2020 was a difficult year that challenged every industry. Now, in 2021, businesses are encouraged to implement this one tool to restore growth.
Business owners who lasted through the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic are resilient. They survived through one of the toughest markets in history, struggling through shuttered doors and a drop-off in consumer activity.
However, this year, businesses need to start using automation to stay competitive. In a world where faster is better, automation offers a way to increase efficiency.
Learn more about why (and how) you should automate below.
Business automation in 2021
Automation seems like a buzzword these days, and for good reason.
As technology develops at increasing speed, more businesses are starting to use tools to automate their processes.
Efficiency and productivity should be the goal of any business to achieve maximum throughput and profit, and automation can help business owners achieve their goals. Plus, global competition is growing, which means business owners need to stay on top of trends to remain relevant.
Automation is the key to success in 2021. If you want to grow your business, start learning about different types of automation and how they can help you meet your goals this year.
Benefits of automation
The benefits of automation are far-reaching:
- Connectivity: Sync applications and equipment, automate transfer of data, and immediately receive notification emails. This is one instance of automation connectivity. You can have all your databases “talking” to each other, so you don’t have to waste time managing data and staying updated on new information.
- Centralized communication: Have all your important company documents, announcements, and staff communication in one area. Paper and phones are things of the past; now, you can quickly send and receive information and documents.
- Accurate data and tracking: Get accurate data on your work processes, such as in manufacturing lines, with Internet of Things (IoT) devices. You can track data and create reports using these devices, making it easy to propose changes in production or management.
- Improved workflow: Process management is streamlined with automation. Redundant tasks can be eliminated and allow for greater workload capacity.
All these perks lend to increased efficiency, productivity, cost savings, and customer satisfaction.
Now that you know more about why automation will help your business, learn more about common types of automation you can implement below.
Common types of automation in businesses
Hyper-automation is the automation of information in the form of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, process mining, and robotic process automation (RPA).
This form of automation is software-based, compiling and organizing data to manipulate applications and processes. Integration is the main benefit of hyper-automation, providing businesses with increased scalability.
In manufacturing, industrial automation is used to increase throughput and capacity of production processes.
Equipment such as industrial robots, servo drives, robot controllers, and more are installed into a production line, automating processes such as material handling or welding.
By automating with industrial equipment, manufacturers can reduce lead time and provide uniform, high-quality products for their customers.
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Voice-activated automation tools, such as household tools like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Play, have recently become popular in businesses.
This method of automation is simpler than hyper-automation and manufacturing automation, and it provides businesses with a hands-free way to multitask.
The best part about voice-activated automation is its convenience factor: you never have to worry about forgetting to send an email or add an item to your to do list when you can speak your thoughts as soon as they arise.
Social media automation
The rise of automation also saw the rise of social media in the past decade. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and now Tik Tok are quickly becoming avenues for customer acquisition.
Because of this, it’s necessary for businesses to be active on social media, which can become a time-consuming task.
With social media automation tools, businesses can connect with their customers without cutting into other workflows. You can automate instant responses to messages, scheduling posts, social listening, and more.
Customer support automation
Finally, similar to social media automation, customer support automation can help you assist customers with ease.
When customers have questions on your website, you can install a live chat feature with prepared responses for commonly asked questions. Features like live chats are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you never have to worry about missing a customer.
Keep up with global competition
Increased connectivity means increased competition. That’s why businesses need to take action and automate their processes: customers won’t wait around when they have thousands of other options to choose from at the click of a button.
Whether you are a manufacturer who needs to add industrial robots to your production line, or you are a beauty guru with too many DMs to answer on the daily, automation will help you simplify your work processes to grow your business.
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