There was a time when the term “automation” was associated with modern production equipment full of robotics. While it is true that this is a prime example of automation – the process of replacing human labor with a machine – it is by no means the only example. Automation is common in today’s small and large businesses, from minimal changes in conventional applications to more obvious deployments, such as self-propelled vehicles, and more.
There is a lot of discussion about where automation will take us, but observers tend to agree on one thing – this trend is only gaining momentum.
Every business process, such as manufacturing processes down to human resource management and customer service departments, is on the verge of automation, especially as technology becomes more sophisticated, innovative, and advanced. No matter what the outcome, automation will undoubtedly change the existing manufacturing industry and the economy as a whole!
Historically, automation required expensive servers and required a team of experts to maintain them. For many small businesses, this was a costly measure that simply made automation inaccessible. With the development of cloud platforms, automation tools are now available to even the smallest companies, becoming more user-friendly in terms of implementation time and cost.
What exactly is automation?
Automation is the implementation of a system to perform repetitive, easy-to-perform technical tasks without human labor.
Or, when you conclude that one of the tasks needs to be done over and over again, or the same thing every day – it’s time to start thinking about automation!
Automating these repetitive business processes frees people from tasks that are less mundane or more valuable than those that can be accomplished with machines and software. However, more advanced forms of automation, such as machine learning, can be used to perform higher-level tasks that require slightly more adaptability. The ability of this software to learn over time means that they can learn to perform a variety of tasks faster and more efficiently than humans, using vast sets of data that can be used to make informed decisions and make fundamental decisions that can lead to positive outcomes.
Thus, it can be said that machine learning can serve as a supplement (perhaps even an improvement) to human knowledge. Combining these options with improved data retention and using the Internet of Things (IoT), the possibilities seem endless.
Many small business owners already use at least one common form of automation – email marketing. Companies like Mailchimp, Mailigen, and HubSpot offer features that allow users to customize the settings of their email marketing campaign and then set it to run automatically. For example, you can upload an email to the software and send it as soon as a contact is added. You can configure the software to send additional e-mail after a few days only to those who have opened the original e-mail, without requiring any of your employees to lift their finger. These tools can be used to design relatively complex email marketing campaigns with minimal attention.
Also, machine learning automation plays a compelling role in finding talent and hiring. Quite simply, automating human resources processes, such as finding potential candidates and scheduling interviews, frees up the time it would take to screen potential employees and determine who best fits their organization.
Or in customer service departments by introducing tools such as chat robots. These consumer-oriented tools automate typical customer service interactions by answering questions immediately and referring customers to a representative only when the chat robot is not sufficient to meet their needs. As a result, up to 80 percent of customer service interactions could only be done by a chat robot, offering companies the opportunity to significantly reduce the costs associated with regular customer service.
Opportunities to automate work processes appear everywhere, so automation becomes a common element of every business.
Whether automation provides better customer service, a more efficient production system, it already has and will continue to play a role in the further development of many companies.
So we want to ask you: “Are you ready for it”?