Just Because You Can Automate Something, Doesn’t Mean You Should
One way businesses attempt to save money is through automating certain processes and tasks that have traditionally been time-consuming or monotonous for their workforce. When implemented appropriately, automation can cut costs, streamline operations, and improve quality of life for workers. However, just because a task can be automated doesn’t necessarily mean that it should be automated. Let’s look at the arguments for and against automation in these contexts.
What are the Benefits of Automation?
Automation provides many opportunities to streamline operations, particularly simple tasks that can allow companies to focus their attention on other more lucrative endeavors. Here are some of the benefits that can come from automating these tasks:
Automation helps to streamline operations and make your business more efficient. The prime example is using automation to handle repetitive and time-consuming tasks that pull your team away from their actual jobs, creating more opportunities to increase value for your business. Some of these tasks include data entry, inventory management, and customer support.
Computers are often more reliable than their human counterparts, particularly when it comes to rote tasks that are easy to check out from. Automated systems make for more reliable methods of handling tasks that are dependent on accuracy, preventing the need to do similar work again and increasing the odds of achieving customer satisfaction.
More Time Saved
Routine tasks take up a lot of time, but this time can be reclaimed and reutilized through the use of automation. Rather than staying the same by focusing on tasks that need to be done, the same resources can be invested into areas like strategic planning, innovation, and growth-oriented initiatives.
Scaling as Needed
Your business is going to grow alongside its customer base, so you will need to make adjustments accordingly over time. With automated systems, you can ensure that your infrastructure is ready to handle a greater influx of customers and the changes in demand that come from them.
Human Work Shouldn’t Be Discredited, Either
While there are certainly benefits to automation, some tasks are better left in the hands of your staff: real live humans. Here are three areas where your business should pass on automation in favor of its human workforce.
Personal Customer Relationships
Automation might be valuable for handling large numbers of generalized queries, but if an interaction requires a more personal touch, then it’s best left in the hands of a human. This is particularly true for complex problems that require creative solutions, or touchy subjects that might require deescalation.
Creativity and Innovation
Yes, automation is great for tasks when you know exactly what that task requires, but your human employees are going to be better at providing creative and innovative solutions to problems that don’t necessarily have a predefined outcome. Your employees will also appreciate the opportunity to provide their unique perspectives and feedback on various tasks and initiatives, further driving growth on both an organizational and personal level.
Flexibility and Adaptability
Similarly, automation can deliver efficiency and consistency, but once it has to deviate from the norm, things can get a little hairy. For situations where you need to adapt to circumstances and remain flexible, humanity will always have the upper hand.
Automation makes for a great solution to some of the more simple problems that businesses face, and it can provide many great opportunities to improve operations; however, there will always be a place for human employees in a business environment, no matter how advanced technology becomes.
White Mountain IT Services can equip your business with all the appropriate tools to leverage automated systems and your human resources to their greatest potential. To learn more, reach out to us at 603-889-0800.