Automation is hard for many reasons. Not because automation is merely a concept that is hard to understand. It is hard because of the human factor. People are naturally resistant to change. That doesn’t mean that people can’t change. They do it everyday. However, when people are set in their ways with their jobs or personal lives, and are comfortable with how they do things, there is no impetus for them to change how they do business.
With that stated, businesses must change and adapt. It doesn’t matter if the business is a small auto body shop or a large accounting firm. Businesses must change and adapt to accommodate new market opportunities, to successfully compete against new and upcoming businesses as well as established larger competitors, take advantage of efficiencies in technologies, and reduce waste in their businesses.
The human factor is the single largest hurdle to successfully automating any business. People are the long pole in the tent, as the saying goes. It doesn’t have to be. Through small gradual changes and proven efficiencies in those changes, employees start to see the effect of the efficiencies. Whether it’s an auto-generated email that is sent to a customer after a customer interaction or automatic database update when a form element is changed on your website, these efficiencies add up over time. That is when you start to see major reductions in unnecessary waste and improvements in the bottom line. The net result are happier employees, willing to actively engage in those changes.
For example, I had a client recently that wanted to make huge changes to her infrastructure. However, after consulting with her and that we should do a gradual, measured approach to every efficiency, she agreed to try it. In a matter of twelve months, Build.Automate was able to create about 4 new automated efficiencies each week for a total of over 200 changes in one year. The net result was that it saved her company approximately 17,000 man hours totaling $765,000, and reduction in unnecessary processes at a whopping cost of $450,000, and 422% improvement in customer conversion time which gained her approximately $1,165,000 in new business. These improvements, while small at the time, gradually built up over time to have a positive net effect of $2.38M in combined cost savings and new revenue.
The first step though is the hardest as it is winning over those employees who are the most resistant to change. By small steps, they begin to have confidence in the changes that are being made. These same employees, who balked at the idea of changing anything, will slowly become the champions of change and be the major reasons behind the success of your automation improvements.