Romi Kumar

Curiosity has me reading the trend — Bitcoin pulled me towards crypto — Introvert (INFJ) by nature —

Why Custom-Built Automation Can Be Ideal for Business Growth?

Automation is a powerful driving force for business growth. It allows mundane, repeatable tasks, to be dealt with by binary code. That means we can just get on our all-important daily tasks.
For most companies, the top priority selling more. However, this can become unmanageable as sales start to increase unless resilient, well tested automation has not been put in place. This can be the undoing of a growing company.
When it comes to automation the advantages speak for themselves:
  • Minimal human interaction.
  • Human resources are reserved.
  • Less additional staff needed as sales increase.
  • Piecemeal workarounds are avoided.
  • Avoided lost-opportunity costs.
One thing to note here is that a lost-opportunity cost should not be taken lightly. If time, energy and money is spent on something that could automated, it’s wasteful in two ways: It’s a drain on time and money, but also that time and money could have been spent on something more profitable.
In short, automation it takes the work out of the work. It streamlines internal processes, which in turn allows employees more time to work on their strengths. This in turn helps your company grow.
Before we dive in custom built automation and its advantages, there is another thing that should be noted about automation more generally: It increases accountability.
With so many systems in place within a company it’s impossible to understand what’s happening ‘under the hood’ of the business. Who’s doing what, when, how and why? Manually giving employees tasks without a clear framework for business growth is a road to disaster. Fortunately, there are tools that can help. 
These tools, such as Liquid Planner, can reduce human error by keeping everyone working towards the same strategy and highlighting dependencies on members of the team. This creates a centralised, accountable and clearly visible way of seeing the gears of a company machine in action. An overview of what’s going on. 
There are many automation tools out there to make marketing and daily business tasks effortless. However, when it comes to custom built automation it’s the client that decides what is best for their business. The automation is then built around that requirement.
This often comes at greater financial cost, however, the long-term benefits often out way the cash-flow hit.

TOAD Diaries - Custom Automation to Help Scale Up Sales.

TOAD Diaries is an e-commerce company who make custom physical diary and planner products. Whilst the bulk of their business is done via their website, eBay is also platform that provides additional revenue.
It was a manually intensive task to input the eBay orders into their website system, and it was also prone to human error. Therefore a custom built automation solution was devised by their web developers Free Think Design.
The solution was to download the order information as a CSV. Then build a cloud-based processing system which took the CSV code and turned it into a normal order which was then placed into their everyday workflow. This meant 50 orders could be processed within a minute or two. Whereas previously each order took up to five minutes to process.
This investment was crucial to help the company manage the increase in sales on that platform. Tim Grinsdale, the company owner states that Having this facility not only saved on labour time and avoided human error, but it also allowed us up scale up our proposition on eBay. We now turnover around £80,000 on that channel alone, which would simply not be possible without this tool.’

Custom Automation for Customer Retention

Custom automation has also been used for loyalty scheme by the likes of Existek with their work with a Cafe Franchise
The cafe owner believed a simple, user friendly loyalty system would be
the best long-term solution for their business growth. However, it was important that there was a strong custom automation process to take the extra time and energy out of the task.
The key here was for non-technical user to clock their loyalty points in a quick and easy manner. And, in addition, provide a reliable way of tracing
the loyalty card points. The software had to be integrated to their cashier system so that staff were aware of when a customer had earned a free product. 

The advantages here are:
  • A quick and easy way to gain loyalty points.
  • Quick scanning of QR codes, rather than written or stamped loyalty cards.
  • Database information to analysis. The ability to adopt new promotions based upon that data.
Ultimately, the client obtained a one-stop hospitality and loyalty software system. This removed the hard work for the staff and provided the owner with powerful data to analyse. With this data they were able to adjust their loyalty promotions to improve ROI over time.
This worked perfectly for their business goals, unlike existing software which would simply help with one (often generic) aspect of a business.
The final delivery was greatly appreciated by the cafe staff and management (after all, it made their life a lot easier... they could just get on with making great coffee!).
The cash investment was high for the size of the business; however, the final product required no ongoing maintenance. The beautiful thing about automation is once it’s done it’s done.
Conclusion
Business automation is essential for any business of any size to stay ahead. It saves time and money and avoids lost-opportunity costs. This helps your company gain an advantage over the competition by having more to spend on marketing, outreach and PR.
By default, you should be using automation in your business. Paid or unpaid, there are loads of options out there that can help.
However, the question is this: Would a custom solution, over the long run, help grow your business to a greater extent that would be possible otherwise. Hopefully, the provided examples show how that is possible here.
Disclosure: I carry no financial interest in the aforementioned firms. Provided details and brand mention is for informational purposes and is not intended to represent financial and/or legal advice.

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August 5th, 2019

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