The economy is not in a great place right now. With words like “recession” and even “depression” being thrown around, plenty of business leaders are starting to feel the strain.
The good news is it’s entirely possible to mitigate many financial problems with automation solutions.
Below, you’ll find a guide for how to use automation to get some financial relief and perhaps even gain a competitive edge. Note that this guidance is less about the AI and automation tools you can use to save money—though you can check out our other resources for specific ideas in the realms of finance, healthcare, and other industries—and more about righting the ship when you find your company in financial trouble. More than any one tool or technology, we’re talking about a mindset and strategy shift in the way you approach automation that will actually move the needle when it comes to bringing your financially stressed company back into the green.
When automation first made its way to the mainstream business world, many company leaders immediately recognized it as a way to cut costs by replacing human workers with computer-driven bots. After all, if bots can do the work of an employee, that’s a quick way to save on at least one annual salary.
Though their initial instincts may have been correct—automation is a fantastic way to cut business costs—their methodology wasn’t quite right. As it turned out, it’s not so easy to completely replace human workers with automated systems.
Let’s say you have a team of ten people who collectively spend 200 hours over the course of a week accomplishing a task. If you automate that task and slash those 200 hours to zero, you might think you could let go of five employees because of all that saved time.
It’s very rare, however, that any one person’s job consists entirely of that now-automated task. More often, each team member had been spending about 20% of their day on that task and the rest on other things. If you get rid of five employees, you’re also losing their expertise and their other valuable contributions outside of the automated task. Plus, who would take over the other 80% of what those employees were responsible for?
It’s tempting to reduce headcount, but for struggling businesses it’s actually far more practical to focus on saving the existing employees time with automation than on eliminating them entirely. Most struggling companies have fallen behind in crucial areas like innovation or customer service. Any time freed up with automation can immediately be diverted to those human-centric tasks.
It’s tempting to reduce headcount, but for struggling businesses it’s actually far more practical to focus on saving the existing employees time with automation than on eliminating them entirely.
It’s also important to realize that slashing positions in your company signals to the world that you’re in trouble. Though you will immediately save the cost of paying those salaries, you might unintentionally send the message that your finances are tight. Customers often interpret that to mean you’ll be cutting corners on production or providing subpar customer service, and they may choose to take their business elsewhere.
It can be helpful to shift your perspective away from trying to replace employees and toward helping those employees become even more effective. This in turn makes your company more successful and competitive, which can do more for your bottom line than simply reducing the number of salaries paid by a handful.
Let’s say your goal is to double your company’s revenue within the next ten years. You might look at your current operations and estimate that you’ll need to hire a certain number of new employees to reach that goal.
However, if you could automate a significant portion of the workload and free up your existing employees to devote time to innovating, providing excellent customer experiences, and becoming more competitive in your market, you might actually be able to reach your goals without hiring as many people as you originally thought.
In fact, Nividous built an automation solution for a business that eliminated the need for a finance employee to spend all day poring over spreadsheets. Now, that same employee uses the automatically-generated spreadsheets to fuel important customer outreach and marketing initiatives. This person has brought in numerous new customers who would never have otherwise been reached, and the company didn’t have to hire anyone new.
Now, apply that idea within your own business. Quite apart from firing people and feeling forced to take a loss, you can turn the ship around and orient your company toward growth while supporting your current employees and improving customer satisfaction.
Every error a company makes can have direct, and sometimes severe, financial repercussions. If a hospital makes an error on an insurance claim, they will have to pay a penalty and foot the bill to resubmit the claim. If the payroll department puts a decimal in the wrong place, an employee could sue for lack of payment. And if a company accidentally sends a customer’s package to the wrong address, they may lose that customer for life.
Even errors without such dire consequences still cost the company money. After all, an employee will have to take the time to sort through records, find the mistake, and fix it, which means extra hourly or perhaps even overtime pay.
One industry where eliminating errors makes all the difference is manufacturing.
Manufacturing processes are often complex and require precise machining adjustments, timing, and temperature control to achieve optimal results. If any one of these factors is thrown off by even a small degree, a whole batch of products could be ruined. Worse, if those faulty products sneak through quality control, countless customers could be disappointed or even injured by the mistake. This can result in lost customers or even lawsuits, if the error is grievous enough.
Thankfully, one of the things automation does best is reduce the potential for error. Humans tend to get fatigued by tedious, repetitive work and make mistakes when they’re distracted, but computers have no such problems.
At Nividous, we’ve worked with clients who have reduced their error rates by 90% by implementing our automation platforms.
It’s impossible to predict the exact amount of money a company might save by avoiding human errors, but it only takes one incident to see how much money such a mistake can cost. Over a lifetime of doing business, those costs can add up.
If your company’s error rate is costing you time, money, and customers, there’s no excuse for waiting. Automating the troublesome process is a simple and effective way to stem the bleeding and get your business back on the right track.
With our Quick Start Guarantee program, you can have a fully operational automation solution for your business in less than a month.