Not long ago automation tools were thought to be useful for large organizations. However, we’ve seen that automation has become crucial for the survival of SMBs. Recent research by Xerox confirms that SMB leaders recognize the importance of automation to their continuation:
“80 percent of SMB leaders saw automating tasks and processes as important to their survival, with 82 percent emphasizing the same when it came to digitizing paperwork. Two-thirds plan on upgrading their automation tools. Three out of four observed an increased reliance on workflow solutions over their pre-pandemic setups, with 65 percent having already upgraded their workflow solutions.”- The Xerox State and Fate of Small and Medium Business survey
The truth is it’s not a matter of if they should do it–rather than when. As automation continues to increase efficiency, SMBs are looking at their competition and wondering if they can gain a competitive advantage.
So, why are some SMBs hesitating? And why shouldn’t they?
The answer is cost and culture. Reconfiguring your business process can be a big job. One reason leadership can be intimidated is hearing or reading about other organization’s failures.
Hesitancy is particularly true among SMBs, especially if they already have an established set of processes.
There is also a subset of businesses that are concerned automation will take away jobs from employees, but honestly, I don’t think this is true. Automation is primarily meant as a complement to human workers, not to replace them. It helps companies achieve and maintain a competitive advantage in their industry. Through leveraging the tools available (like Laserfiche), which increase staff productivity and decrease costs—companies can enjoy higher operating capacity while delivering a superior customer experience, leading to greater profitability.
Consider automating for these reasons:
Efficiency- Automation means getting rid of manual tasks that burden most of your staff. Not only does this waste their time and your money it could be causing them to dislike their job. If you automate your business processes you are now free to deploy staff or more strategic projects. The kind of project that will positively impact your bottom line.
Cost- For everyday tasks that don’t require a human touch, paying an employee to do that task gets expensive for an SMB. Utilizing business automation means you’re freeing up a substantial number of man-hours that can be distributed as you please.
Collaboration- Before automating your processes, you need to digitize them. Or to be more clear. Digitization can be automated but the two: digitization and automation go hand in hand. Once your organization is digitized, it will be easier for your employees to collaborate, co-author, and gain approvals for documents such as invoices, POs, expenses, or vacation requests.
Compliance and human error- Everyone makes mistakes. Automation technology, however, makes virtually no mistakes and can perform tasks in a snap. Plus it can operate 24/7/365. Also, every industry has either government or industry mandates to which they are beholden. Automation makes compliance easier because you are carving out human error, plus auditing is a fundamental component to both automation and compliance.
I understand it can be difficult to get your arms around automation if you’ve not been exposed to it. That’s why we are here. In the meantime, here’s a video about purchasing, receiving, and invoicing. If you’ve got any more questions, please contact us.