Technology has really changed the way we do business. Today, you can set up an online storefront and start taking orders in a matter of minutes. User experience matters more and small businesses can now compete in the same market as bigger corporations with the help of technology; the key is staying flexible and efficient.
Similar to the way technology continues to evolve, businesses are finding new and better ways to implement technology to gain competitive advantages. Automation is the next big thing and we are going to take a look at how your business can take advantage of automation through effective implementation right here in this article.
Apps That Communicate with Each Other
The first step towards automating parts of your business process is setting up support systems or solutions that can talk to each other. The approach is not uncommon and many solutions are now speaking the same language and have the ability to communicate with each other.
In a restaurant, for example, the POS system can inform the inventory management system of orders and sales. This means the restaurant can keep track of their use of ingredients. That same data can be used to automate the creation of purchase orders and improve inventory management substantially.
It doesn’t stop at basic automation, either. The same set of systems can also organize the physical location of inventories, provide labels and documents for better in-store management, and be integrated with other systems for a more comprehensive workflow.
A Streamlined Workflow
Speaking of workflow, the use of technology-based solutions is enabling businesses to really streamline their workflows. Gone are the days of going through paper documents just to do a stock audit in a retail store. Today, an inventory management system can print out a stock check guide for employees or managers to use.
Optimizations are affecting other parts of the business operations too. HR management and employee performance tracking are now more accurate thanks to automation. Accounting and finance are benefiting from automation just as much as other parts of the business.
Micro-Management at Its Best
These systems don’t have to run on a local, closed network. The best solutions available today can be run from the cloud, taking advantage of mobile devices and tablets as access devices and eliminating the need for big hardware investments entirely.
There is another advantage of running business solutions from the cloud, and that is the ability to keep track of every minute change no matter where you are. This gives you more insights as a business owner, which means you can make better decisions faster in any situation.
Low Entry Barrier
As mentioned before, the need for big initial investment can be eliminated entirely through careful planning. The systems can run comfortably in the cloud, which means you don’t need to buy your own physical server. Connecting multiple outlets or stores is just as easy, since every store can access the same server and still have their own separate databases.
It is also worth noting that the best business automation solutions are now being offered as SaaS or Software as a Service. There is no need to pay thousands to acquire the business software you need. Instead, you pay a very manageable monthly fee to ‘borrow’ the solutions and benefit from its features.
All of these advantages lead to one main goal: growth. With the help of automation and better workflows, even small businesses can become more efficient, more flexible, and more competitive against the bigger companies. A faster growth rate is only a few steps away, boosting the value of these systems – and automation in general – even further.