Automation of repetitive tasks saves labor and precious time, while minimizing costly human error. Here are seven trending areas, along with some examples of available tools, where automated solutions are streamlining business operations in 2019.
Collaboration and Communication
There are hundreds of team collaboration and workforce communication tools available. But using lots of them for just one project can be like herding cats. That’s when a centralized work management platform such as Asana or Trello can help. Many of these apps seamlessly integrate dozens of collaboration and planning tools such as Slack, Dropbox and Microsoft Office 365. They provide a quick snapshot of work in progress, and are agile enough to reassign tasks to keep work moving forward.
Scheduling is another headache that can be remedied by utilizing an app like When I Work. Manage staff schedules across multiple work sites and track travel times, overtime hours, vacations, sick days, and employee shift-swaps. Automating these tasks can eliminate the old-fashioned time clock and replace it with a versatile mobile app. That can reduce employee no-shows and wage miscalculations, while allowing supervisors to manage and update schedules from their smartphones.
Similarly, automated payment processing can eliminate busy work but also accelerate the revenue cycle and vital cash flow. Facilitate payments from multiple business locations and simultaneously process payments from multiple customers, 24/7. Ensure PCI compliant security with encryption, tokenization, and Level 3 processing, and automate the complexity of surcharging to pay zero credit card merchant fees. A capable processing system can also allow for subscription payment plans, installment repayments, recurring billing, and automatic e-invoicing.
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Human Resource Data
It’s also possible to automate HR management, using a cloud-based digital service. One of the most widely used is Bamboo HR. It includes a system for tracking job applications and additional tools for managing HR tasks for as long as the employee is with the business. With an automated HR system of this kind it’s also possible to generate insightful reports about employee hiring, retention, and attrition data.
Businesses often warehouse inventory, but loading and unloading shelves can increase labor costs or the risk of an employee injury. Locus Robotics helps eliminate those problems with autonomous robots that are small, lightweight, and can operate safely in close proximity to humans. They move faster than motorized carts, have a smaller footprint than a forklift, and can be ordered-up to help manage peak cycles like the year-end holiday shopping season.
Social Media Management
Managing social media is essential, but can take entirely too much time. But apps like Social Juke Box make it easy to schedule posts that will go live in a continuous cycle, like a preprogrammed radio station playlist, with specific start and end dates. Another app, Paper.li, helps social media managers aggregate social media content from other posters. Then it generates a kind of virtual news feed marketing newsletter.
Contractors, sales teams, and others need to track vehicle mileage for business accounting or tax purposes. Mileage tracking apps can simplify that tedious and mistake-prone task. MileIQ, for instance, is an app that runs in the background of a mobile device. Just swipe left or right to select personal or business mileage tracking. It can also keep a reportable record of related fees like parking.