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September 13, 2018
Marketing  |  5 min read

7 Time-Sucking Office Tasks that Can and Should be Automated

by John Rampton

Office tasks like administrative jobs, invoicing, and HR processes take a lot of time. Why? Because the old-school way of doing them involved a lot of manual work, paper, and redundant activities. You need office automation so these time-sucking tasks don’t take you away from the more important parts of a business—like finding and nurturing customers, making money, and thinking up and developing additional products and service ideas.

Save time and money by downloading The Small Business Office Automation Guide

Here are seven office tasks that can be automated with relative ease:

Customer information collection and organization

Before automation, this task would require paper, manual data entry, and a lot of time for organizing, segmenting, and updating. Instead, automation lets your customers and prospects enter their information on a website form that can be uploaded to a database and made available for many departments to use. This automation process can also help you separate your customers by various preferences so they can receive only the offers or information that they would be most interested in, thereby enhancing your marketing efforts and results.

Customer follow-up

Whether you’re sending a thank-you note or need to follow up on a particular sales call, trust office automation software to do things like send out reminders at designated times so you stay current and not miss an important date.

Contracts and agreements

You most likely produce some type of project contract or agreement that requires signatures and processing. These forms involve paper and a lot of time tracking them down to get signed and returned. By automating repetitive tasks related to this, you’ll spend less time asking for the paperwork back because you can use automated reminders. Plus, let's face it, people tend to immediately sign and return digital forms rather than paper ones.

Estimates and invoices

This type of paperwork takes a lot of time to create, then send, and then wait for some response like an agreement or payment. You can improve this process through office automation by setting up quotes and invoices that deliver digital reminders, recurring invoicing, and automatic payment dates. This not only cuts out the time you have to spend on these tasks, but you’ll also experience more efficient workflow and greater cash flow.  

Bill payments

Every company has bills to pay. These bills have typically been paid with handwritten business checks or a credit card. By automating repetitve tasks in the bill payment process, you can set up times of the month where the funds are automatically withdrawn. Not only does this reduce the amount of time you spend paying bills, it also ensures you’re never late on a payment.

New hire screening and paperwork

Many HR processes are very time-consuming and require copious amounts of paperwork that must be manually filled out. Many of these forms ask for the same information. This can become a big burden, especially when a company is expanding rapidly and hiring a significant amount of new staff. The process of screening new hires also is time-intensive. Automation will reduce the time you spend on reading each application or resume by using a system that immediately cuts out any irrelevant applicants. The automation software also allows your new hires to fill out basic information that is then populated across all the necessary forms and filled in digitally. This leaves more time for HR to focus on motivation and retention strategies as well as handle other critical people issues.

Appointments and meetings

In some companies, it could take hours to manage all the necessary appointments and meetings. With office automation software, you can significantly reduce those hours by letting the software handle schedules, appointment bookings, and reminders. This reduces the need for calendar comparisons and extraneous emails that go back and forth to find the best availability.

In summary: Office automation is awesome

Whether you are an office of one or have multiple teams in multiple locations, the automation process makes sense. Reducing time spent on these tasks saves money, redirects talent to more profitable tasks, curbs stress and drives productivity, and minimizes the adverse impact of human error.

John Rampton, founder of the payments company Due.jpeg

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru, and startup enthusiast. He is the founder of the payments company  Due.

 


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