The Risks and Rewards of Business Automation for SMEs

Business automation is a term usually associated with large businesses and enterprises. However, times have changed and with modern technologies becoming easily accessible to small and medium businesses, now is the right time to consider having an automation strategy.

Most SMEs and even individuals are already using some sort of automation tools, whether it be GSuite, Slack, Asana, Trello or Evernote. But SMEs need a proper business automation strategy to stay competitive, cut costs and enhance productivity.

Benefits of Business Automation

Business automation tools allow SMEs to automate time-consuming and repetitive tasks. Different criteria to judge whether a task should be automated or not includes tasks performed in high volume requiring multiple staff members to execute it, time-sensitive tasks, tasks that have an impact on other systems and processes and tasks that are important with respect to audit trails and compliance.

The tasks to automate varies from business to business, but some common examples of processes businesses prefer to automate include:

  • Helpdesk support
  • Payroll
  • Invoicing
  • Quotes
  • RFPs
  • Purchase orders
  • Emails and notifications
  • Data backup
  • Staff leave requests
  • Lead nurturing
  • Payment collection
  • Time tracking
  • Attendance management
  • Procurement
  • Product launces
  • Call center processes

The key benefits of automating tasks include productivity boost, more transparency, better monitoring and tracking and reduction in errors. Fewer manual input also means faster turn around times and reduced costs due to fewer work hours needed to do the same task. ATMs are a good example of how business automation can impact businesses in the long run, allowing employees to focus more on great customer services instead of spending most of their time on clerical tasks.

SME business automation ultimately leads to increased sales, revenues, customer satisfaction and carries many benefits including:

  • Optimal workforce allocation
  • Better adaptability to the market demands
  • Reduced labor cost
  • Decrease in of human errors
  • Improved marketing ROI
  • Remote workforce lowers overhead
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Better collaboration and partner communication
  • More consistent customer experience
  • Better compliance
  • Faster customer support

Risks and Disadvantages of Business Automation for SMEs

Business automation is a long-term investment and based on the idea of continuous improvement but it takes time to yield benefits and grow business efficiency. People by nature tend to resist change and the same mind set also applies to moving to automation. It takes time and proper training to move from manual methods to automated processes, which can be a hurdle in the short run, but a competitive advantage in the long run.

Another concern related to business automation is unemployment due to replacement of human resources. However, business automation can make them more productive and minimizes the chances of human error. Human experience and attributes are essential in providing great services and solving problems, something business automation cannot replace in the foreseeable future.

How Osmos Cloud Help SMEs?

Osmos Cloud Quote Management System and CRM are designed keeping needs of small and medium businesses in mind. Full-fledge CRMs and CPQ from established providers such as Oracle and Salesforce can be expensive. That’s mainly because expensive solutions are primarily designed for large businesses and enterprises.

What differentiates Osmos Cloud CPQ and CRM from more expensive options is that it was designed specifically for SMEs needs and budget. Osmos automate quotes, including ensuring that all the quotes have been sent, automated follow-ups and online access, allowing sales reps to close more deals no matter where they are and regardless of the device being used.

Statistics suggest that more than half of requested quotes fall through the cracks and over 30 million businesses in the USA still rely on accounting software and spreadsheets to send quotes. This results in a huge revenue loss and missed opportunities. Osmos Cloud is an affordable solution for SMEs that allows businesses to turn quotes on auto-pilot and ensures that all requested quotes are sent and automatically follows up on them.

Osmos Cloud CRM is a simple and easy-to-use CRM that comes bundled with the CPQ. Both are cloud-based systems, allowing users to access information from anywhere, anytime and using almost any device including mobile devices.

Conclusion

Increased productivity, better efficiency, reduced errors and revenue growth are the ultimate goals of business automation. SMEs need to be clear on both short-term and long-term goals and clearly define the areas they want to automate. From marketing and eCommerce to business process automation, modern technologies have leveled the playing field and now it the right time for SMEs to take full advantage of these technologies.