1. Approving requests
In the last decade or so, the number of decisions requiring a manual approval has gone up as much as 350 percent, according to The Boston Consulting Group. The more complex an organization is, the more time managers spend writing reports and coordinating meetings. No wonder people feel like they can’t get any real work done. But as creatures of habit, people love process. However, the whole point of a process is to simplify tasks and not create more work. Machine learning allows companies to automate tasks, such as approvals, which helps businesses cut down on time wasted doing “busy work.” Managers get notified they need to approve something, and they can view and approve it on any device without logging into another system.
2. Building reports to make data-driven decisions
There is a lot of big data out there, but businesses have to sift through it to make the best use of it. Building and sharing intelligence reports is a time- consuming task. HR people alone waste 17 hours a week on reporting, according to research firm Vanson Bourne. Yet, many employees don’t feel as if analyzing data falls within their wheelhouse. So, they take even more time than usual because they don’t really understand it. There are services for hire to monitor enterprise networks for new data insights and instantly distribute those to the right people. These real-time notifications give employees the ability to leverage data on-the-spot for more reliable decision making.
3. Email marketing automation
Automating certain marketing tasks can boost productivity and profitability. One of those areas is email automation. Many businesses avoid this tactic because they say it’s impersonal. But if done right, it actually converts well. Take an abandoned cart as an example. According to research from the Baymard Institute, more than 81 percent of online shopping carts are abandoned. That leaves a lot of money on the table — Business Insider estimates it’s as much as $4 trillion. But the smart businesses can recover 63 percent of that lost revenue. How? Through a cart abandonment strategy using automated emails. Most companies send a promo code right after a consumer leaves a site, but shoppers have caught on to this strategy. Instead, shoot the prospect a picture of the product, reiterate the features and benefits and provide a link to take them back to buy.
4. Virtual assistance
Siri and Alexa already give us directions and play our favorite songs. Imagine using virtual assistance in big companies to help thousands of people every day. For example, major airlines interact with hundreds of thousands of people. Using bots to respond to reservation requests or to notify a customer regarding delayed flights would significantly cut down on manpower, and a chat can respond anytime day or night.
5. Office supply chain
The office supply cabinet has become an unproductive relic of the past thanks to IVM Smart Stations and lockers — an innovative concept that gives employees instant access to office supplies, including computer equipment. This completely secure solution saves companies hundreds of thousands of dollars from costly downtime. The machines come pre-loaded with technical support and reporting features reveal when supplies are running low and when it’s time to reorder. They even have forecasting features that let users run reports to see what supplies people use the most. Automating the supply chain frees up everyone’s time to be more productive, and that leads to greater innovation.
What ways is your office automating and how has it helped?