Automation tools can pave the way for the fundamentals of business growth by allowing you to save time and money and increase sales. As your business grows, you want to find a solution that engages scaling to cater the mounting demands and complexities you encounter. This is achieved with the use of the right automation software.
The numbers don’t lie. For instance, today’s modern technology can automate up to 45% of tasks that people are paid to accomplish. That alone already saves you time and money.
Meanwhile, 91% of the most successful users of social and marketing automation tools agree that software is “very important” in contributing to their marketing’s success across channels. It even drives up to 14.5% increase in productivity.
There are numerous business automation software products available today and the choices can be daunting. One of the most efficient ways to select the right software is to focus on the leading products in a category. For instance, Jazva, made it to this list of FinancesOnline.com’s eCommerce software solutions. From a single reviews page, it’s at once easy to check how its single to multi-channel ecommerce automation features match up against the other software solutions in this field. With that, let’s proceed with the reasons on why sellers need automation tools to run their ecommerce business better.
1. Streamline Communication
When it comes to running a business, communication plays a major role in every task you have to accomplish. Using sticky notes, conversations, and emails are insufficient for an organized collaboration.
A marketing manager, for instance, would have to scroll down through a chain of emails to get the latest information on a campaign. It would have an array of revisions, versions, edits, and suggestions that can be challenging to pinpoint who touched them and what edits they made.
Without a streamlined form of communication, information may get lost in between communication channels. Updates are not reflected in real time or another team member may not receive the latest information. This can debilitate your process by going over deadlines, exceeding budget costs, and failing to deliver a project successfully.
In a 2013 report conducted by the Project Management Institute, they found that $75 million for every billion dollars spent in a project is at risk solely because of ineffective communications. On the other hand, streamlining communication using a highly effective communication shows 80% of companies meeting original goals, 71% accomplished projects on time, and 76% stayed within the budget.
Solution: A business automation software tailors your communication to ensure everyone is on the same page and the information circulated has a single source of truth. It may be communicated within your business or communication with your customers. Many products provide you with a streamlined platform to unify all your communications and collaborations.
Live chat, email, and phone support are common tools offered for communication with customers and allowing them to reach you. Meanwhile, collaboration tools have instant messaging, audio/video calls, file sharing, search, and integrations.
2. Monitor Business Processes
Keeping a tab of your business processes is essential. If you lack a consistent way of working, the rate of finishing tasks successfully is low. Also, if your team relies on the back-and-forth of these processes, completing tasks will take time. Tedious manual tasks and diverse platforms and systems can eat up a huge amount of resources.
Bottlenecks caused by the lack of visibility and inability to understand its sources result in major slowdowns and huge financial impacts. This is commonly faced by companies who rely on their processes for a long time while overlooking how it’s actually not the best option.
For instance, General Electronic found even just a 1% improvement in oil recovery led to a worth of addition 8 billion barrels per year. They also realized avoiding a day of downtime prevents a $7 million loss of production per day in an offshore platform.
Solution: An automated system lets you see a request that is coming in, the time spent on each request, and the requests that were approved or rejected, among others. Having a bird’s eye-view of your company’s process not just lets you know each individual item’s status, but it also gives you an in-depth information about each task.
This allows your team to be more proactive. They will no longer have to ask again and again the status of each task. Instead, they will know the status of an item via reports and identify pending tasks. In that way, there will be no blaming of who missed tasks but instead, teams can focus on improving workflows and enhancing productivity.
3. Enforce Accountability
One of the major issues faced by many companies is the verification of accountability. In fact, 21% of companies believe 30% to 50% of their employees neglect their responsibilities according to the American Management Association.
It can be next to impossible to pinpoint if an employee completed a task or when they last handled the file, especially in large companies. If a mistake is made, it’s hard to locate the error’s originator. It can even lead to mix-ups, finger pointing, and lost files. The wrong person may be blamed for a mistake or given credit for a job well done.
Solution: By having an ecommerce automation software system in place, each step of the process is assigned to an owner. Each of them has an expected action to perform whether that’s initiating, inputting, approving, or rejecting tasks.
Through clearly mapping a workflow, each member knows what tasks have to be completed, when they have to be finished, and who are assigned to handle them. This visibility enhances accountability which then improves your team’s efficiency and productivity whether that’s in processing orders or managing shipments.
In essence, if you want your employees to be accountable, it’s vital to clearly lay out in the simplest terms which items they’re accountable for. It also ensures the right departments have access to the workflows of certain responsibilities.
