The future. Some businesses fear it, others cannot wait to embrace it. Regardless of your stance, one certainty of the future will be the introduction of new technology. Today, we live in a technologically advanced society from sending probes to Mars to the integration of electric vehicles; technology has become a constant part of our lives.
For smaller businesses however, developments in technology have always taken time to filter down and become more accessible. The most prominent aspect of technology for business today is the introduction of artificial intelligence and automation; how to utilise technology to speed up business processes. Here we will look at best practices for businesses who are considering implementing automation within their processes.
Creating a technology path
Technology can quickly become overwhelming even for those who work on developing it. As such a broad term, automation can mean a huge range of things, so finding a place to start can be tricky. The most effective way to find where best automation may fit into your business is to lay out a comprehensive technology plan. Laying out a path of all the technology points on your business’s processes, from the operations to the workforce to the customer, setting out how each interacts with your business. This will enable you to pinpoint where best you can make technological improvements.
This technological path will allow you to ask whether implementing new technology will have any long-term effect at each point. This will allow decision makers to visualise where best to consider automation, and subsequently exploring the budget required to do so. Reviewing and updating your business plan, then applying new budgets and processes will aid in finalising your improvements.
Implementing automation? Start off small
For smaller businesses, this installation is a relatively easier task in comparison to medium sized businesses and larger. The ability to adapt their business plan relatively quickly puts a smaller business at a distinct advantage compared to those businesses whose larger and more established policies and processes would need longer to alter. This doesn’t mean however, that smaller businesses can jump head first into automation without any repercussions.
The most important factor to take into account when considering automation is the fact that much of these technologies are in their early stages. Therefore, any plans for implementation should allow for a greater margin of error. The best place to start is to start small. Where can automation be implemented in small sections to make improvements to your business? Ensuring you have effectively planned how best to assign your technology, and that you have enough resources to review it affectively is the best way to approach the implementation of automation in your business.
Discussing automation with your team
This is the most important step for any business considering implementing automation. Although its outcome is related to the technology itself, the most important factor of success is how well your workforce receive it. This is achieved from open and honest communication with your team, laying out plans and explaining why your business is taking this approach is the first step. Getting your workforce on board will help ease the process of implementing automation in addition to improving your ability to test and evaluate such systems when they are installed. If your business lacks this communication, and such automation is not received well, it will only have a detrimental impact on your business.
If you are considering introducing automation into your business, the best place to start is addressing your business’s processes within your business plan. If you would like help with putting together your plan, get in touch today! Contact us online using the form on the right or call 01604 420 420.