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Sarah UKFast | Account Manager

Transform Your Business Through Automation

25 October 2018 by Jenn Granger

Organisations all over the world are embracing automation to sculpt their futures in new and exciting ways.

Automation is nothing new – one of the earliest examples was all the way back in 1913, when Henry Ford designed the first moving assembly line and revolutionised car manufacturing, forever. Chances are, you already incorporate some form of automation into your business without realising.

While technology has moved on from conveyor belts to intricately designed online systems, the principles and reasons behind how and why we use automation remain the same. Recognising systems that work within a business and making them easier, cheaper and less time-consuming enables us to spend more time on innovation and ultimately propel a business forward.

In a recent UKFast webinar, our MD Jonathan Bowers was joined by four automation specialists to discuss the advantages of automation and how it’s helping businesses across all industry sectors.

Neil Lathwood

UKFast CTO Neil Lathwood

The speakers were:

  • Tom Simnett, Managing Director of Initforthe
  • Hass Jishi, Principal Consultant and Futurist at AND Digital
  • Martin Keelagher, Founder of Walford Cunningham and Hayes
  • Neil Lathwood, CTO of UKFast

Read on for their expert advice.

1.    Understand your business first

All our experts agree that automation is most effective when there is a deep understanding of business processes. Neil urges businesses to first optimise all their core processes before rushing into automation. Often, this simple act can streamline the business instantly and avoids wasting resources on automating processes that aren’t up to scratch in the first place.

Martin also warned against automation without proper preparation. He said: “A lot of the automation journey is understanding the processes within your business and working with specialists to see how, and why, they work for you.”

He added: “One of the most common pitfalls is to automate everything. If you have a 10-step process then you need to look at each step and eliminate them in stages; for example, from 10 to five steps, then down to three.”

2.    Automating adds value

Another point that each of our guests were keen to get across is the value that automation adds to a business and its employees.

Tom said: “Automation is all about letting a computer carry out repetitive tasks so that the real lateral thinking, problem solving and decision making can be left to humans – it allows us to be innovative.”

Hass also commented on this topic: “A lot of people fear automation and think that it will take jobs. But, from experience, I know that automation unlocks people’s potential, drives improvement of the business and lets people enjoy their jobs by taking out the mundane tasks.”

So, by taking away boring tasks and giving members of a business the freedom to think critically and creatively, employee satisfaction and productivity are significantly increased.  And, as we know at UKFast, a happy and productive team leads to a thriving business.

3.    Help to build the future

The ethos behind automation is simplicity, avoiding distraction and making our lives easier – who doesn’t like the sound of that?

Investing in your future is paramount and as businesses we can really pull together to ensure the younger generation is equipped for a workplace that requires far fewer admin tasks and many more problem solving roles.

Neil thinks that businesses which invest in their future employees are doing themselves a huge favour.

He said:  “We’re trying to invest in the younger generation as much as we can, knowing that we will need them in the next 5-10 years. We run kids’ Code Clubs, touch base with more than 50 schools and are advocates for apprenticeships. We’re already reaping the rewards; the people who were our apprentices a few years ago are now leading teams and driving the business forward.”

Ultimately, the way your business chooses to embrace automation in the next few years will map out its future in the new, highly efficient marketplace.

Of course, these three top tips were merely a snapshot of the brilliant insight our specialists gave us into the world of automation. For more expert advice on the tools that can help move your business forward, and the advantages and challenges of incorporating this technology, watch our on-demand webinar for free.

Watch our FREE on-demand ‘Integration and Automation’ webinar

here