4. Establish Approval Hierarchy
Organizations commonly follow and establish an approval hierarchy in their workflows. This structure means one member must agree before another member can decide. Depending on your business’ reporting structure, anyone can be assigned with approval responsibilities when you create a custom workflow.
Why is this necessary? A supervisor has a lot of responsibilities and they don’t necessarily have to take part of each individual task or step in the workflow. It’s inefficient and time-consuming to have them approve or reject, each task. Depending on the task, other competent members can handle the approval instead.
Solution: A business automation tool enables you to clearly set up approval hierarchies in your organization. The sequence is arranged logically with lower positions first and higher positions last. This ensures the lower-positioned agent won’t nullify the approvals of the higher-positioned agent.
Meanwhile, approvers may also be on the same hierarchical level while being in different departments. Basically, the hierarchical approval workflow consists of the type of object for approval, the approval task, the approval levels, and actual members for each level.
It can help a supervisor not have to take part of each task. Instead, he or she can assign his team to ensure the task is seen and approved by the right people before it’s released or carried out.
5. Streamline management
Redundant tasks can take place every day when running a business. For instance, an eCommerce business handles the management of inventories, order processes, and shipping operations. Staying on top of it can be time-consuming and manually inputting information is arduous.
Problems occur when your system is not updated in real-time. Customers placing orders when products are out of stock fuels frustration. Managing inventory is a challenging task that’s prone to errors when done manually. Furthermore, this process can be very debilitating.
For instance, if you’re purchasing products from wholesalers or manufacturers, it can take the largest and most consistent expenditures for your eCommerce business. Without a system in place, you’ll risk purchasing too many products which result in “dead stock” that can cripple your cash flow or too few that leaves revenue on the table.
Solution: Good ecommerce automation software provides you with the tools to give you visibility over your most crucial tasks. For instance, Jazva is a multi-channel platform with tools for products and listings, inventory and warehousing, order processing, and shipping management.
It syncs your products across multiple channels, so you wouldn’t have to update pricing, item descriptions or stock availability manually. Having a full visibility of your stock across all your warehouses will also reduce the risk of overselling or overstocking. Additionally, you can track and process orders in a centralized system that enables you to batch according to priority and expedite fulfillment operations.
Once it’s done, the built-in shipping management system consolidates the orders across various sales channels and selects the best rates from various shipping carriers. This optimizes the redundant manual process for a more efficient and faster fulfillment.
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6. Eliminate Manual Errors and Costs
Data entry, which includes everything from sales and customer data to financial information, among others, is critical in your business’ day-to-day operations. Even a single error can cause huge ramifications and lead to huge financial losses for your company.
Only a few of the most common mistakes are transcription and transposition. The former referring to mistakes of repetition, deletion, and typos when transcribing words, especially numbers while the latter refers to errors made in inputting information in the wrong order which is crucial in inventory management.
This can be caused by a company’s reliance on manual processes. Humans are prone to errors due to various factors like simple slip-ups, fatigue, overloading, or operational efficiency of a company. Paper forms are also at risk getting lost, torn, or handed off.
Solution: Using business automation software gives you a digital trail of critical files that optimizes routing of tasks, sending alerts to assigned employees, and recording each relevant aspect of the process. Since each activity is tracked, you can quickly view crucial insights as needed.
By reducing errors, your organization can elevate workflows by spending less time on tracking files and correcting them. It also minimizes the cost of errors as illustrated by the 1-10-100 Total Management Quality Approach where the longer it takes you detect a mistake, the higher it will cost. Factor 1 is the cost of prevention, factor 10 is the cost of correction, and factor 100 the cost of failure when the mistake is only noticed after a task’s completion.
7. Manage Customer Database
Customers are important for your business. After all, they’re the ones your product or service is catered towards. That’s why they are central to all your tasks, budgets, events, and projects. Without information about your customers, it’s difficult to effectively provide them with a bill or proposal.
This also leads to wasted time in customer interactions as retrieving records is a challenge. For instance, if you want to send an offer to your customer, you can’t do so without their contact information. This means more time allocated in looking for their information, curating the content based on your gathered customer data, and then manually sending it to their emails.
Solution: ecommerce automation software lets you easily and quickly create a proposal for multiple product units for a single customer. If you have a robust customer database, you can also simply type in their name and their name, company, and address information will be automatically added to the document. Sending out the proposal document to their emails is also optimized by the software.
Implement eCommerce Automation Software to Help Your Business Succeed
If you’re not leveraging automation tools in your business processes, you run the risk of being bumped off the race. Business automation doesn’t only mean eliminating your daily busywork; it supercharges your efficiency, which in turn impacts the bottom line and your ability to stay ahead of the competition.