LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS
How Technology Can Help Reduce Business Costs Through Automation
RYAN WADE, TECH DIRECTOR
With the adoption of automation, employees spend less time on tasks that once required hours to complete. This is important not just because the automation can do these sometimes menial tasks in a fraction of the time, but it also shrinks the chances for human error.
Whether employees are rushed due to a large volume of work or they just make a simple data entry mistake, there will always be human error when tasks are done manually. Automation takes that component out of tasks like data reporting.
Increase Mobility & Efficiency
In most industries, employees are confined to one place: the office. That’s because, in order to complete certain tasks manually, an employee has to use a specific machine. Through automation, this changes. Employees are no longer confined to the walls of the office to accomplish a task that is now automated. This allows them to work wherever it makes the most sense, and they can access the information they need from anywhere on any device. The way in which this is accomplished is through the following:
- Mobile Apps With so many individuals and companies using smartphones, getting what you need while on the go is only a click away through an app. Time keeping can easily be updated via mobile, which is a great alternative to the older pen and paper method of years past.
- Online Software: There are a number of companies today using software that’s built online, such as accounting software, analytic reporting, and more. Since the program is online, your employees can be anywhere and will still be able to find the information they need on a moment’s notice without wasting time.
The increased mobility of your employees can account for quicker turnaround times. As more customers and clients look to quick solutions, being able to efficiently finish a project means more money in your pocket down the road.
Keeping Track of Information
Even through automation, mistakes can happen, and businesses can lose track of goals if not careful. Fortunately, there are three ways to best avoid any mistakes when going to full automation at your office.
- Build in Reporting Features: There are many systems in production that have reporting features built in to the automated process. At different intervals, you can have the program create reports that allow you to track project timelines, accounting, or any number of necessary pieces of information.
- Create Flags: Most automated systems will have built-in flags, meaning if you go over time on a project or if numbers aren’t adding up to what they were previously, you will get notified of the error. This is beneficial to avoiding the problem of the system believing there is an issue when there’s not. Just as human error is being avoided, system error is as well.
- Add the Ability to Review: If you’re automating everything, it can be easy to lose track of where you are in a project or how you got there. With built-in reviews at each checkpoint or each billing period, you give your business a better chance to succeed because you’ll be better equipped to find where small failures have occurred and correct them moving forward.
Better Client Involvement
Automated processes are giving businesses more flexibility when working directly with clients. Specifically, these processes have opened the door to more client involvement and clearer communication. Here’s how:
- Built-In Client Portals: A growing majority of automated systems have begun to incorporate client portals that allow your client to directly log in and add input through discussion boards or add files necessary to the completion of a project.
- Sending Automated Updates: Sending project updates at regular intervals to the client directly from your automation software can help to keep clients involved. If you prefer to keep client input confined only to update meetings, this gives you the chance to provide insights to the project while giving clients more information to come into an update meeting with.
By reducing the amount of time spent on unnecessary tasks, shrinking the chances of human error, and allowing more people—specifically clients—to be involved in projects, your company will be better able to operate more efficiently, reduce costs, and improve communication with clients simply through automation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
RYAN WADE + TECH DIRECTOR
Ryan Wade is a Tech Director at Lutz with over ten years of relevant experience. His primary responsibility is to manage the software solutions practice, including team administration and client relationship management. Ryan is also the lead on Lutz's online client portal, Threadworks.
AREAS OF FOCUS
- Software Consulting
- Client Relationships
- Professional Services Industry
- Real-Estate Industry
- Banking Industry
- BSBA, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
- MBA, Creighton University, Omaha, NE
- Business Ethics Alliance, Committee Member
- Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Audit Chair
- Nebraska Tech Collaborative Internship Committee Chair
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