3 tips for effective business management using automation

Jan 19 2021
Business Insights

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For many busy leaders, they view their business as one entity that’s constantly moving in one direction, like a kayak flowing down a river. And they envision one or two decision-makers in this kayak, paddling together to ensure that it stays the course. 

We’d like to think that businesses operate like that, but the reality is, that is too simplistic when it comes to management strategies, especially if you want to achieve effective business management. Nearly all businesses soon become much more complex than that. They are closer to a ship, with lots of employees doing specialised functions, performing many different tasks each day, with its direction changing course slightly every moment as it responds to multiple inputs. 

Consider that your business is this complex ship with as many unique crew members, how can you practice good management efficiency? 

Break down your company into components as part of your management strategy

One standard approach to handle business complexity is to break down your company into components. For example they can be: 

  • Strategy
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Human resources
  • Technology and equipment
  • Operations 

Obviously, such parts all overlap, but they also have their own unique goals, which need to feed into company-wide goals.

Today’s business world is so highly competitive, you have no choice but to operate  at or near peak capacity. Otherwise you risk failure in the long term.

For instance, inefficient HR systems might not hurt you in the short term, but over time it can lead to bad morale and zap productivity across a whole firm, killing any possible business management effectiveness. 

And having to spend lots of time tweaking an out-of-date procurement system will eat into profits sooner or later, making management efficiency impossible to achieve. 

Using management strategy to move from good to great

There’s no single way to build on your business management effectiveness, but for many companies, a multipronged approach is most likely to lead to success. Consider the many powerful business strategy ideas that have best stood the test of time. 

They include benchmarking processes. That way progress can be measured against standards in the industry.

Another should be “management by walking around”. This is a humble but effective method to avoid getting stuck in a silo. It enables you to see what challenges employees are faced with, and allows you to work with them to find appropriate solutions. 

Automation’s role in management strategy

By now you are probably wondering about automation’s role in management strategy.  Simplifying and automating processes is actually a relatively new approach, but it’s proven to be extremely effective. With automation you can achieve goals for effective business management such as: 

  • Less manual effort
  • Lower costs
  • Faster processes 
  • Improved management efficiency

As you can see, it’s about more than just saving money. 

Better yet, it is not about replacing employees either. In an August 2020 report, McKinsey argues that “companies should view automation as a way to enhance human productivity, rather than a way to replace manual labor.” 

It’s likely that your employees don’t have enough time to do all that they should be doing.  automation can help them shift their attention to what truly matters. 

Now that you know more about business management effectiveness, here are three tips to get started on putting automation to work.

1. Make automation a priority

The first step to effective business management is to make automation a priority. Nothing will happen unless you make room for surveys and information gathering, cost-benefit analysis, looking at the competition and sketching out implementation schedules. 

In many cases, this initiative will require putting other less-pressing initiatives on the back burner. 

2. Fully understand the process

Not only should you understand the process, but you should consider which parts of the process require repetitive manual efforts. This requires research and input from your employees. Dig into the processes you feel might be best to automate. 

Ask some questions:

What steps are required? 

Which require repetitive manual efforts that make it natural to take an automated approach? 

3. Test small first, then scale up.

Once you answer the above questions, it’s time to perform some tests. But do them cautiously at first. Start small and then scale up to head off issues that could be serious problems later. 

As Mark Zuckerberg once said, “a simple rule in business is if you do the things that are easier first, then you can actually make a lot of progress.”

How Automation Pays Off

One area ripe for automation is payment systems

For instance, consider a property manager who collects rents and sends payments to the property owner and to an agent. And B2B marketplace that is constantly collecting payments and paying invoices. Also a lending company, where a portion of a loan is debited from a borrower’s account every month.

No matter the business, rejected payments are a serious hassle.  But if you incorporate automation into your management strategy you can quickly bring results. 

For instance, by instituting an API rule to send rejected payments back to the payers, an ops team saves on lots of manual work, freeing them up to improve other processes. 

Achieve effective business management with automation

Modern corporations are complicated entities. True management efficiency comes from constant effort and a test-and-learn attitude.

And as you can, you’ll be able to achieve effective business management with automation. Unlock maximum human productivity by adding a layer of automation to your business..

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