Questions to Consider Before You Automate

By: Christine

Innovation is about more than just creating new products and services. It can also involve the improvement or expansion of existing processes through automation. Business owners who aim to systematize their business processes are looking for solutions to outdated and tedious applications that are causing frustration among employees. While custom software can easily solve inefficiency, improve user experience and provide automation, it is important to consider these questions before jumping into a project.

1. Why do you do this particular process?

Asking this question challenges you to think more deeply about your process. What is the point of having this process in place? Is it accomplishing the desired goals? Are there any unnecessary steps? Sometimes a business will realize their process (or parts of it) has become unnecessary over time.

 

2. What goal do you hope to accomplish through automation?

What is the business goal you hope to achieve with automation? Are you aiming to reduce errors? Increase your capacity? Improve response time? Without a defined goal, it will be difficult to find the best solution and measure the success of the project.

 

3. What benefits would you gain from accomplishing your goals?

It’s important to understand your goals to decide if the investment in custom software is justified. Will you be able to receive a return on your investment? Going for automation strictly to eliminate frustration caused by legacy software will not save the time or money you are hoping for.

 

4. Have you done this manually?

If this process is not something you have done many times by hand, it is very risky to create an automatic process – you may not fully understand it to clearly systematize it. If the process hasn’t been done by hand than you wouldn’t be able to calculate the cost of the manual alternative, or the return on the automation.

5. What goes into this process? What does this process provide?

Understand both the upstream and downstream effects of your current process to realize areas where cost savings for your company will likely be great. Estimate the impact of automation by tracking the time and effort that goes into a process from beginning to end. What specific areas could be automated to save resources and still provide the desired output?

 

Not sure if automation using custom software is right for you? Contact Us and a member of our team would be more than happy to guide you through these questions and help you determine if automating your business processes would provide ROI for your company.

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