Jade Short

Increasing Profits with Automation

What is Automation?

Definition: Business Process Automation, also known as business automation or digital transformation, is the technology-enabled automation of complex business processes. It can streamline a business for simplicity, achieve digital transformation, increase service quality, improve service delivery or contain costs.

Business automation has long been a focus of ours. It’s the driving force for change we see most often in business. Here’s an example of one of the successes we’ve seen one of our clients; a gas and electric broker has grown from a two-person team manually handling 400 customers, to now having 14,500 and still growing. The kicker is, that it’s the same two-person team and there’s less admin now than before - that’s the kind of impact automation can have on a business.

90% of employees are being burdened with boring and repetitive tasks which could be easily automated. This has resulted in; 68% of employees who have suffered from work overload in which they have too much to do on a daily basis.

These statistics are astounding, especially being able to see on a daily basis, the results automation brings to a business. There are many areas of a business that can be automated, whether you tackle this department by department or go with an all-encompassing system to help you really optimise the process.

Marketing is a great example when it comes to automation, it is popular enough now that most people are aware of the results it brings in. Whether it is being able to re-market to website visitors or automatically sending your newsletters and organising your drip campaigns; the results these can bring have proven to be effective which is why automation drives on average up to 14.5% increase in sales productivity. This is because teams are able to procure leads and warm them up before targeting sales. If this works for the marketing department then where else could it work?

Giving your customers an area to login to access their details means customers spend less time waiting on the phone to ask little questions such as ‘can I have another copy of my invoice’ and the sales team can spend more time talking to new prospects allowing more sales to go through; all whilst empowering customers and improving their experience with the brand.

The idea of this is to take away the need for a person to do the smaller admin tasks. These efficiency upshots free up man-hours and reduce operational expenditure according to research, in fact, it has been discovered that highly automated businesses are 6x more likely to see revenue growth of 15% and above.

Another area where automation has been helpful for a number of customers, those that have to fill out on-site reports, having a mobile application that generates and stores the reports ready to sync with an admin panel when wifi is available. This not only means, no worrying about lost paperwork but also means all reports are filled out in a very similar style and customers can sign off on-site, book in the next jobs there and then and sell extras.

Furthermore, automation can also play a key role when it comes to accounts. Integration with accounting systems like Quickbooks, Xero or Sage allows for automated draft invoices to be created. This is then ready for confirmation by the accounting team, something which is particularly prevalent in service-based industries where costings can fluctuate from job to job needing an extra layer of control. Having said that in an e-commerce environment it is advised to fully automate the process.

There may be some questions surrounding all of this as nobody wants to lose the human touch through the process, however, this is not what we are doing, in fact, it is quite the opposite. Langley Foxall and similar development companies are able to build a solution that is tailored to your requirements, some SaaS products align really well with processes but poor software solutions can cause issues and cost a business money.

Keeping your Competitive Advantage:

Using industry-standard SaaS software, usually forces your business to adhere to the same process and any deviations from that require additional administrative tasks outside of the system, causing data silos.

With bespoke software that is designed and developed with your unique processes in mind, you are able to keep your competitive advantage and extend it further, placing yourselves as industry leaders.

Why bespoke software is different:

Each business has complex processes to adhere to and being able to have the flexibility to automate that process pushes the company forward massively, it is virtually impossible to exceed success plans with SaaS software.

Before I start getting into too much detail, bespoke software isn’t the right fit for every company, however, for businesses who gain their edge through their processes, it is a perfect solution to give you a huge leg up in your industry.

There are elements in every business that set you apart from competitors and with bespoke software you are given the power to enhance that.

Off the shelf software, although it certainly has its uses it can limit a company’s growth and the elements that make a business one of a kind. Not only can a development agency create something designed around your individual processes, but we can also intensify the advantages between you and the rest of the industry and help you to elevate your business further.

Bespoke software provides many benefits, with Langley Foxall, in particular, we focus on collaboration from the very beginning of our process all the way through which has been a real benefit for our customers (especially those who have had a poor experience with developers previously). With this approach, we also give away the IP so you completely own the product, something which a lot of our clients benefit from with R&D tax credits and being able to list it as an asset on the balance sheet.

Aside from the benefits listed above, the key message for bespoke software is that you are able to automate specific areas of the business, ensuring it is completely in line with your individual processes. Introducing software created with your own business in mind means we are able to create something that reduces job completion times, increases accuracy and facilitates the company's growth, the other things are an added bonus.

If you wish to speak to a member of our team regarding more information about this and to find out how bespoke software can help you, then email info@langleyfoxall.co.uk or call us on 01785 220892.