There are several common problems that most small and medium-sized businesses face. One of these problems is time. There are a limited number of employees and this oftentimes leaves the business owner with a long list of tasks that need to be completed, but are better termed as “busy work”. This is not good for any business. It is distracting to the owner and, with a combination of high stress levels and too little sleep, it can cause the business owner to make rash decisions that can have detrimental consequences on the profitability and sustainability of the business.
Here are 5 business tasks that you should automate:
With cost accounting, there is room for human error because it can be difficult to charge every task appropriately. If an error is made, employees are then forced to search through piles of purchase orders and invoices in order to find the correct one. There are systems that automate this process for you so that records are easily searchable and very transparent. Human error is eliminated, records are accurate and labor in the accounting or finance department can be used on perfecting these processes and others.
Workflow needs to be monitored. When it is monitored it allows businesses to be better prepared for labor requirements and capacity. When a workflow is not optimized for efficiency, it is wasting resources. There could be a problem with employees overlapping in job descriptions. There could be a defective product. There could be broken machinery or software. Whatever it is, it is losing you and your business money. Automation software allows you to get an overview of the workflow in real-time. This enables you to avoid wasting time with a back-and-forth between employees and supervisors and then supervisors and leadership, and it allows you to easily spot the inefficiencies and correct them.
Businesses of all sizes need to have an automated central database for all records and uniform standards should be kept for data entry and record keeping. If these standards do not exist, duplication in documentation will occur and it will become challenging and time-consuming to assess data from different divisions, or even individual employees. This creates barriers to communication between divisions, which then creates major inefficiencies and worse. A central database, that has automated forms, will allow different departments to share valuable information that helps everyone in the organization improve.
4. Assigning tasks.
You know where your business is going. You are helping to lead the way, create the goals and oversee progress. Because you have all of this information, you, or at least your department heads, will know what tasks need to be completed to achieve certain goals and benchmarks. This whole task process can now be automated. You can upload tasks to a platform. Your employees can then go there, see the task and get started. Their progress, from start to finish, is tracked, and they can be sent automated reminders and more specific directions for the task. This allows employees to move efficiently from one task to the next and it allows you to supervise task-flow and re-direct when needed, with a bird’s-eye view.
HR departments have a heavy flow of administrative tasks—processing requests, gathering, updating and disseminating data, and form filling. For years all of these tasks required human labor. This is no longer the case. There is now software that allows HR administrative tasks to be automated. This includes everything from payroll and attendance management to compliance reporting and education and training. This automation will allow the HR department to interact with employees face-to-face on a regular basis, be more involved in special projects and improve the efficacy of the HR tasks and processes. If employees are able to freelance, make sure they understand company policies that may include non-compete contracts, non-disclosure agreements and acceptable use of company equipment.