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What is automation?

Automation is the application of technology or software to minimise the need for human input in processes. From automated machinery to controversial AI-powered automation, the phrase has become as commonplace as the technologies behind it.

Automating business processes usually occurs on the back end and can have a huge (mostly positive!) impact on the day to day, through improved efficiency, better accuracy, reduced costs and a lower environmental impact, for example. While some employees fear that automation will one day ‘steal’ their jobs, the actual motivations behind automation are usually related to assisting employees with carrying out their duties. 

It’s safe to say that automation now exists in pretty much every industry. In hospitality, for instance, automation has made its mark on ticketing and task management. In agriculture, technology has been developed to help with farming precision and accuracy. We even have Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to automate specific, routine tasks and drive efficiency in the financial sector and beyond.

automation robot8 Advantages of Automation 

Contrary to the opinion of sceptics, it’s unlikely the future will become entirely automated. Instead, we’re more likely to see automation remove the need for employees to complete mundane, repetitive tasks, therefore freeing up time for innovation. 

Automation can benefit your business in many ways and, here at Create8, we can create bespoke systems to automate tasks for you! Get in touch today to find out more. And if you’re still not sold on its necessity, here are 8 ways that automation software could benefit your business. 

1. Improved Efficiency & Productivity

Automation can massively improve business efficiency and productivity, whereby tasks take less time and effort, and more is achieved in a single day. This occurs because automation software is able to complete repetitive tasks and process large amounts of data more quickly than its human counterparts, and it can operate at all hours of the day without the need to take a break. 

2. Better Accuracy

Humans aren’t perfect, that’s why the term ‘human error’ is so well known. But automation software can help to prevent its occurrence, since it doesn’t get complacent or press the wrong key on a keyboard when manually entering data! Now we aren’t saying that automation software is 100% accurate every time – the algorithms that help it to run may be poorly designed or the data it’s processing may be of insufficient quality, for example – so software should be regularly tested to ensure it’s completing all necessary tasks to the highest standard. 

3. Standardisation & Scalability 

What came first, standardisation or automation…? Well, we think it’s automation! Implementing automation software is one of the fastest ways to standardise your workflow and practices to reduce variability in business outcomes. And from there you’ll be able to build a solid foundation for success in the long term because standardised processes are easier to scale – your business will be able to adapt and grow without compromising on performance or quality. 

4. Cost Reduction

Operational costs are likely to reduce after the implementation of automation software, thanks to the increased productivity, efficiency and accuracy that it typically affords. Automation also frees up time for employees so that your company can increase its service offering and provide more to end users. This removal of wasted time means that the money you spend on wages is better spent – rather than completing mundane, time-consuming tasks, employees can focus on things like customer service and conversion rates!

5. Compliance

Many sectors face strict regulatory requirements and laws about how to handle sensitive data (e.g. HIPAA and GDPR). Failing to comply with legislation can have serious consequences, from hefty fines to loss of reputation, but automation software minimises compliance breaches by protecting specific kinds of data and reducing the need for human interaction with it.

6. Customer Satisfaction

Customers are also likely to benefit from automation, as streamlined processes typically bring faster results! Your employees can dedicate more time to customer service or automated customer service tools can be implemented so that response times and satisfaction levels improve. Automation software also makes it easier for consumers to fiddle with prices, book tickets and appointments and receive the products they’ve ordered, which can only be a good thing!

customer satisfaction7. Employee Retention 

Automation gives employees time to focus on tasks that require critical thinking which eliminates the mundane and has a massive impact on employee retention rates and worker morale. Although some employees can be initially hesitant about automation software, their worries often fade away when processes become easier to manage and the atmosphere in the workplace improves. 

8. Environmental Benefits 

The application of new automation software plays a pivotal role in environmental sustainability. Not only can it help you to eliminate paper-based processes and provide your company with a digital document workflow, but the improved efficiency and productivity also has a positive effect on greenhouse gas emissions. Automation software can even be designed to identify opportunities to reduce waste and help you comply with green initiatives! 

