Interest in automation is increasing given the many challenges companies are facing.
“Business is taking off as organizations recover from the pandemic, but they can’t get enough people hired to handle the increased volume of work,” says Curtis Verhoff, Advanced Solutions Manager at Blue Technologies, Inc.
Some companies faced with these issues are seeing the opportunity technology and office automation offer by improving communication and efficiency in day-to-day processing in departments such as human resources, accounting and customer service.
“All these areas are being overwhelmed with work,” he says. “For these departments to handle the workload more efficiently, more effectively, and avoid mistakes and errors that could be happening because of a lack of resources, automation is a solution.”
Smart Business spoke with Verhoff about how automation is helping companies do more with less.
What does automation offer to an organization?
Automation solutions help organizations deal with their day-to-day work load no matter what they may get hit by — whether it is a pandemic or another event. It allows them to better communicate with their customers and their vendors, enabling them to stay effective and efficient at what they do. It also enables them to support people who are working outside the office, as well as attract employees from the younger generations that tend to gravitate toward technology. But ultimately it allows them to be effective no matter what conditions may be impacting them, whether it’s challenges with hiring, economic challenges, or something in the environment. Automation increases productivity, allowing companies to take on more work with the same staff. And for companies with less resources than usual, they can use automation to stay ahead of the curve and retain market share, and effectively communicate with internal and external shareholders. It helps organizations overcome many of today’s more significant challenges.
How have automation adoption rates in companies changed?
Companies that a year or two ago were delaying the implementation of automation are now eager to get those solutions in-house, in large part because of how the pandemic has impacted their environment. For many companies, their staff isn’t coming back to the office. They’re working from home and they need tools that enable them to be just as productive at home as they were in the office. It’s requiring new infrastructure to support those remote workers. That’s why offerings such as cloud automation solutions have taken off. They’re helping to reduce costly errors with solutions that run checks and balances in order processing, in the hiring process, in production and elsewhere.
How is automation implemented?
Automation implementation comes down to having a good solutions partner that can really understand a business, where bottlenecks or pain points exist, and what the organization needs to improve. The partner then works with the organization to develop a plan or strategy — whether it’s short-term or long-term, whether it’s a quick-hit solution or one that rolls out in phases. A strong partner can help stakeholders embrace the new technology in part through ongoing training on any new solution.
Good candidates for automation can be any size or industry, but there is lower adoption currently at the small to medium end of the spectrum. A lot of the larger businesses have already invested in this technology and may have been better prepared to manage the effects of the pandemic. Small- to medium-sized businesses are really having a tough time driving their business through this change — they lost customers or they had to cut back on employees. While many are ramping back up, they often don’t have the resources to recapture the market share they lost. That could be because their profitability percentage isn’t at the same level as it had been, or fewer people are doing a lot more work.
For those companies that haven’t already, now is the time to explore how automation solutions could help address their issues. There are organizations in the market doing just that — finding ways to use technology to fill gaps that others are struggling to fill — and it could offer them the advantage they’ve been looking for. ●
INSIGHTS Technology is brought to you by Blue Technologies, Inc.