How to Use Automation and Outsourcing to Save Time and Money for Your Business

How to Use Automation and Outsourcing to Save Time and Money for Your Business

Even if your dream team consists of the greatest of all time (GOATs), you cannot expect to fail fast, move quickly, and remain competitive without some automation and outsourcing assistance. However, you can’t automate and outsource randomly. You need to establish a plan that enables you to reap all the benefits of reallocating some of your employees’ responsibilities to software and third parties.

First, let’s discuss the importance of automation and outsourcing. Automation enables you to eliminate the need for employees to spend time on repetitive tasks. Given that some workers report setting aside about three hours daily to complete repetitive tasks, it’s clear that automating as many of those tasks as possible makes fiscal and operational sense.

Business people using automation and outsourcing solutions

Not all processes are suitable for automation. That’s where outsourcing comes into play. Outsourcing enables you to hire an individual or company to fulfill specific needs of your business. For example, you might want to outsource to a payroll provider so you can stop spending time poring over your workers’ paycheck intricacies.

Automation and outsourcing can free up your team’s capacity to concentrate on higher-level priorities when used strategically. However, you must implement measures to ensure that your automation and outsourcing decisions will be assets rather than liabilities.

Keep these helpful best practices in mind to guide your next steps and prepare your company for effective automation and outsourcing.

1. Choose automation technology with input from your team

There is no shortage of automation software products on the market. Which one should you choose? That’s a decision you’ll want to make with key team members.

Maybe your sales talent is being hindered by performing manual and cumbersome tasks. As a result, you are discovering what other companies have found, to their horror: Your sales experts can only dedicate 28% of their time to sales.

Although it is logical to seek ways to automate processes as soon as possible, involving your sales director and at least one representative in the discussion is important. In this way, you can ensure that the automation tool you choose meets your salespeople’s criteria.

2. Prioritize communication with your outsourcing partners

Engaging consultants, freelancers, and agencies can be incredibly beneficial, provided you communicate clearly from start to finish. Even if you outsource to the best individual or group in the world, it is essential to maintain open and continuous channels of communication.

First, always designate someone as the “point person” with your outsourcing partner. This sets up a two-way channel for information, questions, and feedback. Next, make arrangements to check in with all your outsourcers at agreed-upon intervals, such as once a week or thrice a quarter.

Finally, ensure that you clearly define your expectations throughout the process. You might be at fault if an outsourcer isn’t delivering as expected. Miscommunication often arises from unexpressed expectations from one or both parties. You can avoid obstacles that hinder progress by providing clearer explanations or obtaining better explanations from your outsourcer.

Businessman talks with an outsourcing partner on the phone
photo credit: Karolina Grabowska / Pexels

3. Measure the impact of your automation or outsourcing

Certainly, you want to automate and outsource tasks to free up your team’s time and enhance your business’s profitability. How will you determine if automation and outsourcing are effective? That’s why it is necessary to analyze pre-established metrics such as KPIs.

What key performance indicators (KPIs) can you rely on? Employee or departmental productivity can indicate an increase in overall worker performance. Error rates can also indicate whether automation or outsourcing brings us closer to perfection.

No matter which KPIs you mention, make sure to track them. This will allow you to identify anomalies and promptly address undesired outcomes.

4. Avoid negative corporate culture repercussions and anxiety

It may seem logical that your employees will embrace automation and outsourcing. However, employees may sometimes become anxious about being replaced by technology or other experts.

Be sure to take the time to explain the value of automation and outsourcing to your team. If you discover that people are concerned, focus on celebrating your team’s accomplishments once repetitive tasks no longer burden them.

For example, consider regularly giving out service awards and bonuses. Doing so will help everyone relax and may also suggest other ways to maintain your competitive edge.

Automation and outsourcing are not exclusive to large enterprises. They’re also suitable for startups and small companies. And they could be the key to your business becoming an industry leader.

Mike Szczesny

Mike Szczesny is the owner and vice president of EDCO Awards & Specialties, a dedicated supplier of employee recognition products, branded merchandise, and athletic awards. Szczesny takes pride in EDCO's ability to help companies go the extra mile in expressing gratitude and appreciation to their employees. He resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.