E

ven before automation, companies were always looking for new ways to improve productivity. Doing things better and faster is the best way to get a leg up on the competition. It can be the difference between success and failure.

But in the modern, tech-heavy world, it’s more important than ever. While it’s easy to say “automation improves productivity,” that doesn’t really tell us exactly how beneficial it is to increase efficiency and output. For instance, that doesn’t give us any details about how it increases employee efficiency by eliminating mundane tasks or streamlines different areas of operations.

A lot of people assume that automation means the end of human employment, which couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is that automation is now doing the grunt work, the mundane tasks that workers used to do. Now those workers can upskill their talents and manage the automated technology being used.

Tasks that took an unnecessary amount of time and were often forgotten or overlooked are now automated, leaving employees time to grow the company and concentrate on more important matters.

Here are a few more specific ways automation improves productivity for operational tasks for businesses of all sizes in every industry.

1. Automation in project management

Organizations, big and small, have to juggle multiple projects, tasks, plans, and people. For all the time management, project planning, change management, and resource allocation, companies rely on project management software programs to do the heavy lifting. These tools can help your company thrive against the competition and shine in your industry.

However, a lot of project management tools like Trello, Jira, and others typically don’t communicate with other systems. This means employees often have to switch between their project management tools and their email, communication app, coding interface, and other systems throughout their workday. Using a tool like MetaSpark can bring all these systems together to connect key tasks, multiple projects, plans, and people into one dashboard. This will ensure no key tasks or deadlines are missed.

2. Automation in email

Missed emails can result in delays, missed deadlines, critical miscommunication, and anything else that makes you or your employees look unprofessional. Everyone relies on email, but they’ve become so ubiquitous that they can easily get buried in your inbox. According to one study, over 80% of employees admitted that miscommunication occurred in the workplace very frequently, frequently, or occasionally.

Automation can help solve these miscommunication issues by bringing key tasks and insights from emails into one dashboard, whether it be Outlook 365, Gmail, and other forms of communication. It can even go a step further with a tool like MetaSpark, which can surface the most important emails, highlight critical approvals that need to be completed, and remind you about upcoming deadlines or deadlines you may have missed. This can be especially useful for remote workers because they can receive email notifications regarding completed tasks and move on without having to track down a team member.

3. Automation in service desk ticketing

Overdue tickets can hurt the customer experience. Basically, when this happens, the company has broken the promise it made to the customer. This can happen for many reasons—miscommunication, an overworked agent, dependencies, a frustrated customer, and many other reasons.

Help desk team members spend their day tabbing between tickets, taking phone calls, other channels of communication, and software such as Jira, ServiceNow, and others. Automation helps streamline this process by bringing tasks from all systems into one place and prioritizing and organizing tickets—making the job easier for agents, resulting in fewer overdue tickets.

4. Automation in marketing

According to chiefmartec.com, the median number of marketing tools that a marketing team uses on a regular basis is between 20 and 29. Moreover, the majority of marketing leaders said they spend 33% of their workweek on manual, operational tasks. That’s because marketers are spending all this time switching between different marketing tools and inputting data into each one.

The problem is that these tools rarely communicate with each other, which crushes marketer productivity. Automation connects these tools (HubSpot, Marketo, etc.) and enables marketers to ensure all of their key tasks and reminders are available in one place.

5. Automation in customer relationship management (CRM)

Your CRM software is a powerful tool. But your sales team is typically busy with their job of selling and doesn’t have the time to jump between task lists and tools all day long, such as Salesforce, HubSpot, Microsoft Dynamics, etc.

Automation ensures they have all the info they need for their sales efforts in a single place, connected to the data and insights they need most, such as email, calendar, social media, prospecting software, team communications, forms and data collection, and much more.

6. Automation of approvals and signatures

Approvals and signatures are a big part of any business, especially HR. The HR department is constantly receiving requests for approval, and managers are always overwhelmed with them. Without the proper system, approvals are delayed, contracts don’t get signed, expenses don’t get approved, and employees get frustrated with the company.

An automation tool like MetaSpark surfaces the most important approvals and signatures and ensures they're completed on time. It brings tasks from every system like Concur, Coupa, Workday, DocuSign, and Expensify into one dashboard automatically—saving a lot of time for you and your employees.

7. Automation of hiring processes

Automation technology has transformed the hiring process as we know it, and it’s here to stay. According to HubSpot’s Recruiting Automation and Trends Report, 3 out of 4 recruiters say technology plays a large role in their hiring process. Fortunately, automation technology isn’t expected to replace recruiters, but rather help them. Without automation, it’s difficult to hire good talent and even more difficult to ensure internal goals for diversity and inclusion are met.

Automation helps ensure the best candidates are noticed and that their resumes are reviewed so that recruiters ultimately get the best hire. Furthermore, with a tool like MetaSpark, you can simultaneously track your diversity and inclusion goals, ensuring that hiring managers and the entire organization are meeting these goals.

The bottom line

Automation is going to get more efficient and capable every year. Businesses will need to take advantage of automation to maintain growth and stay ahead of the competition. Fortunately, it doesn’t take a college degree or learning algorithms to understand. Automation simply requires the willingness to adopt and use it. After that, you’ll be improving productivity for operational tasks in no time!

To learn more about how MetaSpark can help optimize your company's operations across departments, request a demo today.

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