Automation’s Growing Viability in Virtual Business

One of the biggest business developments of the modern age is the rise and supremacy of the digital method. Far from the slow and inefficient practices of individual phone or direct personal orders or contact, online ordering services like those of Amazon have created a world of far greater efficiency than ever previously possible.

Over time, these opportunities have risen from potential side investment to an entirely necessary component, at least in terms of medium-to-large-scale business. So, what is it that makes these developments so useful, and what are the most common examples which many businesses can utilize to help lower their turnaround time and overall costs?

“Amazon Echo series” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by bestaiassistant

Operating a business in a strictly analog manner was never really a matter of choice – it was born of necessity. Obviously, utilizing a digital system before the age of digitalization was not an option, though even today when computers and technology have become an indispensable part of our lives, there are still many businesses and individuals who refuse to adapt.

Part of this comes down to the initial difficulty in adopting new technologies and techniques, to be sure, though it should also be noted that there are many who stick to old-fashioned systems out of stubbornness or nostalgia. This isn’t always bad, as when it comes to smaller businesses with few employees, these systems can operate just fine but, when scaled up, the loss of efficiency is undeniable.

Automation technologies, while still not perfect and requiring oversight, can effectively manage large-scale manual operations which require little human interpretation. Think the copying of hard data from one form to another, while at the same time managing calculations and translations of data sets into the necessary end-points.

Not only is current technology able to perform these far faster and with a far lower margin of error than humans ever could, but more modern developments like robotic process automation can even help determine the components of these processes which could benefit. In this, not only can automation help with direct copying and translation, they can help discover areas of potential improvement.

“BIEMH 2014_Stand Fagor Automation” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by Fagor Automation

The more common ways we see modern automation today, falling back to the Amazon example, is the creation of tasks. From an internet order, a task will then automatically be created and sent to those who work in shipping. Following the shipping order, and confirmations from both digital systems and the requisite human authorities, another task will be sent to shipping, where a final task will be sent on the completion of this shipping effort.

Another way, and one which has made considerable progress, though it is still in need of dire improvements, is that of customer support. As larger businesses can have to manage hundreds or even thousands of customer support requests a day, automation can help guide customers into faster and more appropriate lines of contact. They can even automate many of the popular requests entirely.

As the supporting technology surrounding automation only improves, and as technological adoption as a core component of business continues to develop, the validity and flexibility of these processes are poised to further advance. Smaller staff, lower cost, and greater efficiency are making modern business easier on both sides of the experience, and this will only evolve and become more crucial more in the competitive business world of tomorrow. 

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