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Four ways automation improves business efficiency

06 Nov 2018

Article by Datto APAC regional director James Bergl

Australia is forecast to experience a $2.2 trillion productivity boost between 2015 and 2030, as more manual everyday tasks become automated. The benefits of this are expected to be felt by customers, staff, and businesses alike.

Managed service providers (MSPs) are well-placed to take advantage of the productivity boost that results from automating aspects of their business, allowing them to switch their energy, resources, and focus from everyday rote tasks to more value-add ons.

Here are four key benefits that MSPs experience from automating their internal processes.

1. Customers are more satisfied

With customer service becoming such a critical part of business success, it justifies the need for businesses to automate. By letting automation speed up and streamline their business’ routine processes, it means they will have more time and energy to spend responding to customer needs, and cultivating new relationships while working towards the next big thing.

The failure to provide high quality, reliable, and consistent customer service and support is the number one reason why businesses end up with dissatisfied customers and suffer a loss in revenue.

It’s about taking the business to the next level and delivering a better customer experience.

2. Greater staff satisfaction

Automation should not be viewed as something that takes away from human interaction or something that will decrease the customer service experience. Instead, it does the opposite.

By leveraging automation, which can help keep business lights on in the background, it frees up staff time to focus on high-level tasks that are more rewarding, such as personalising the customer experience.

This means instead of staff having to concern themselves with paperwork, they will be able to spend more time speaking directly with customers to understand their goals and what role the business can play to help deliver on those.

Ultimately, it allows staff to solidify the work they do.

3. Improve productivity levels and the bottom line

By standardising those day-to-day business workflows through automation, businesses can be speedier, and work more efficiently and effectively. It helps businesses free up time to focus on the more important task at hand: to increase revenue.

This was the goal of an Auckland-based MSP when it automated its business processes.

"We use (a business automation) product day in and day out to streamline our operations, so the increases in efficiencies within the platform are invaluable to our business,” says the MSP’s managing director.

4. Greater access to skills and enhance workflow transparency

Automation can help solve the current engineering skills shortage problem faced by businesses across the country. It will help alleviate people’s capacity, so they can better focus their skills on growing business revenue.

Automation also lowers the cost and barrier of entry for any new MSP.  A lot of business applications that are needed to run a business - from accounting to licencing - can be obtained online and instantly automated.  

With many MSPs realising the benefits of automation, more than 80% said during a recent Datto Survey that they have plans to further automate their business in the next 12 months.

Of those MSPs, they plan to ramp up the automation of their systems and processes by up to 50 to 60%. This will be a dramatic increase from current automation levels where MSPs said only approximately 30% of their business systems and processes are automated.

A chief services officer from another MSP says that automation has taken the company from “a piecemeal approach to project management, operations, and field services, to having consistency of application across all of those organisational departments.

“We’re able to generate reports on the fly for our customers and make data-driven decisions that are based on factual information rather than gut instinct. We’ve seen a 30% reduction in click time per ticket, which means we can focus our attention on building relationships and growing the business.”

It’s too often that people spend their time working in their business and not on it. However, automation gives businesses the opportunity to relieve their staff from menial day-to-day tasks, such as sending invoices or patching services.

Automation can make your business more efficient and the risk of not being across it can be detrimental.

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