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Office Automation Systems in 2021: Do More with Less

Are you tired of spending time on tedious administration tasks rather than improving your business?

You’re not the only one. 

According to the latest studies, at least 33% of our time is wasted on “pointless business processes”.

One of the best ways of doing away with them is through Office Automation Systems.

Table of Contents

  1. What is an office automation system?
  2. The biggest benefit of automation
  3. The 4 defining features of an office automation system
    a. Compatible with other programs
    b. Positive ROI - keep track of the system's efficiency
    c. Easy to access
    d. Full control
  4. Examples of some real-life office automation systems: Make your life easier!
    a. Improve employee workflow
    b. Technological security
    c. Systems that boost productivity
    d. Simplify HR Tasks
    e. Training new employees
  5. The one automation system to rule them all?

What is an office automation system?

In short, office automation systems are tools that solve repetitive (read: mundane) tasks.

Do more with automation

Office automation systems can help ease the workload in many parts of your business, such as data management, training, HR processes, etc. 

People often assume that these automations are complex and technical. Fortunately, this couldn’t be further away from the truth. An example of an automated system is a document managing machine that mechanically sorts and organizes your papers. In fact, odd as it may sound, office automation systems can be as simple as hiring a cleaning crew to vacuum and dust up your office every week. 

While many systems can be complicated and technical under the hood, but the best companies still keep things simple. 

At DataCose our number one priority - regardless of the complexity of the automation system – is to make your systems just work.

We handle the complex and provide you with an easy-to-use, simple solution that helps you save time and lets you and your employees do what they do best. And we make machines do what they, in turn, do best.

The biggest benefit of automation

Major time savings.

This can translate to lowered operating costs or higher profitability; increased ability to scale as you partially decouple your need for employees from your ability to provide services; or increased performance as you and your employees can spend their time on higher-value activities.

Other benefits include:

  • Automation systems are less prone to error vs humans
  • Increased turnaround time and an improved user experience
  • Improved business decisions based on data that is automatically captured. You could even automate the analysis.

The 4 defining features of an office automation system

Look out for these 4 desirable characteristics before purchasing an automation system to maximize the odds that they make your life easier and future-proofing your business. 

1. Compatible with other programs.

This is one of the most important things to keep in mind for future-proofing and allowing you to easily scale. Your office automation system must work with other apps and processes in your business.

Compatibility becomes a bigger deal if you are working with multiple automated systems. 

Tools like Zapier can allow for some cohesion between these systems. However, it is important to keep in mind that as you scale, Zapier can become expensive rather quickly. And unless you are willing to pay top-dollar, each automation has a 15-minute delay.

If off-the-shelf automation programs are not completely automating your processes, are becoming expensive, or hard to set up, we can help. Our experienced developers can design custom, fast, and scalable integrations and automations. Feel free to get in touch with us by filling the form below or sending an email to info@datacose.com.

2. Positive ROI - keep track of the system’s efficiency.

When business owners are exposed to the idea of office automation systems, they can get into what we call an “automation frenzy.” Simply put, they acquire too many useless automation processes that yield no result and can even decrease productivity.

Before you choose to automate a task, ask yourself:

Will this save my time, money, or anything else valuable?

There is no point in spending four hours automating a task that takes 10 minutes and is run once every quarter.

3. Easy to access

Let’s say you integrate a checklist app that provides an overview of all the upcoming tasks for your business. The app should not require any programming, reading long manuals, or watching tons of YouTube tutorials. 

It should be simple, efficient, and clean. Looking for reviews and quick-start YouTube videos can give you an idea of whether this is the case.

4. Full Control

You should always have complete control over the systems and their workflow. 

Going back to the example of the checklist app, if this app starts deleting some of your tasks it deems “unimportant”, without allowing you to prevent it, you should probably remove the app.

Owners should have full access to how the app works and what it does. 

You can add manual checkpoints to automations, such as requiring a human to approve the sending of a customized email, without having to craft it. A look over, double-check, and the email can be sent.

Examples of some real-life office automation systems: Make your life easier!

Improve Employee Workflow

Problem:  If your companies use multiple apps or programs, employees must sign into each of them individually when starting their work. This is especially the case with some remote desktop operators where cookies, preferences, or part of the environment is reset every midnight for security purposes.

Solution: Use Okta

Okta is an office automation system that requires employees to sign into just one “main company page” before being automatically allowed into all the other apps or programs. 

This saves time and effort as employees don’t have to log in to stuff one by one. 

Lots of companies are using Okta due to its simplicity, while also maintaining strong security. 

Key features:

  • A single sign-in page is all that is required. 
  • Advanced API access management. (read about APIs here)

Technological Security

Problem: Oh no, where did my files go?

Solution: Use DropBox

Losing digital files, apart from causing huge distress, can have serious business consequences.

A good way to prevent this from happening is to use cloud-based backups. However, manually doing backups takes a lot of time, and while they are important, they are not urgent, so they usually do not get prioritized.

This is why Dropbox is a perfect example of an office automation system. 

Dropbox allows you to share files with your employees while safely backing up your information into a secure online database. Installing the application means files can be stored locally and synced in the background. It automatically works in real-time and requires no effort.

In addition, if you ever want to go back to an earlier version of your work, you can easily access their interface and quickly recover information from the older backups. 

Key features:

  • Constant cross-platform file syncing.
  • Control who can access your information.

Systems that boost productivity.

Problem: There are thousands of impending tasks in your emails, on your calendar or on your desktop. 

You want these tasks to be centralized, prioritized and designated to team members.

Use Trello to organize and delegate your team's tasks

Solution: Use Trello

Trello is a cloud-based project management tool that allows you to save time by putting all the tasks that must be done and projects that must be completed in one place. 

The tool can be accessed by your whole team. So, everyone can work together to boost productivity and get things done.

Key features:

  • Work as a group to tackle projects.
  • Easily centralize all your tasks.
  • Delegate and maintain visibility on workflows. 

Simplify HR Tasks

Problem: Tired of shipping physical documents around the world and asking people to sign them?

Solution:  Use DocuSign

DocuSign were the original developer of online signatures and are an expert in validating e-contracts. 

This can save hours and remove the logistics of shipping contracts; just use the automated service to digitally send your documents. 

DocuSign has over 400,000 paying customers and a large amount of audience who love their service.

Key features:

  • Use of electronic signatures.
  • Automatic document generation and shipment. 

Training New Employees

Problem: It can be very time-consuming and inefficient to train new employees.

Solution: CertSpring

CertSpring can automate part of the training process. It allows managers to create interactive digital training, test the employee, and provide certifications.

It can free hours of the manager’s time and the employee can access the training as often as they would like to without the need for managers to be present. This is especially useful when training a large number of employees while ensuring training is standardized.

Key features:

  • Create detailed courses with sections and subsections that have quizzes, awards and certifications.
  • The new employee can learn the course through any of their devices.

The one automation system to rule them all?

While we have explored many office automation systems that save time and money, the ultimate system is the one that can do everything we want without having to explore other options.

This is possible… Although not in the way you might imagine it.

At DataCose, a team of experts can program all your office automation systems to work together in a cohesive manner that is more efficient than your current way of work. Integrating powerful APIs and writing custom code, you can play concertmaster with your programs and tasks.

As a business, we have saved our clients more than two years of non-stop, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day work in this year alone. This is the work of 8 full-time employees, allowing business leaders and employees to focus on the critical tasks that only humans can do.

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