Hi and welcome to our blog on Modern Automation As Businesses Grow! You might be thinking that automation is the use of robots or complex control systems but effectively automation is the use of computers to achieve tasks with little or no human intervention. Recently I checked in with our client at Secretly Scrapbooking to see how she was going and what issues she faced running her business and it became apparent that some issues she experienced could be solved through automation.
During my discussions with Secretly Scrapbooking I found out the following:
- had issues storing and easily finding stampsets, cutting dies and other items because storage was not adequate.
- due to the number of stamp sets, it was difficult finding certain stamps for certain occasions i.e. father's day just gone.
- the blog was going well however she wanted to be able to show a short product list at the bottom but wasn't sure how and other fellow scrapbookers said it takes a bit of time.
Clearly these issues resulted in wasting time searching and typing which would reduce her ability to focus on making items and other activities. Here is where modern automation can come in as these issues are repetitive, fairly consistent and are all related. Often people who operate businesses require skills that they themselves don't have and therefore don't consider alternative ways to approach a problem. I have personally been employed to perform a job where the weekly tasks took five (5) working days to complete which was heavily oriented around reporting. After automating a number of tasks I effectively reduced my weekly workload so that I was only really working for one to two of these days, allowing me to take on more interesting work. The key to automation is identifying opportunities rather than having the skills to resolve them as you can always source an existing application, a new hire or engage another business to do this for you.
Now what did we do for Secretly Scrapbooking? The first step to solve the problem was to store the items away in drawers but in alphabetical order then this would allow efficient storage and access but then this makes them less visible. To address the reduced visibility we created a catalog in Microsoft Excel for her with the details of the products allowing her to see effectively what was on hand. We linked images to the product catalog allowing her to view the product contents which helped resolve the storage issue. The product catalog could then be leveraged to allow "one click" generation of a short product list for her blog effectively reducing and removing time wasting tasks. All of this was completed in Microsoft Excel which allowed her to maintain the product catalog after we handed the end product over and required no additional knowledge on her part to use it.
You might look at this example and think that your business doesn't need automation but in all my years working as an Engineer I can tell you this...managers in our business who were presented with "one click" reports praised those who made them. Why is this important? "One Click" reports are usually not very amazing as far as I'm concerned but it is simply this, a piece of work that would take someone a long time to produce replaced by a button is time not wasted and therefore valuable. Something to keep in mind and something that ActsIntuitively can help you with should you require our services. If you are interested in finding out more about what we can do for you then please feel free to visit our main website or contact us. Thank you for your time, for reading our blog post and it would be great if you feel the need to share or like our articles via one of our social media platforms with the @ActsIntuitively tag as applies.
Technical Services Manager
Bunbury, Western Australia
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