March 30, 2020

What is Office Automation? Your Complete Guide

Automation Solutions
↩ Back to Blog Homepage

At the hands of technology and human innovation, workplaces continuously improve productivity and efficiency. There’s no doubt as to how automation and software tools can help organisations optimise their day to day operations. Yet, a lot of companies find themselves reluctant to introduce technology or shake up the status quo. Luckily, office automation has reached a point where these systems seamlessly integrate into existing tool stacks and have a low learning curve for employees. 

As a business leader, it’s up to you to take count of what currently works and doesn’t work within your office walls. It’s more than likely that you already have office automation tools working for you, but let’s dig deeper into what office automation can do for your business. 

What is Office Automation?

First things first, let’s define what office automation means. Office automation is a general term that describes the different types of computer systems and software that are used to collect digitally, store, transfer, alter and utilise office information to execute tasks. In essence, office automation helps to manage data.

Office automation allows data to move without human intervention. Since humans are left out of the equation, there is no risk of manual error. What once began with a typewriter has evolved into a myriad of automation and electronic tools that have changed how people work. 

Office Automation: The Basics

There is are a lot of different aspects of office automation, but they can be easily divided into the following categories: 

  • Information storage: This includes the recording of information, like forms, documents, files, images and spreadsheets. Information storage generally exists in formats of word processors or spreadsheets, but it can also be more sophisticated like records in a CMS or automation software tool like SolveXia
  • Data exchange: Systems allow for the real-time exchange of information, such as fax machines or emails. Automation software tools also fit into this category as you can easily share information and send reports between people. 
  • Data management: Office automation must also be easily manageable between different parties and relevant information. As such, office automation systems can handle short-term and long-term data, including financial plans, marketing expenditures, inventory management, etc. 

Office Automation: The Benefits

Businesses rely on a little or a lot of office automation tools. Regardless of the extent, the benefits are expansive, namely:

  • Reduction of manual effort to achieve tasks
  • Minimisation of human and manual errors
  • Decreased processing time for task completion 
  • Enhanced transparency and process improvement abilities 
  • Better decision-making based on data and forecasts
  • Enhanced metrics and KPI monitoring 
  • Increased employee satisfaction and communication 
  • Results in better customer service 

The Necessary Pieces to Automate

When bringing automation into your organisation, you will face two big decisions. For starters, what do you want to automate? Secondly, what tool is the right tool to do the trick? 

There are primary important change management considerations that should be addressed when introducing a new technology tool which includes: an understanding of the tool itself/its purpose, adequate training / a positive mindset on behalf of those who will use it. 

Let’s take a look at how to accomplish all of this. 

1. Choosing the Right Tool 

The best automation tools have a lot of necessary attributes. Here is how automation tools can assist your business, such as Solvexia, a human analytical automation tool.

  • Easy workflow design: Automation tools should make your employees’ lives easier and not more complicated. This means that workflows and their design should be intuitive to use. The tool can complete your internal processes like account reconciliation, for example, without requiring an IT team or anyone to code the procedure. Instead, you can choose from a library of commands and put together any process easily. 
  • Mobile compatibility: These days, employees and business leaders are always on the go. Having a tool that is mobile compatible and accessible means that you don’t miss any exchange of information when you are out of the office or away from your computer. 
  • Software integration: You probably already have office automation tools working for your business. Whether it be Slack, Google Sheets, Dropbox, Salesforce, Mailchimp or any other software, it’s best when these tools can speak to one another. 
  • Reports and analytics: You’ll want to be able to measure if your tools are working in your favour consistently. Software solutions with reports and analytics can take care of this management aspect for you. Not only will these tools provide analytics based on your data and day-to-day business, but you can also create internal reports that show how many hours have been spent on one task, for example. 
  • Access control: With any software that touches data, one of the most critical considerations is control and security. Tools like SolveXia allow for access control, meaning that you can restrict and grant access to only those who should have it. You are also able to see who made any change to data and when so that audit trails are valid and accurate. 

2. Providing Proper Training 

The right tool works only when people are on board. For those in your organisation who manage different processes, automation tools will help alleviate the burden of any manual and repetitive tasks. It first requires proper training and understanding of how the tool works. The best software on the market not only design for easy to use interfaces, but they also provide training and support. 

Proper training works best for those who are open to it. As a business leader, you can help to support a culture that is open to change and constant improvement. One way to do this is to practice continuous process improvement

Types of Office Automation Tools

Office automation spans all aspects of a business’ operations virtually. There are tools to support:

Facility Management: 

Gain the ability to grant or deny access to your facilities remotely. Example: Kisi 

  • Access management
  • Visitor management
  • Service
  • Membership
  • Room scheduling

Staffing: 

Use automation to onboard employees and approve contracts. Example: Workable 

  • Contracts
  • Hiring
  • Rostering
  • Onboarding

Productivity: 

Store, share and collaborate regarding notes and essential information. Zapier can connect various productivity apps to talk to one another. 

  • Notes
  • Office supplies
  • Events catering

Communication: 

Try Google’s suite for emails and document sharing. 

  • Responding to enquiries
  • Writing fewer emails

Administrative: 

Use software tools like SolveXia to manage repetitive tasks, consolidate data from all legacy systems in one place, automate accounting and real-time analysis plus more. 

  • Collect and organise data
  • Streamline repetitive tasks
  • Less time on paperwork
  • On top of billing, expenses and invoicing

Appointments and Scheduling: 

Avoid back and forth, emailing for scheduling. Instead, try a tool like Calendly that can help automate schedules. 

  • Schedule appointments automatically
  • Emails before and after appointments

The Bottom Line 

Office automation plays a significant role in both daily processes, as well as process optimisation. Organisations can utilise office automation on a variety of forefronts. Automation tools such as SolveXia can help increase productivity ten-fold. The tools and technology help work together to streamline workflows, communication, and collaboration. 

More posts from SolveXia

Process Improvement
Define Process Improvement & Why it Matters
By being able to define process improvement and implement one of the many methodologies, your business will benefit from optimisation.
Read more »
Process Improvement
Process Mapping Tools: Essential Guide
Process mapping tools exist to help business function at optimal levels. Here's what you need to know about process mapping tools.
Read more »
Data Analysis Methods
Transform Data: Definition, Tips, Your Path to Success
Data transformation is a necessary step to glean accurate insights from your data. Automation tools are designed to help.
Read more »

Reach Out and Start Automating Today

Try it Free