FAQs When Automating and Streamlining Business Processes
We often hear recommendations to “automate” and “streamline” our business processes, but what exactly do those terms mean? Here are a few of these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to know more.
How can automating and streamlining improve my business processes?
To simplify, automation uses applications and tools to perform recurring tasks for you. It allows you to designate your valuable human resources to work on other tasks and become more efficient. On the other hand, streamlining aims to simplify your business processes. Remove unnecessary processes from the bigger picture and watch your workflow become smoother, faster, and more efficient.
Why do I need my own custom application?
You’ll know it’s time to automate when certain tasks are repetitive or that you’re having more transactions than before and that your company is starting to become bigger. More often than not, these tasks slow down your progress and bring down your overall efficiency, consequently hurting your company. At the same time, all businesses are unique in their own way. Developers make off the shelf applications to accommodate a large variety of businesses, not to cater to anyone’s specific needs. You may feel like you’ve tried every tool available in the market with none of them being the perfect fit you’re looking for. They may lack the features you require, be too complicated, or even too expensive. At that point, it’s time to invest in your own custom application. Hire a project team that will develop a custom application exclusively for you to have all your concerns taken into consideration.
What do I have to do before ordering a custom application for my business?
Before you specify all the operations you want your custom application to perform, take a look at your business processes first. After all, it becomes most valuable when you can seamlessly integrate it with your internal processes. List them down step by step. Dedicate enough time to analyze them thoroughly. Are there any issues that you should address immediately? Review it thoroughly and verify the importance of each step. You might notice some steps that aren’t as necessary or relevant as they once were. Do any of the steps take too long to execute? Moreover, ask your team members involved for feedback on their experience throughout the time you followed this process. They may have noticed inconsistencies or issues you previously missed.
What do I need to know beforehand?
You don’t need to be an application development expert in order to develop your custom application. First and foremost, you should have an existing system or process in running your business, review and decide what and what not to automate. Automating your business process without having an existing process will lead to trial and error, making business automation costly in the long run. Moreover, the time and cost it takes to develop varies and is dependent on all the variables involved. It’s best to speak to your business applications development team to have specific questions addressed.
After you’ve exhaustively reviewed your processes, redesign them with your team in mind. Gather suggestions and note these down too. Then, begin drafting your ideal version of your business processes’ new and improved counterparts. Know what aspects of your business to modify, and which should be kept as is. More importantly, know what you want to improve.
What can custom applications do for my business?
Your business needs are the basis of your custom application’s design. Work with developers so you can have any procedure, process or report that you would like in an application developed just for you… Businesses are unique, each have their own way of doing business, acquiring off the shelf applications may not work for all. Being able to pick and choose what to develop in order to align with your strategy, is much better than investing in applications where you can only use 60% of the modules.
When you acquire ready made software, you also might require your company’s employees to adapt to processes they are not accustomed to. These new processes may not even align with your strategy. This may force you to invest in training your staff in new processes or procedures. Custom applications are scalable in nature. You can update them according to the needs of your business. When your business grows, contact the team you worked with and scale your application accordingly.
What are the benefits of automating business processes?
When you automate and streamline your processes, you are saving time and resources. Your staff can focus their time on tasks that requires their full attention and expertise. Your company save money as well as your staff no longer have to work overtime to create periodic reports. Most of all, by incorporating business analytics to your application you are able to decide on immediately. You can view data such as your financial ratios, inventory management and cost analysis in your business analytics report, to name a few examples. Aside from being generated through reports, these can be shown on your application dashboard or a mobile app that you can check anytime and anywhere.
In summary, know what to improve and work towards improving it. Review your company’s goals. Identify the next steps to take to move your business forward. When you’ve decided on purchasing a custom application, coordinate with the team involved. When done right, automating and streamlining your business processes can give you an extra productivity boost—no matter if you’ve just recently started your company or have been operating for quite a while.