In the small-scale business market, establishing a cost leadership is crucial. But in the attempt to establish a competitive cost structure, businesses must not compromise with the demanding requirements on customer service, product quality, and flexibility.
In order to meet these requirements, businesses need to have to depict more efficiency in business planning, controlling, and reporting. A simple, state-of-the-art automation solution could help manufacturers, suppliers, service providers or retailers of small-scale increase productivity and achieve desired results from the workforce and the business.
Technology advancement has made automation possible without much investment and adjustment in workforce management and processes. Today, there are software applications to automate a wide range of day-to-day tasks, so that resources can focus on critical business issues.
Most of the manufacturers have understood the importance of technology in our daily lives and have adopted tech and innovation in various forms to bring their customers and employees on one, easy-to-use platform. According to TechAisle, since 2011, small businesses have increased SaaS adoption from 27% to 94% now.
Importance of Automation for Small-Scale Business
Though many businesses even today would agree that they are at the early stages of SaaS adoption. The first thing they need to do is to get over their fear of automation. It does not have to be associated with taking away jobs.
For the automation to work for their business, they need to consult a software development company that could precisely guide them through the aspects of automation in their business processes, such as:
- The interaction between project personnel and suppliers
- Tracking order and receipts
- Supply chain management
- Assuring quick and timely delivery
- Providing technical assistance and support
Below is the list of those business aspects where automation could help:
Using a software application with the capability to integrate data systems, set-up data monitoring and share alerts, and track the status of the inventory, manufacturers can streamline their inventory management system.
A software can automate their high-volume operations and help them carry out regular audits of their business so that they can conveniently seal the gaps, before they slip through the cracks.
Optimize Maintenance and Field Tasks
Through automation, small businesses can optimize the maintenance work required to manage their assets and field. There are field service scheduling software applications available that could help small-sized businesses to create work-order on the go, streamline work orders, and develop estimates.
Streamline Customer Relationship Management
In the modern business ecosystem, businesses, regardless of size, have to open their platform 24X7 for their customers, which is borderline impossible without the help of a software application. In the time, when customers’ preferences matter the most, small-size businesses have to rely on technology to connect with their customers and deliver a smooth, flexible service throughout.
Managing Routine Processes in Paperless Manner
Collecting and storing information is an old school system and often turns blind eye to transforming information into insight. By automating the routine processes such as scheduling and dispatching the field team, inaccuracy can be removed from the system, while tasks can be performed quickly.
Drive HR and Support Services
A good way to drive HR and Support Services is automating the task. Small-size businesses can use Internet-based tools to perform evaluation, data collection, and provide technical assistance to their clients. Through these tools, a business can ensure compliance automatically and remove inefficiencies.
3 Ways to Introduce Automation to The Business
Cost factors are integral to small-scale businesses and so any consideration to introducing automation into the business must be cost-competitive. So, before you begin your automation efforts, ponder upon the parameters of automation into your business. Two key parameters could be:
- Automation in the critical business process like the production process in manufacturing, scheduling and dispatch in maintenance service, and data collection for marketing companies.
- Automation in the routine processes, such as the use of biometrics in attendance system, software application to manage time and leave of employees, and keeping the HR record, and so on.
Small-size businesses have to decide, what consumes most of their time and how they can increase efficiency and improve productivity results without changing much of their way of doing business.
Below are the 3 critical ways they can introduce automation:
- Adoption of SaaS: Software as a Service is a widely used software distribution model, which is a cost-effective solution for the small-size business. They don’t have to spend too much time with software application development companies, rather simply invest in the already built product.
- Mobile App Development: Small-scale business can engage with a mobile app development company to develop a customized app that resolve their unique business requirements, specifically related to customer engagement and for providing technical support. An independent platform to connect with customers and provide them support can prove a boon for the businesses.
- Process Automation: Businesses can automate a specific process, such as manufacturer can introduce more automation into their production process to improve productivity or automation of accounts and marketing processes so that small-size businesses can focus on their core task.
Being lean and automated has a huge benefit. Through automation, significant operational changes can be achieved to enhance the speed of the processes and address employee concerns. However, to operate the automated systems, it requires a tech-savvy team and that a small-scale business must ensure to have.
Bhupendra Choudhary is Business Head of Field Titan – a leading field service management software company. He has extensive experience in providing apt business solutions to various industries for field service and field sales domain. A product thinker, he collaborates with industry leaders to understand business challenges and facilitate technology solutions, like field sales management software, and more for the same.