How do you know when it is worth automating a specific process? And what are the most common mistakes companies make when they are trying to automate an existing process? We have met two of our talented business consultants, Emma Nilsson and Henrik Lillhage, who help us answer common questions about automation.
– You can more or less automate all processes, whether you work within sales, marketing or service. Many processes in these areas contain many manual and repetitive steps, where there is great potential for automation. All digital data can be automated, says Emma while Henrik continues:
– Automation projects often become a cost issue. Therefore, it is very important that you start by asking yourself which processes that are worthy of automation. What processes do you have with repetitive tasks performed in large volumes? What is it within your business that takes a lot of time? How many FTE (full-time employee) would you save if you automated that part of your business? Can you reduce costs with the help of automation? Well, then it is worth trying to automate the process.
– Sales processes can be automated, for example in the aftermarket. There we have helped customers like Ferronordics Machines to start using data, that their vehicles and machines are sending out to create service activities as needed. For example, it may be that a machine needs to be replaced or that a service action needs to be performed, Emma explains and continues:
– It is also possible to automate administrative processes that require a great deal of effort because they are not digital. A common example of an administrative process that in many cases both needs to be digitized and automated is application processes at banks. They need to be simplified and improved for both clients and administrators.
– Talking about specific processes is difficult. As mentioned, you can automate most things in customer communication, information management and FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), says Henrik.
– A company can achieve many positive effects with the help of automation. For example, they can increase their conversion rate and availability, make big time savings and make time for process and quality development, also set clear routines and guidelines for different processes within the organization. Automation also makes it easier to secure and comply with legal requirements (applies to companies within banking and finance). Another positive effect that automation can bring is that it creates added value for your employees because they can spend time on things they want to do, says Henrik.
– There are a lot of things to consider when automating a specific process, Emma says, and continues:
– There are many mistakes that companies make when they are trying to automate their existing processes, but to give examples of some, I would say that many companies forget to define and prioritize what should be done in an automation initiative. Many times, they also try to automate complex processes and sometimes they even forget to appoint a management organization that can continue to work with the process and quality development. Once you have started an automation initiative you must not forget to ask yourself: How can we redesign this process? And how can we develop it further? It is very important, says Henrik before continuing:
– Another example is that companies do not use the help of external experts to create a whole picture of the project and what challenges they face. So, my best tip for anyone thinking of starting an automation project is to take help from external experts – who know what they can and are doing.