Technology has completely changed the ways of handling office duties.
You have probably heard about office automation, but what does it mean?
Office automation helps get rid of all time-consuming paperwork.
As much as you may be using online tools to do the same that cannot be described as office automation.
Automating an office means using computer devices, software, and apps to connect digitally, store, collect, manipulate, and retransmit the necessary information for meeting the official goals and performing tasks.
Translation: When we mention office automation, we are talking about managing the company’s information and resources with the help of technology, which is the use of a workflow to improve a firm’s performance.
Emails… and spreadsheets… all this will be reduced.
Automated workflows ensures that all emails and messages are passed instantly avoiding delays and saving a lot of time hence boosting the productivity of a firm
The main objective is collecting and organizing everything in one platform to ensure all projects are delivered in good time, optimize the usual procedures, and create a better daily routine.
What are the Advantages of Office Automation?
- An easier way to track the responsibilities around the activities of an office
- Delegating duties and follow up with all the tasks of all employees
- Transparency in the office as the manager and requester can follow up on all the details of the information
- Sending alerts and establishing deadlines to ensure all the priorities are covered
- A lot of time to process important things for the longevity of the company since everything is done in good time without errors.
- A firm’s information is safer due to the generation of management panels, process performance metrics, information storage and statistics.
- Increased productivity because people do the right things at the right time. It also helps fasten the employee onboarding process.
- Consistency and alertness in data-based decision making.
8 Fundamentals of an Office Automation System
As aforementioned, you cannot adopt shared drives or task management and call it office automation.
To do the right thing, you are required to understand the whole process.
Read on to understand the eight essentials of office automation tool for every project manager.
1. Easy Workflow Design
In the previous years, creating workflows was the work of the designers; this would easily lead to the assumption that the end users would understand the programmer’s language.
When looking for an automation tool, keep in mind that it is supposed to enhance your firm’s operations, and not dictate how they should be carried out.
Create a series of tasks that you consider crucial to the process by yourself to have an idea of what will serve you best.
If you do not understand a software package in the first minutes of using it, it’s time to pass it.
2. Mobile Compatibility
It is imperative that everyone is accessed through their mobile devices. All your tools should be mobile, just like your modern business office.
Whether you have individuals working on projects remotely or you just need to confirm one last thing before hopping to the plane it should work perfectly for you – the tool should serve an individual in India like the one in the office. All the basic activities should be done effortlessly from anywhere.
Your marketing campaign cannot afford to be delayed just because Nick is on a trip with his girlfriend, Olivia in Seychelles.You can have everything done in real time.
You should comfortably run your core using a secure cloud computing without worrying about the security of your data. If you are using quality office automation, Nick will be able to send his last say through his phone before he goes sunbathing.
3. Integration with Other Software
As an office administrator, office automation is not the only tool you are using; you probably have CRM, billing automation, customer portal system, employee management system – and those are just for a beginner firm.
Remember, office automation is there to make your operations easier and not complicate it.
Here are some of the examples of integrations you may consider including to your automation tool;
Start a customer service process immediately you receive a complaint
When an individual fills a contact form on your site, the automation initiates an opportunity in sales.
Start an account payment process when you include a row in Google Sheets
4. Task Management
Do you rely on emails to track your clients’ requests and processes?
How are your employees managing these emails?
Can you access the email inboxes of your teammates?
Do you request your employees to copy the emails received into all messages?
Is answering the above questions causing you to sweat? If so, you might require an automation tool with a management software feature.
The to-do list interface helps you see all the pending tasks of every member of your team, the list of a requestor, and structured information via forms. Any data exchange and data management is made easy by the task manager.
You may also add a manager profile to easily distribute tasks and chat with your team quickly via chats making management of information easy.
5. Deadline Management
We all agree that time is money
Any minute lost cannot be recovered
Set deadlines for all types of requests and processes. For even better results, set deadlines for each task and follow up.
Most automation tools will have a way to remind the office manager when the progress of a deadline is nearing.
This ensures you act before it’s too late.
Are there other areas of teams that require your input?
How do you communicate with them? Email or phone?
Making a technological tool for the internal customers that allows them to make requests using a structured form is a wise move.
This makes it easier for your employees to understand exactly what they are working with – without the need for a long email describing what every client needs.
Additionally, this channel must have all the business information on what happened in every step.
Your office will be more quieter – as it reduces follow-ups and new calls all the time because everyone can track the progress of their good or service. This is the essence of unlimited users of an office automation tool.
It also enhances customer relationship management.
7. Reports and Analytics
If your team looks happy since the automation tool arrived, that’s a good thing. However, this is not the most professional way to yield results.
You have to check on your numbers. Data is the final decision maker. It is vital that you compare the results, history, and speed after and before the arrival of the tool.
Having to add another software to measure the workflow can be time-consuming and also not necessary.
Choose a tool with a report and analytics feature to serve all your offices function.
8. Access Control Options
It is critical that you have access to all your workflows that allow the information or deny access to areas you consider confidential.
This being a feature of security, a good workflow should not ignore this feature.
Workflow automation does not mean replacing the human resource with machines
It simply means being in control of all the data hence improving the processes.
You cannot go for an office automation tool without an access control system
You cannot ignore technological advancements like office automation and expect to grow your business.
Investing in the management tools means fewer errors, easier way of distributing information, saving time, and subsequently improving the overall performance of a firm.
However, you have to ensure that you choose the right business process automation tool to ensure that you gain all the benefits.
You cannot avoid compromising any feature when purchasing your automation tool.
Keep in mind that an automation tool is only right if it enhances the operations of your firm and not control the operation of your company.