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From Ordering Your Products To Sending Emails, What Processes Could Your Business Automate?

With client needs and team capabilities constantly changing within the business world, we recommend you pause and reflect on your own critical business processes to see if you can spot opportunities for improving efficiency and reducing waste.

There’s no better time to do this than at the beginning of a new financial year.

Get your team together in a room or a Zoom meeting to brainstorm the processes or work that:

  • frustrates them,
  • has highly repetitive tasks, or
  • is time-consuming.

Then, you should examine how you might be able to automate these processes to improve your business’s productivity and output better.

Business automation can occur in order to improve external performance and experience of the business for your clients, OR it can be used to improve upon the internal processes of your business.

For example, communicating with your employees is one constant in your business. This is obviously important, but you know it could be improved. You don’t need to have as many meetings as you are now. You should be able to share feedback faster. So how can this be improved?

Automated business processes can be split into four basic types outlined below.

Basic Automation

Basic automation refers to the most straightforward jobs that need to be performed, like creating a centralized place to store a mix of related information. This can be automated through a project management tool that prioritises collaboration and communication to seamlessly pull together a patchwork of data into a single platform.

This tool should automatically organise all of this information to make it understandable and usable.

Process Automation

Process automation involves a dedicated network of software and apps used to document and manage your business processes, such as budgeting or project management.

Integration Automation

Integration automation allows machines and software to monitor and analyze how employees perform tasks and imitate them. You simply define the rules of operation.

An example would be your project management software integrated with your customer support software. A customer complaint comes through, but instead of waiting in an inbox for someone to process it, the integration automatically sends it as a task to the person assigned to handle them.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Automation

Artificial Intelligence (AI) automation is when you combine AI with your integrated software tools for faster, smarter decision-making. The system can now make choices on your behalf with the data it’s presented (such as sample data).

Some general examples in which your business could benefit from automating key processes could include:

  • Email Automation – Automating your inbox can assist in automatically processing information from your email quickly and efficiently
  • Automated Business Application Integration – With businesses using more and more different applications, a lot of business processes can involve multiple business applications at the same time
  • Automated Order Entry – You can use business process automation to automate your database interaction processes without writing a line of code
  • Browser Automation – Even if a part of your process involves going to a website and clicking on fields or grabbing information, business process automation can make it faster and more efficient.

If you’re someone who often finds it difficult to make large lump sum payments for goods or services, you may want to consider looking into “Buy Now Pay Later” services.

Buy now pay later essentially means that, rather than paying in a full lump sum payment for a product or services rendered, there may be an option to pay through instalments of a certain amount over a set period to make the sum of the full amount in total. This method should allow you to pay in full for the product or service without overly straining your finances – you pay back what you can, as agreed upon when you begin the buy now pay later service.

Some popular buy now pay later services include Afterpay, Zip Pay, Brightepay, and some credit card networks such as  Mastercard and Visa, can offer buy now pay later arrangements.

Though it can be a convenient, immediate solution, it may be challenging to juggle the necessary repayments with other financial commitments. It’s not always the most appropriate method for people, and you should bear in mind your situation and ability in paying back the amounts. 

Before you sign up, keep in mind: 

  • It becomes easier to overspend with buy now pay later services, so know your limits on what you can and can’t afford.
  • You will be charged fees and costs to use the service, which can add up to a princely sum in and of itself.
  • Keeping track of your payments can be tricky if you’ve signed up for multiple services.
  • It could affect your loan applications for a car or mortgage as lenders consider buy now pay later spending just as much as your credit score.
  • Late repayments can appear on your credit report, which affects your ability to borrow money in the future.
  • Layby can be a cheaper alternative to buy now pay later, with no account-keeping or late fees to consider

If you are someone who could make use of BNPL services, you may wish to:

  • Ensure that when using the BNPL service, you stick to a set limit on what you spend so that you can comfortably pay it back later. 
  • Aim only to have one BNPL account at a time to manage payments through, rather than confuse yourself with multiple payments across different providers.
  • Always budget for bills, loan payments and BNPL payments, and 
  • Rather than use your credit card for payments to your BNPL account, consider linking to your debit account instead.

If you would like assistance in planning your financial future, help in managing your budget or some friendly advice, see us for a chat about what we can do for you.

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Jane Noller has been my accountant for the last 15 plus years. I can testify to Jane’s professionalism and expeditious manner in dealing with the day to day issues that surrounds our business accounting.

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John Briggs

Jane Noller has been my accountant for the last 15 plus years. I can testify to Jane’s professionalism and expeditious manner in dealing with the day to day issues that surrounds our business accounting.

John Briggs

Registered Building Certifier