Now that we’ve had a look at how automation can help you make better decisions for your business, its time to look at the considerations on a system implementation journey:
What data do you need or monitor? This is important to understand for reporting purposes. A system can log, track and measure what you need it to. Logging and tracking everything is not an effective way to use resources (i.e. you will be paying for data storage that you will never even look at). So, try to think of what the different areas are, which you would like to focus on for business intelligence. Better yet, select a systems supplier that understands the significance of custom reporting for your business, so they can work with you to get what you need.
Make room for improvements. How will your systems supplier take into account changes in the way that your business will run in twelve (12) months’ time? Your business tactics will take into account short-term changes within the environment, that help with the overall strategy. However, does your system have the capacity or flexibility to do things a little bit differently? Make sure this is discussed openly with your systems supplier to get them to understand your journey.
Cater to as many parties as possible. The impact of extending a well-built system beyond your internal users benefits your business significantly. By removing the barriers of data inaccuracy and retrieval delays from external stakeholders, efficiencies in your internal process are gained with minimal effort. The tip is to make a staged approach when involving stakeholders, categorising them based on requirements and tackling these iteratively. An adjustment in your external process may mean that you will also need to modify your internal processes to suit. Speak with your system supplier and share with them your vision of including/involving your customers, suppliers and business affiliates into the system.
Looking forward with innovation. With almost every business releasing mobile apps these days, its hard not to look at possibly getting one to promote your brand and being an ‘it’ business. If you do decide to embark on this adventure, make sure that you have considered your business strategy in the mix. How and why will the mobile app benefit your business? Does it fit well with your strategy? Have you budgeted for it? What will the mobile app do and what results are you expecting from it? Make sure you consider the visual design, user interaction and experience and communicate with your supplier! Most importantly, make sure it feeds back into your system for data capture and analysis.
Always revisit your plan and strategy. As a general rule of thumb, every step in your system automation journey needs to link back to your business plan and strategy. Review these regularly to see how and if you have achieved the milestones you have set for the business. The only way to identify this is to have the goals and measurements in place.
That’s it for the Leveraging Automation for Businesses. Did you miss the first 7 parts? No Problem you can revisit them here.