It seems like all anyone can talk about in the business world these days is scaling their technology and automating their processes, but the actual process behind this - including the scope of work involved - is often unclear.
Too many organizations are unaware of how much time and effort it actually takes to effectively scale technology and automate processes, leading to frustration when companies discover that the process is more involved and time-consuming than they initially realized. The purpose of this article is to give you a general idea of what scaling and automating really mean, how to determine if a process should be automated, and show you how your technology partner can help you determine your business objectives and create custom solutions to meet your needs.
What “Scaling” Really Means
Every organization relies on multiple processes to get work done, either as part of their core business or the operations surrounding it. To scale effectively, companies need to understand the details of their processes and find a way to automate them, whether using technology or other methods.
For example, many organizations rely on automated sales funnels, which rely on automated reporting programs to gather relevant data on potential customers instead of relying on employees to complete this labor-intensive task manually.
How to Create Truly Scalable Solutions
As we discussed in our previous post on understanding project delays and how to avoid them, the planning stage is one of the most critical phases of any project. When you invest time and energy into the planning phase, you are setting yourself and your team up for success later on. That is why the team at SolidStudio always takes the time to learn the details of each customer’s business model in order to create the best solution to meet their needs.
First, we analyze the process itself: If the current process is flawed or can't be improved, then automating it won't improve the situation because it doesn't actually address the underlying issues. By doing our due diligence and analyzing your business, the SolidStudio team can verify that the current process in place meets your organization's needs and can't be improved before determining if the process could benefit from automation or additional technology.
Once the process has been assessed and found to be effective, we know that we are working on a solid foundation, and we can turn our attention toward the question of automation.
As a product development company, our goal isn't to just throw software at a problem and hope it solves the issue at hand. Instead, our goal is to create solutions for our clients so they can achieve their business objectives. While most of our solutions involve using software, even the most elegant piece of software isn't effective if it hasn't been created with the client's actual needs in mind. By taking the time to understand the details of a client's business, we are able to gain a deep understanding of which processes are vital and are worth automating and which processes won't benefit from automation or need to be improved first.
Determining whether or not a process should be automated can be part of a total digital transformation, which involves integrating the right digital technology tools into different aspects of a business to improve productivity and increase the value they deliver to their customers.
The Benefits of Automation: T-Cup & Cracow Local Tours Case Studies
In this section, we will discuss 2 SolidStudio clients who benefited greatly from automating processes that were previously performed manually: T-Cup and Cracow Local Tours.
T-Cup is a health and wellness app that helps customers track their health and overall well-being and sends them regular reports based on the data the app has collected. While these reports were initially created manually by T-Cup’s staff, all of the data was already stored in the app itself, making the report generation process ripe for automation.
We created a custom software solution for the T-Cup team that allowed them to take the data in the app and sort it into the correct schema so it could be automatically formatted and sent out to clients. By automating this process, T-Cup was able to bring on more clients while also scaling back on the number of workers they needed in the back office, improving revenue while reducing costs.
Cracow Local Tours
Cracow Local Tours offers tours to hundreds of tourists each day, and the sheer amount of bookings made it difficult for them to manage their pick-up and one-day trips effectively.
To help them increase efficiency and better allocate their resources, we worked with them to create an ERP system that automatically matched tour drivers with tourists in the same location, thereby reducing the non-revenue generating driving time between tours. This new system also made it much easier for customers to automatically book tickets for larger groups, which are more profitable than smaller groups taking the same tours, allowing the company to maximize earnings while improving the customer experience.
Using technology to scale and automate processes can be a great way to increase efficiency and make it easier for your business to grow if applied to processes that are already effective and can benefit from automation and technology. Before you commit to scaling or automating a particular process, make sure you have a thorough understanding of the processes you are considering automating and have verified that they can't be improved further. The SolidStudio team is here to help you get this valuable information and create automated and scalable solutions that meet your needs.