to users based on their job roles. At Phocas, security is a priority. We work with Rackspace and Amazon Web Services for their private cloud environments, and Armor for its dedicated SaaS security operation center to best manage and minimize data breaches . Security is monitored 24/7 by Phocas, our cloud partners. To ensure the ongoing security of customer's data we also deploy independent regular vulnerability and penetration testing and have a security incident response policy in place.
When companies embrace automation, employees have time to work on items that add genuine value to the business, allowing them to be more innovative and increase levels of motivation. Customers also benefit from improved service and experience.
To learn more how Phocas data analytics is a key part of an automation strategy and provides increased metrics and measurement , download eBook ‘9 reporting metrics your business should measure’ or by clicking on the button below.
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