deciding what processes to automate

How to decide what processes to automate and when

Monday 3 October 2022

Automating processes within your business can improve efficiency, drive revenue and increase market share, as well as boosting customer and staff satisfaction levels.

However, if you're just taking your first steps into the world of automation, it may appear tricky to know where to start. In this blog we'll share our top tips to help you decide what processes to automate and when.


1. Start by listing your overall business objectives

It's likely you already know these off by heart, but listing out your business' objectives is a good way to remain focused on what your company is trying to achieve and when.

Try to keep this step brief, concentrating on what is important to your customers, employees and other key stakeholders.

2. Identify your areas of priority

Reminding yourself of your overall business objectives and  strategy will then help you to work out areas of priority. Try to pick no more than three to focus on initially and make sure that they all clearly link back to your overall objectives.

Spend some time thinking about each of these in turn, making a note of any challenges and opportunities for improvement.

3. Consider your current processes

Now it's time to consider the current processes in each of the priority areas you have chosen. Start by asking yourself whether the process can be automated - e.g., does it require employee judgement, or is it based on rules?

Processes that are good candidates for automation are well-defined and rarely altered. They use structured data and readable electronic inputs such as spreadsheets and databases.

It's a good idea to involve your wider team at this stage, making sure the people who use these processes every day have the opportunity to contribute to this work and share their experiences.

4. Review the benefits (and the risks)

Now that you've considered your current processes and their feasibility for automation, it's time to think about the benefits that automating them is likely to bring.

Processes that are often the most beneficial to automate are time consuming and involve a lot of repetition, with the potential for human error. They tend to be time critical, and use data stored in a number of different locations.

This is also a good opportunity to think about any risks that may be associated with automating a process. These could include scheduled down time, costs of new training, or failing to thoroughly map dependencies. Working with a highly-skilled team of software developers such as those at Solweb can help to mitigate these risks and embrace the benefits of automation.

Once again, this step should be done in collaboration with colleagues who use these processes on a daily basis, as they are often best placed to consider whether automating a process would lead to further business benefits.

5. Confirm your initial automation targets and set a schedule

The final step is to simply select the processes that offer a good case for automation and look set to deliver key benefits. Share these with your colleagues to make sure your team and senior stakeholders are on board and understand any risks.

You can then set a schedule for automation - we suggest starting with the most simple process you've selected, to help you get to grips with the automation process. At Solweb, we can support you to create a timeline that will allow you to make the most of each opportunity for automation as well as contribute to your overall business objectives.

To find out more about how Solweb can help your business to decide what processes to automate and when, simply complete the short form below. We look forward to hearing from you!

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