Streamlining & Automation: Enhancing Efficiency and Staying Competitive
The events of the previous year demonstrated the need for small and medium businesses to adapt to changing circumstances in order to remain operational. Social distancing measures and crowd restrictions necessitated finding alternatives to face-to-face interactions with customers. Online transactions, telecommuting, and reliance on third-party suppliers became the new normal. In this evolving business landscape, how can we automate processes and outpace our competitors?
Future growth trends indicate the importance of business automation across all departments, contactless deliveries and transactions, as well as increased remote work and supply chains. To remain competitive, these are the areas on which we should concentrate our efforts.
Fortunately, the future is already here! Many large enterprises have successfully embraced full automation, and their innovations can be easily adapted to suit your business needs. Let’s explore some of the latest “Everything as a Service” trends that can inspire your team to transform your operations.
Leveraging AI to Automate Business Processes
According to Google, artificial intelligence (AI) addresses three crucial business needs:
- Automating business processes
- Gaining insights through data analysis
- Engaging with customers and employees
Even if you may not be fully aware of it, AI is already tracking, analyzing, and sharing your data with companies that can leverage it. Currently, larger corporations such as Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft are at the forefront of AI development due to their extensive resources. However, their advancements enable you to harness similar technologies for your own business.
Optimizing Sales & Marketing Efforts
Sales and marketing go hand-in-hand, making it natural for them to collaborate in maximizing customer data. Automated customer-relationship management (CRM) programs collect customer information through interactions and actions. This data streamlines the sales process and can also be utilized for marketing purposes. By aggregating information, you can track business trends, customer preferences, top-selling items, and more.
Automating these processes can enhance lead generation while maintaining or even reducing your current budget. Once you optimize the customer experience, you can streamline areas that generate the most revenue, benefiting your business in multiple ways.
Automating Pricing & Billing
As your business grows, relying on a single person to handle pricing and billing tasks may no longer be efficient. While pricing decisions are typically internal, billing has long been outsourced, especially in the medical field.
Outsourcing Service & Support
Unless your business operates 24/7, there may be instances when you miss out on potential sales due to inquiries made outside of your operating hours. While certain industries require round-the-clock support (e.g., medical, automobile towing, IT managed services), establishing a 24-hour presence is advantageous for all businesses.
Research reveals that employing a 24/7 answering service is often more cost-effective than hiring a full-time employee. Furthermore, the person handling your calls works only 40 hours a week, excluding vacation, sick time, and paid holidays. Ensuring you never miss a call can yield significant benefits.
Creating a Virtual Storefront
While every business has a website, can your customers make purchases directly from your homepage? By limiting your online presence, you restrict your business to local customers when you have the potential to reach a global audience. The internet operates around the clock, and your business should too.
Adding a storefront to your existing website is a straightforward process. If your products or services cater to a wide audience, don’t limit yourself to a specific customer group. Embrace the trends that your competition has already adopted, or risk being left behind.
Automating Business Processes for Scalability
You may not be fully utilizing the scalability of your workforce. There has never been a better time to hire top talent who can work remotely from anywhere. Scaling your employee pool offers numerous benefits:
- Hiring staff per project
- Utilizing the best people for each task
- Setting time limits on projects
- Completing tasks around the clock
- Reducing office space requirements
One of the significant advantages of this approach is that you gain better control over your budget. By expanding or contracting your employee pool according to project demands, you can avoid wasting resources during downtime. This flexibility allows you to optimize your office staff and scale up as needed. Implementing this system can yield remarkable results.
Preparing for the Future
While it remains uncertain whether the current year will be as challenging as the previous one, it is essential to prepare for the unexpected. If you are unsure how these business trends can save you money and drive growth, we are here to assist you. As a Managed Service Provider, we can introduce you to the latest developments and solutions that may hold the answers you seek. Reach out to us today, and let’s discuss your future.