Most businesses spend hours a month on administration, and the burden can become overwhelming during peak times such as financial year-end or over the festive season holidays when many employees go on leave.
Keeping up with paperwork can be particularly challenging for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) with a low headcount.
That’s where technology has an invaluable role to play in streamlining your operations. Automated software tools can take care of many routine tasks that soak up hours of your time.
This enables you as the business owner or a senior manager to free up time for activities such as customer engagement and strategic planning.
Here are some tips for using the latest cloud-based software solutions to free up a lot of time you used to spend on routine tasks:
1. Automate finances
Many smaller businesses are still using manual methods like spreadsheets to run processes such as accounting, payroll, and invoicing.
But today’s cloud-based finance solutions from companies like Xero and Sage can automate many of these processes for you.
Rather than needing to do manual payroll and invoicing runs, you can get the software to do it for you with a push of a button.
The more transactions you process each month, the more time this will save for you.
2. Customer relationship management (CRM)
For businesses with more than a handful of customers, CRM is a no-brainer. CRM solutions tailored to SMEs make it easy for you to capture information about your customers and prospects, track the status of your leads, monitor your interactions with your customers, and send personalised messages.
Not only does this spare you from spending hours capturing data, but it also means that you’re on top of the status of every customer and lead in your database.
3. Business process automation (BPA)
BPA tools are becoming increasingly accessible to SMEs. These solutions help you to streamline your workflows around paper-intensive processes such as order entry, purchase orders and employee onboarding.
The benefits include faster processing times, increase accuracy in data capture, and better service levels for customers.
4. Contract management
Most companies need to manage between dozens and hundreds of contracts. This is an area where few SMEs are yet automating processes, but one where the benefits of automation are immense.
Artificial intelligence (AI) -powered software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions can enable businesses across all sectors to securely and efficiently store, organise and manage post-signature contracts.
These solutions allow you to automate processes associated with post-signature contracts to optimise efficiency. You can set up and trigger workflows for events such as renewals, terminations, price escalations, force majeure, cancellation, and breach.
This helps you to manage the benefits, obligations and deadlines associated with contracts in a way that minimises risks and maximises value.
Improve efficiency and grow your business
Automating administrative tasks will enhance your operational efficiency and business performance.
It will allow you and your team to focus on more strategic and value-added activities, perhaps even freeing up more time for you to enjoy the festive season break.
With automated processes, you will also have more accurate data at your fingertips, be able to be more responsive, and be able to comply more easily with tax laws and other regulations.
Automation holds the key to running a leaner, more agile, and more competitive business.