Create8 is here to help!

At Create8, we have a team of web developers on hand to build bespoke systems that can automate processes in your business and help you to reap some of the benefits we described above. Give us a call on 0161 820 9686 to chat with us today!

What are bespoke automation systems?

If you’re looking to automate business operations, ‘off the shelf’ software is unlikely to meet all of your needs and expectations. Bespoke automation systems on the other hand, are usually the best solution to meet your requirements because they’re 100% tailored to you! 

From custom-made Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) to Content Management Systems (CMS) and automated invoicing, there is always a solution that will work for your business, and it can be built directly into your back-end web architecture. 

If you want a company-branded system that will work across multiple functions or are sick and tired of paying expensive licensing fees for ready-made software, you’re probably in need of something bespoke and customisable. But bear in mind, you’ll need a team of developers familiar with programming languages like PHP and JavaScript, frameworks like Laravel, and software stacks like MERN and LAMP. 

backend development codeHow much does automation cost? 

When it comes to bespoke automation, you really do get what you pay for and asking how much custom-made software costs is like asking how long is a piece of string. It all depends on the size of your company and the programming solutions you require. To discuss your needs and get an exact quote, drop us a message today!

What is eCommerce automation?

eCommerce automation software is essential to any online store that’s looking to scale up. As orders increase, you’ll be in need of a system that’s specifically designed to handle the boring bits so that you can focus on growth. 

As Shopify Partners, we understand that running a Shopify store can be time consuming. That’s why we’re well equipped to automate your Shopify operations, saving you both time and money! The Shopify App Store is full of useful apps that can be added to your site to optimise your business workflow – read on to find out about some of our favourites.

The Best Shopify Apps for Automation

1. Shop Workflow Automation

Hextom’s Shop Workflow Automation app is a virtual assistant tool specifically designed to reduce the amount of manual work you need to complete on a day-to-day basis. With built-in fraud detection, stock management, scheduling and monitoring (and prices ranging from $0 to $49.99 per month) you’ll no longer have to worry about repetitive daily tasks if you install this app, meaning you can focus your time on more important things like building up brand awareness or translating your brand to social media

2. AliExpress Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a fulfilment model where online stores don’t hold their own stock, and it means they never have to worry about inventory or shipping! AliExpress is a marketplace with over 100 million products available and its dropshipping app works like this: add products from AliExpress to your Shopify store and set a price (with a markup of course!). Then, every time you receive an order you pay for the product from AliExpress at the wholesale price and they ship it directly to your customer while you keep the profits. Prices for this app range from $0 to $20 per month. 

dropshipping3. Easy Appointment Booking

Particularly in the service sector, it’s becoming increasingly necessary for businesses to offer the option to book in advance. Functioning booking systems can increase profits and improve customer satisfaction levels and it’s all made easy with the fully automated Easy Appointment Booking app, which costs between $0 and $29 per month depending on the features you require. Customers can see your availability and book and pay for appointments or services, all without having to speak to an advisor!

4. Tidio – Live Chat and Chatbot

Tidio is an automated customer service solution designed to help you easily interact with your customers to increase their satisfaction levels and ultimately improve your reputation. Thanks to Tidio’s AI-response bots, you’ll be able to answer customer queries automatically, as well as monitor and prioritise requests through a ticketing system. But don’t worry – you’re still able to interact directly with customers through the live chat function whenever you deem necessary. Prices for this app range from $0 to $240.83 per month. 

Contact Create8!

From building bespoke solutions to adding apps to your Shopify store, there’s loads of ways Create8 can help your business to reap the benefits of embracing automation. 

If you’re looking to boost your company’s efficiency, productivity and accuracy, reduce your environmental impact or brighten the lives of your employees and customers alike, give us a call today. We can’t wait to hear from you!