Relying on paper-based “systems” and constantly having to do repetitive admin tasks are among some of the many reasons why a food and beverage business won't achieve maximum production efficiency.
We know that mundane admin work can eat up most of your time and prevent you from getting more done during a work-day. According to DataQlick, only 20% of the working day is spent on important tasks, while 80% is wasted on jobs that have little or no value. This is where automation becomes important.
Automation can dramatically improve your processes and change the way your business operates.
So, what exactly is automation and how can it help you streamline your business processes?
"The creation and application of technology to monitor and control the production and delivery of products and services.”
When you automate your repetitive tasks and jobs that require manual and extensive labour, you free up some of your time, which you can then spend on things that bring even more value to your business. Automation doesn’t only improve your efficiency by helping you finish more tasks, it also helps reduce your labour costs and increase your production output.
Bear in mind, however, that complete automation doesn’t always work for every business. You need to look at your current business processes first and identify if there are steps that really need automation before you adopt this efficiency boosting strategy. Typically, the kind of tasks that you can automate are those that are repetitive and include a series of anticipated steps. Here are some good examples:
1. SENDING REMINDERS
Regularly notifying your customers of when their retail orders are due is a time-consuming task but it's also a good one to automate so you no longer have to manually schedule the reminders and send them yourself. There are a lot of tools on the market that can help you with this type of automation. An order management system is an excellent way to easily and effectively notify your customers of important order times and due dates. B2B ordering app Ordermentum can automatically send text messages to your relevant customers an hour before the order cutoff time to remind them to place their orders.
2. TAKING RETAIL ORDERS
As a food wholesaler or supplier, one critical and regular task is taking customer orders and entering them in to your system. This too, can be automated and you can completely eliminate paper order forms and complicated spreadsheets, and bring your entire ordering workflow online. This move doesn’t only make you more efficient, it also reduces costly errors associated with encoding data manually.
A dedicated order management system can also help you execute this. Ordermentum enables you to take retails orders and manage all of them in an easy-to-use dashboard. The system lets your customers place their orders anywhere and anytime they want through a mobile app platform which essentially enables your business to be open 24/7 without the extra paperwork headache! The orders will automatically appear in your system in real time, eliminating the need for manual data entry.
3. CREATING AND SENDING INVOICES
If there is one repetitive admin task that is super easy to automate, it’s sending invoices. There are a number of tech tools that can instantly generate invoices once a customer places their order and can automatically send them straight to their email inboxes. Among the most popular are MYOB and Xero.
Xero lets you create and customise the look of your invoices using their slick templates. They save and automatically send recurring invoices for you so you can reduce your manual data entry and speed up your invoicing process, saving you more time!
4. CHASING PAYMENTS
Chasing payments can be awkward and very time-consuming. Fortunately, you can have this uncomfortable task automated. By leveraging payment systems, you can start charging your customers automatically through credit cards, debit cards, or direct debit. This will save you a huge amount of time and will help you get paid faster, too, which is good for your cash flow.
Automation can improve your production efficiency. It frees up your time and eliminates repetitive admin work so you can focus more on other business critical tasks as well as getting back to doing the things that you love most.
Have we missed anything?Let us know what tech tools you are already using to automate day-to-day tasks in your business.
In the meantime, if you’d like to read more business advice like this, simply visit our blog.