It seems like such a silly question these days… Technology is good. Automation = ROI. Why WOULDN’T an organization want to automate everything they possibly could?
Some pretty common issues that muddy the waters for most companies:
- Cost – There’s always a limit to what we can spend
- Momentum (Personal and Cultural) – People don’t like change
- Resource Allocation Problems (Human, Physical, and Intellection Assets) – We can’t fix what we don’t know is broken
- Inaccurate Vision of Technology Landscape – We can’t apply a fix we don’t know about
- Fear of all of the above – It’s all too scary, and the boss isn’t in a good mood anyway…
The ironic thing is, if you really look at each one of those problem areas, each one of them can become a COMPELLING reason to automate!
The real trick is to intelligently and effectively apply technology WHEN AND WHERE appropriate!
If we can face the “Fear” section of the list with a very healthy perspective and if we have the right team, technology, and automation (used EFFECTIVELY) can and will:
- Reduce Costs through reduction of mistakes, minimizing costs, and maximizing profitability–ROI is the self-improvement measurement model.
- Increase Momentum by removing roadblocks and inefficiencies, enabling mobility, and leveraging new tools.
- Optimize resource usage everywhere by intelligent feedback mechanisms, cost and revenue tracking, and proactive planning.
- Promote a constant-improvement culture of technology adaptation by adopting the right technology platforms.
- Reduce overall fear because of the controls, reporting mechanisms, and improved overall RELEVANT information availability.
Maybe the original question should be modified a bit: Why Automate, and When is it Appropriate?
Some questions you can ask to help understand whether automation is appropriate in a given situation:
- What will it cost you if you do NOT automate?
- If you can eliminate human mistakes, what impact would it have?
- If you can use technology to reduce reactive tasks and use your left-over human intellectual capital to do creative or proactive activities, what impact would it have?
- Do we have the internal resources to accomplish what we need?
- Is there a low-cost subscription option?
- How can we select the right technology platform that will fill our needs today and grow with us in the future?
Examples of Risky Manual Data Entry Processes that can be highly automated:
|EDI||Fines for Inaccurate or Timely UCC-128 Label, ASN, Invoice, etc.|
|Sales Order Entry||Inaccurate Pricing (Angry Customers or Lost Profits)|
|Amazon Orders||Order Management Inaccuracies (Reputation Damage, Returned Shipments)|
|Website Orders||Order Management Inaccuracies (Reputation Damage, Returned Shipments)|
|Warehouse Scanning||Picking, Packing, Shipping, Receiving, Put-Away, Counts – Runaway Costs (Inventory Problems)|
|Payroll||Time Card, Accounting Entry, and Banking Reconciliation|
|Project Costing||Missing Project Financial Information|
|Shipping/Logistics||Fines and Transportation Cost Overage Problems with Carriers|
Xcellerated Solutions has completed hundreds of successful automation projects connecting many various systems together for companies of all sizes. We can assist with automating any type of process in any type of environment.