Beginner’s Guide to Task Automation: Automate Repetitive Tasks and Scale Your Business
Over time, tools that act as fundamental advancements became more complex, especially for people who have no experience with writing code. This article will give you an in-depth introduction to task automation.
- How to automate repetitive tasks?
- How can task automation benefit your business?
- What are the task automation examples and best practices?
Read on to get more insights and scale your business with robotic desktop automation.
What is automation?
Desktop automation is a process that requires minimum human effort. Automating tasks allows you to reduce the amount of human effort wasted on the task, cut time, and make the process error-free. Considering the International Federation of Robotics report, 70% of workers believe automation will offer more opportunities to engage in strategic work.
COVID-19 and its influence on the adoption of automation
The COVID-19 pandemic provides us with a sudden glimpse into a future world, where digital has become central to every interaction, forcing both organizations and employees to adopt automation almost overnight. The world has changed.
Digital channels became the primary customer engagement model, and automated processes became a primer driver of productivity and the basis of flexible, transparent, and stable supply chains. In this new world, agile working methods are a prerequisite to meeting daily changes to customer behavior.
For example, the digitalization of support functions is another pivotal lever for improving efficiency. By automating repetitive tasks such as indirect purchasing, finance, legal, and HR, you can quickly minimize costs and free up time to invest in more practical activities. Companies that have automated their claims collection and financial reconciliation realized that they also increased the agility and accuracy of these processes.
According to the McKinsey & Company report, The Next Normal: The Recovery will be Digital, “The majority of the benefits may come not from reducing labor costs but from raising productivity through fewer errors, higher output, and improved quality, safety, and speed.” Understanding which activities can be automated could provide an opportunity to rethink how employees engage with their jobs. Also, it’s a chance for top managers to automate their routine tasks and free up time to focus on the things that no algorithm can replace.
Benefits of task automation
Usually, organizations have some routine, repetitive tasks that take a lot of time and human effort. Automating such tasks allows you to eliminate errors and speed up the whole process. You may wonder if ‘That’s it? That’s all how automating tasks can benefit me?’ Of course, no, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s have a closer look at the benefits of task automation, as identified by WinTask.
1. Increased productivity
Automating particular processes gives you a chance to optimize the service provided and the costs of the organization. With employees having more time focusing on complex tasks that only humans can perform, you increase your income and improve the effectiveness of your workforce.
2. Reduced errors
When your processes are automated, the chances of making errors decrease dramatically. When the procedures are familiar for the employees, it is easier for them to perform their job correctly. Eventually, you get processes that give you the best end-result.
3. Reduced time in task execution
One of the main advantages of automating tasks for companies is that software tasks take less time than the ones performed manually. All you have to do is to schedule a task that should be repeated, and from then on, it will be repeated accurately, taking less time and eliminating errors.
4. Improvements in internal communication
Sometimes it’s really tough for a person to organize between meetings, emails, notes, and reminders. With workflow automation, communication within the company becomes simpler. When everyone knows the work that colleagues are developing, the communication between departments becomes easier.
5. Integrated systems
Systems can become more effective if integrated through automation. For instance, if you integrate payment software with some financial management application using API, it will be much easier to analyze the company’s state.
6. Reduced operating costs
Automating repetitive tasks generates a lot of savings. For example, it eliminates errors, reduces time to perform specific tasks, and requires fewer employees than the task usually would need. Correct automation allows you to speed up the process from the day being.
Common features of desktop automation
Here are some examples of what can be automated with the help of software robots.
1. Excel and database automation
Manipulate and transform data for excel or database automation. Automate data entry, transfer data between spreadsheets or different databases. To make setting up more accessible, you can record your actions and let the automation software replay them for you. Also, you can automatically run queries and extract data from the web to Excel spreadsheets.
2. Task scheduling
That’s a great feature to keep everything under control: you can schedule logins and automate other web tasks. Create a list of actions to automate and stick to it. This feature can save you hours by running scripts automatically. Set it up (Windows logins, for example) and comfortably go about your business. RDA tools will do everything for you.
3. Web data extraction
With this feature, you can easily extract unstructured data from web pages and convert it into an Excel file or database. Thanks to RDA, you can do it error-free and much faster than a person could do it manually.
4. Implementation of task automation
It’s never too early to prepare for the future. At first, identify the problem you need to solve with automation. Think about the tasks your employees perform daily and consider automating them. Especially if your employees are struggling with repetitive tasks spending too much time completing them, desktop automation is right for you.
Businesses that use automation software report high customer and employee satisfaction. With no complex integrations or modifications to your current systems, any company can deploy RDA in a matter of days. RDA tools give immediate benefits realization, fast payback, and high ROI.
To get more in detail, you can use different task automation tools in various industries. According to Harvard Business Review, ‘60% of existing US jobs, 30% or more of current work activities can be automated with available or announced technologies.’ For instance, maintaining data consistency is quite a tedious task that sales representatives tackle daily.
First, the salespeople should enter data into CRMs; finance analysts must replicate the data and enter it into another system. Eventually, this results in duplication, errors and impacts productivity. Desktop automation helps avoid repetitive tasks and eliminates errors, performing end-to-end sales activities like data entry and invoicing.
If one considers desktop automation versus RPA, there is no doubt that desktop automation is the perfect choice for companies that are just beginning to automate desktop applications. That’s totally fine to start small, automating one process at a time. This way, you can determine how desktop automation can help you scale your business.