Automation Trends in the SMBs and the Future of the Industry
According to a recent report by Forrester, by the end of 2020, machine learning, virtual agents, software robotics, chatbots and RPAs will replace more than 1 million knowledge-based jobs. On the other hand, the same report also highlights that over a quarter of businesses still lack the strategy or vision for automation and face some serious challenges with change management.
AaaS (Automation as a Service)
The AaaS industry is expected to reach from $2.33 bn in 2019 to $7.73 bn by 2025, which indicates where the industry is heading towards. Automation helps businesses reduce operational complexity, enhance agility and speed up innovation while keeping a check on cost. Automation as a Service solutions are witnessing tremendous growth, thanks to cloud computing technologies becoming within the reach of small and medium businesses.
The main reasons for popularity of AaaS solutions include:
- Higher productivity in a global market
- More control over cost
- Improved processes
- Better risk management
- Ability to deal with market fluctuations and changes
- Helps gain a competitive advantage
- Continuous business improvement
- Enhanced customer experience and services
- Rapid innovation and reduced time-to-market
- More informed decisions because of better reporting and analytics
- North America holds the largest market share of AaaS and NA customers are its fast adopters
Key Areas SMBs Should Automate
With modern technologies and cloud computing available to everyone, now is the right time for SMBs to consider automating their processes. Although automating any key business area comes with many advantages, there are some areas that can particularly benefit from automation including:
The key areas of automating SMB operations include warehouse automation, employee scheduling, and call center automation. SMBs don’t have to be the size of Amazon to automate their warehouses. Automating warehouses provide businesses with a big competitive advantage and helps them become more efficient than the competition. Employee scheduling apps make the tedious and time-consuming task of creating and monitoring schedules easier and minimizes chances of error, while call center automation works well for businesses that do prospecting over the phone.
Salespeople usually have to spend a lot of time dealing with spreadsheets and manual quotations, which can result in missed opportunities and inefficient task prioritization. Sales automation solutions such as CRMs, messenger bots, sales funnels, and quote management software can help automate some of the most time-consuming tasks and enable salespeople to focus on what matters the most.
Osmos Cloud is one example of such solutions targeted at small and medium businesses. Osmos quote management system is entirely web-based and enables businesses to automate their quoting. Not only can it automate quotations, but it can also convert them to invoices and allow businesses to receive and track payments.
Although many businesses think of sales and marketing as one unit, marketing is considered a broader strategy and mainly revolves around acquiring and retaining customers instead of making quick sales. Whether it be social media marketing, product development, or customer services, automation tools allow businesses to put marketing on autopilot and focus more on delivering great products and customer services.
Essential to the GDP and economy of any country, the service industry is growing at a fast pace. Introducing automation in the industry not only improves performance and reduces cost, but it also improves service quality and allows employees to focus more on core and revenue-generating business activities. Automation of time-consuming tasks significantly reduces the amount of manual labor and streamlines processes so businesses can get more done with less.