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5 Business Processes Every SMB Should Automate

According to a study conducted by Salesforce, 1 in 3 small businesses in UK still rely on paper filing systems and 1 in 4 small businesses aren’t using any system at all. On the contrary, a study by Xerox says, 47% of SMBs confess that their business priority in 2017 is to increase productivity through improved workflow and business processes, by cutting paper out of the way. The noteworthy point is that 43% of the respondents are from the UK. Hence, it is evident that SMBs in the UK have now started looking out for systems to handle their business processes better and more efficiently. Among all the business processes, the following are the 5 which every SMB should automate:

  1. Purchase order management:

This is the most crucial process in any SMB and is prudence-intensive. A petty mistake would disrupt the whole process and thereby would incur loss. Most SMBs do the mistake of handling this critical process manually and with papers, which turns the process tedious and more susceptible to errors. Also, when requests start pouring from many vendors, the paper forms and manual handling of processes, eventually makes the lives of the finance team miserable. Automation can dramatically cut down the time spent over the purchase order management process, while making it error-free as well.

  1. Employee onboarding:

Employee satisfaction has a direct impact on the growth of any organization. Hence, it is essential to make the employee onboarding process as simplified as possible. Unfortunately, most SMBs thwart their employees by insisting them to fill paper forms over and over, which also ruins their first impression about the organization. Automating the whole process would give the new joinees a stellar experience and also help them in getting up to speed in a shorter time. Besides, it’s not just about gladdening your employees. When you’re team is small , say about 10-20 members, the mainstream way of welcoming employees may work. However, as you expand the team, your HR professionals will have a very tough time too.

  1. Vacation request:

When you think of vacation, it’d give you immense joy, but it lasts only till you contemplate the leave request procedure. From an employee standpoint, that is the most pesky process, as the request has to go through multiple people like HR, the manager and if required, via the department head. By and large, this process is handled through emails, which is not an ideal method, as there are all contingencies that the leave request email gets lost among the glut of other emails in the inbox. Automation simplifies the process to the fullest, keeps every stakeholder of the process on the same page and gets the request approved in a matter of few minutes, without having to follow up on the same.

  1. Travel expense approval:

This is one of the most time-consuming processes in an organization whose employees ought to travel often. Handling the reimbursement process manually is going to take days, weeks or even months for the requestor to receive the amount. Also, validating the expenses is going to be a mind-bending process for the finance team. All these hassles would be eradicated by automating the process, as it enables the requestor to digitally attach the bills, that makes it easy for the manager to approve the request and for the Finance team to validate the expenses. This turns the whole process easy and saves a lot of time for all the stakeholders, which lets them focus on productive tasks.

  1. Payment approval:

Manual payment approval process is another complex process which incurs a lot of time, while suffering a lack of visibility of the invoice details. Generally, the accounts payable team is not provided with the complete details, which increases the likelihood of the process becoming erroneous. On the flip side, even the smallest of mistakes would become pesky enough to ruin the life of the team. Besides, the team gets pressured by the vendors for the payment. Automation circumvents this problem, by delving into the invoice details, thereby making the whole process more efficient, fast and error-free. Unsettled invoices can be routed automatically for discrepancy handling.  

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