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Decrease Risk and Boost Profits with These 6 Automations

Automation uses computer programs to perform certain tasks without any human intervention. In business, these software-powered activities can range from automated manufacturing processes to office tasks like sending out marketing emails or text messages.

These automated processes can reduce workplace stress and limit mistakes. Often, automated software programs use rule-based logic to handle tasks like data collection or entry that would otherwise be manual and mundane. Repetitive tasks like this can cause employees to become tired or even injured. While some jobs may be eliminated by the increase of automation in the workplace, others will become easier because software can handle mundane tasks, leaving employees more time for higher-level duties and activities.

Because automated systems are highly efficient, they can also streamline overall business operations and help companies save on labor costs and expenses. Here is a closer look at these systems and the benefits of each.

1. Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management (CRM) software helps businesses collect data on customers and simplify interactions. The ultimate goals of CRM are to drive sales, maintain customer loyalty, and store the preferences of specific customers.

Automated CRM software can transport data from lead-generation efforts directly into sales programs and organize customers by the level of interest, demographics, location, or other variables. It can then send pre-drafted emails or other targeted ads based on these market segment categorizations. All this can happen without human intervention. 

CRM systems can also log customer activity on websites, past purchases, and responses to marketing materials. 

In addition to using CRM for targeted marketing and personalized sales efforts, companies can use the data to create a more personalized experience for customers with the goal of increasing overall loyalty and satisfaction. 

The automated nature of CRM tools can also increase the speed with which customers get service. For example, a company's system could rely on chatbots to immediately respond to customer queries instead of forcing them to wait for a human representative. Tests have shown that these automated service agents can use natural language processing (NLP) and other tools to solve 65% of customer service queries without human intervention. 

2. Cloud Computing

Cloud computing utilizes a network of remote servers to manage, store, and process data and host software remotely. This arrangement offers more accessibility and better security than traditional site-based servers and computer networks. It can also increase the computing power that the company can access. 

Cloud computing can also help automate data collection and storage. Companies can automatically back data and software up on their cloud platform. If their site-based systems shut down or experience a security breach, they can shift operations to the cloud with limited interruption. 

Also, companies can rely on cloud-based data analytics, business intelligence, or accounting tools to automatically process data or financial information uploaded by any authorized user, regardless of their physical location. 

Since cloud computing is not tied to a single set of on-site servers, companies can automatically scale their operation up or down without having to adjust their hardware setup. 

Netflix is an example of a company that relies heavily on cloud-based automated systems. It has advanced automated frameworks that process streaming data from servers for the many different types of devices that use the entertainment provider's website and apps. The stream gets optimized in the cloud before being transmitted to the user's device, resulting in consistently high-quality pictures.

3. Supply Chain Management Solutions

Supply chain management is essential for any business that relies on materials, equipment, or products in its operations. The ultimate goal of supply chain management is to ensure that the right products are delivered to the proper place at the correct time for the lowest possible cost.

Automated supply chain management software accounts for all the variables that affect supply chain operations. It can track shipments, assess inventory, and even place orders for additional inventory once it detects levels dropping below a trigger point. 

Also, today's supply chains can be complex and prone to delays. Supply chain tools can monitor the system and provide early alerts about delays or supply shortages. This information is essential for risk management because it provides early warning about delays, giving the company time to adjust or make alternative plans. 

Here are some of the tech tools that enhance supply chain management:

  • Radio-frequency identification (RFID) systems use radio waves to track shipments and offer real-time location data.
  • Barcode scanners quickly read and upload data from barcodes to the cloud, enabling real-time tracking and ultra-efficient ordering, picking, and shipping processes. 
  • Warehouse management systems (WMS) collect inventory, shipping, and ordering data to optimize warehouse storage and operations.
  • Warehouse execution systems (WES) manage the movement of materials and products within a warehouse to optimize storage and minimize the need to move inventory after it is shelved. 
  • Transportation management systems (TMS) handle the planning of shipments and routes so that transport of goods is streamlined. 

Most companies rely on several of these systems, connected to a central platform, to manage their supply operations. 

4. Risk Management Information Systems

A risk management information system (RMIS) helps organizations identify and manage all types of risks. RMIS platforms provide a comprehensive view of an organization's risk profile. With these insights, decision-makers can identify, assess, and manage risks. An RMIS system typically includes data collection, analytics, reporting, and visualization components, allowing it to handle the entire process from collecting raw risk data to reporting relevant findings. 

Because it updates data and findings automatically, an RMIS platform can offer updated insights. It can also use data for forecasting risks that could occur if current trends continue or if predicted events occur. This automatically generated analysis enables the business to make informed decisions and account for risks that pose the biggest threats to its operations and profit margins.  

5. Enterprise Risk Management Software

Enterprise risk management (ERM) is the process businesses use to identify, assess, and manage operational risks. ERM software automates this process by collecting, aggregating, and analyzing data and offering insights into potential risks and their possible impacts on the company. The advantage of this predictive approach is that it allows companies to define and plan for potential issues before they actually materialize. 

In addition to insights into risk exposures and improved planning, ERM can assist with planning for compliance requirements, insurance, and other risk management needs. 

6. Artificial Intelligence-driven Document Automation

Artificial intelligence (AI) can streamline the creation and management of documents. AI software can automatically decide how to populate documents based on rules defined by the programmers. This eliminates the time-consuming task of manually creating each document. 

Document automation systems also help with the storage, classification, and retrieval of documents. However, the primary advantage of these systems is that they can eliminate the errors that inevitably occur with manual document creation. 

These automated tools are ideal for invoicing, contract drafting, legal documents, regulatory reports, financial statements, and other documents requiring accuracy and using available data and information. For example, you can use data from RMIS software to create documents for insurance claims, legal actions, and other essential documents. 

Benefits of Automating Business Processes

With the right tools, a business can automate processes to increase efficiency, reduce errors, and limit costs. Here is a closer look at the advantages a company or organization can enjoy if it selects the right automation tools. 

Increased Efficiency

Automating business processes helps to eliminate repetitive and manual tasks like data entry and document creation. It also eliminates the need to recheck documents and edit them due to errors. 

With these routine tasks covered by fast-acting software, employees can focus on more productive activities requiring decision-making, creativity, and skill. The result is a more efficient organization. 

Reduced Costs

Automating processes can help businesses reduce costs and save time and money by lowering labor costs. A company will need fewer employees for data entry, customer service, inventory, and bookkeeping. Costs associated with errors will likewise get reduced. 

Improved Quality

Automation increases the accuracy, efficiency, and overall performance of the company, and it frees employees to focus on the quality of their employer's product or service instead of getting bogged down in details and rote tasks.  

Automated software can also help assess results and measure them against set benchmarks. These automatically generated assessments can offer insights for future improvements or help confirm that current operations are meeting expectations.

Feb 2, 2023

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