Software automation systems or just automation, in general, is designed to make repetitive tasks easier. Particularly in manufacturing, automation can turn the development and production process into a more reliable, efficient, and well-oiled machine.
Sure, sometimes large-scale automation systems require a lot more than just the software. In manufacturing, for example, you need the equipment and hardware that’s actually going to carry out the work too. But at the core, the heart of automation is the software. Without it, automation just wouldn’t be possible nor would related systems truly be considered autonomous. It would be like a human body, trying to function without the brain.
On the consumer side of the equation, automation can be used to make lives easier. Smart home technology uses a form of automation to carry out specific tasks on a schedule, with little to no input. Connected lights can turn on and off on a schedule, a smart thermostat can adjust the air up or down when no one is home and more.
These devices can also help consumers save money on energy costs, by making the involved processes more efficient. Not leaving lights on all day, and turning them on only at night when you’re on vacation, for example, can significantly cut down on energy costs.
We suppose that explains why marketing automation was one of the highest tested technologies in 2015.
But we’re not interested in the consumer side of automation tech are we? We’re more interested in the business space, and how this technology can be leveraged to improve processes.
How Can Software Automation Help a Business Grow?
Ultimately, the software and systems you implement are going to influence how your business evolves over time.
Automating your manufacturing and development, for instance, will allow you to provide products to a much larger audience. These types of machines and systems will always be faster and more efficient than old-fashioned labor. More importantly, they allow you to scale your production up or down, at any time, to meet the demands of your market.
Automating a marketing system, on the other hand, will both give you deeper insights into your customers and enable interactions and engagement that just weren’t possible before.
Even with a large sales and marketing crew, it takes time to draft emails, send them out, conduct research to find contacts, and create content. By automating a lot of these processes, you can streamline the requirements, making things much easier on your team. It also provides them with the tools they need to reach a larger audience.
Again, both of these automation systems are different, so they will help your business – or any business for that matter – grow in different ways.
In a general sense, automation allows your brand to be more reliable, efficient, and have a broader service scale.
Examples of Software Automation and How They Help Businesses
While we briefly talked about a couple automation systems above, it makes sense to take a closer look and explore some real-world scenarios.
- Epicor to Streamline Manufacturing
Whether your business is big or small, you would surely benefit from an Enterprise Resource Planning system, also referred to as ERP software. They can help any business drive growth and broaden their active processes to meet higher demands.
One of the most popular platforms in this space is Epicor. As a company, Epicor has been providing industry-focused software for over 30 years. Their software can help streamline processes in manufacturing like sales and operations, production and development, finance or accounting, and even inventory and materials.
Before this software was around, management would need to rely on a group of tools to track the necessary data and logistics. Epicor’s software combines it all into one convenient system, also simplifying nearly every aspect of the industry.
In this way, manufacturing companies can focus on what matters most, the development of their products and services. All logistics and data tracking can be automated through Epicor’s software, eliminating the need for a huge tracking team.
- Hubspot to Automate Marketing Tasks
Inbound marketing software has become incredibly popular in recent years, especially in the B2B space – more than half of all B2B companies (55%) have adopted the technology. It streamlines the entire marketing lineup by converting “outbound” strategies to “inbound” ones. If you’re not adept at marketing that can sound a bit confusing, but ultimately this software makes marketing in modern times easier.
Hubspot is an excellent example of marketing automation software.
You can look past strategies like cold calling, email and newsletters, promotions and trade shows, and even TV advertisements. Those are all part of an “outbound” marketing strategy. The focus instead shifts to lead generation and bringing customers to the brand and its products and services.
It also helps automate and facilitate data collection, which is a huge deal in the marketing world. You want to track as much as possible about your customers and audience and use that data to influence future decisions. Hubspot essentially automates this, and many other aspects of marketing to make the job that much easier.
- Zapier for App and Software Automation [Workflows]
Honestly, it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. Chances are you’re going to have a lot of apps, software, and services that you rely on, and each one must be engaged separately. This means if you have data to share from one service to another, you must move it manually in most cases.
Zapier is a unique platform that can help you automate workflows, more specifically by integrating a variety of web apps with one another and automating the whole deal.
For instance, when you get an email you can automatically copy attachments to a connected Dropbox account, send alerts in Slack about the new file, and then take action.
It enables connectivity between more than 750 apps and services to help you create more streamlined processes. Due to the sheer number of compatible apps, it also means that the software is viable in nearly every market.
How Will You Implement Software Automation?
Now that you’ve seen how this technology can help other businesses – and yours – grow, how are you going to implement it? Are you still on the fence?