“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”, Richard Branson
Working smarter, not harder, is a mantra to live by for any employee trying to lessen stress, accomplish tasks and improve performance. However, this same idea should apply to service company operations, especially when it comes to phasing out manual data entry and paving the way for operational growth and an improved customer experience.
The Wrong Tools For Daily Work Equals Expensive Errors
Today, 90% of employees are being burdened with boring and repetitive tasks which could be easily automated. In fact, some of these tasks — including searching for data, data entry, and analysis — cost businesses, on average, 19 working days per year, per employee.
Additionally, this type of work costs companies 20 to 30 percent in lost revenue per year due to inefficiencies. For example, a large percentage of document processing mistakes are really user-generated errors. These arise when manually inputting data results in inverted numbers or unforeseen typos. With automation in place, these errors can be significantly reduced or eliminated. And yet, many companies continue to “make do” with their current applications and systems even though they are not the right “tools” for the job.
This type of infrastructure belabors the repetitive, manual work employees face daily and negatively impacts morale, which as Richard Bronson notes, directly impacts the customer.
Some employees feel that by not automating tasks, there’s a lack of collaboration across departments, creating data silos limiting the ability to quickly and accurately respond to customer inquiries. Streamlining processes and integrating technology can assist to ensure everyone is following the same steps and has access to the same data, in real time. Without a solution that keeps everyone and everything connected, an organization is vulnerable to the common issues that plague distributed teams.
Added-Value Work and Decision-Making
In a non-automated work environment, instead of employees focusing on added-value activities, many are spending unnecessary time with repetitive tasks, which is leading to boredom and frustration and could hurt employee retention. Conversely, the right automation solution will reduce the amount of labor time used to arrive at a set goal, freeing up time to concentrate on more important tasks and higher priorities.
Access to integrated data, in real time, is not only necessary for employees to feel connected, but it’s imperative to enable the leadership team to make informed decisions based upon real time data and metrics. Leaders of an organization must be able to access streamlined data, view high-level dashboards and reports, and glean insights quickly. Ultimately, a lack of process, connectivity, and visibility leads to the assumption of greater risk, a loss of stakeholder trust and less positive growth.
An Automated Solution for Operational Growth
A great first step to incorporate automation and improve operationally is to model your company after Best-In-Class service operations, which includes integrated enterprises systems. In this type of environment, employees can more easily perform tasks, such as responding to customer requests and completing daily job functions, in a scenario where the process is accurate, constant, and dependable.
Providing a level of elevated technology will also give employees confidence in the accuracy and transparency of data, open lines of communication, and keep operational costs down; in fact, top performing companies are more than twice as likely to support their employees with real-time insights. By diminishing errors and improving employee efficiency, companies often see a decrease in expenditures while simultaneously improving revenue and customer satisfaction. Additionally, business process automation solutions save companies money and labor by eliminating paper-based file management.
Best-In-Class service organizations understand the importance and benefits of investing in technology and integrated systems infrastructure to provide visibility across an entire enterprise, reducing manual processes, strengthening operations, increasing employee productivity and morale, plus reducing “error” costs.
Information Age, August 2017. Productivity pains: 90% of workers burdened with boring, repetitive tasks, https://www.information-age.com/productivity-pains-90-workers-repetitive-tasks-123468116/
Entrepreneur, December 2016. How Inefficient Processes Are Hurting Your Company, https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/286084
Aberdeen, September 2017. The Importance of Business Process Automation, https://www.aberdeen.com/opspro-essentials/importance-business-process-automation/