Can automation help untangle the ‘red tape’ holding your business back?

Running a business involves data management. It’s a fact. Without it, you can find yourself snared in the ‘red tape’ of human rights, employee management, privacy policies and data management.

So, what is the key to dealing with bureaucratic rules and formalities? In a word: automation. Or, more specifically, a touch of automation software to help organise your data, sync it to the right destination and ship it to the right people.

Tangled skein of data

The information you need is somewhere in your company system. It’s buried in your emails, surrounded by the clutter of inventory data, broken up and muddled in with your customer service folders and all the other data you’ve collected over the course of many years. But how can you or your agents find it?

Department teams all need different access to snippets of the same information. For example, a technical support agent searching for a user’s licence code has no interest in that customer’s marketing preferences. Likewise, a marketer looking to issue a newsletter probably isn’t too interested in things like support ticket history.

So, your company’s data inevitably ends up fractured and distributed across departments, with varying levels of confidentiality permissions, file organisation, display strategies and language styles. This waste of employee time seems unavoidable as things stand.

Fear not

Death by data needn’t be a mandatory part of office life. By introducing automation, that mess of data from emails, social media, websites, texts and even phone calls can not only be extracted, but also organised.

Now, by ‘automation’, we’re not talking about robots or complex AI-powered machines. You can still picture an automated assembly line, but try envisioning one that sorts through words and numbers instead of products and packages.

Automation can be your right hand for admin. It can automatically update your databases — while your employees get on with furthering the growth of your business. Leave software in place to trawl through that black hole of information and build your databases for you. It will fix your clutter problem and prevent it from recurring.

It doesn’t stop there

Let’s go back to the assembly line image. Raw data comes in at the start of the line. Business process automation software then analyses its content and performs a relevant, rule-based action based on the words it finds.

Like an intelligent robotic arm, automation software can connect to your inboxes, to your telephony systems, to your CRM, and to your spreadsheets. And, like a bot, you can program it to act on triggers and perform routine tasks.

In terms of office efficiency, this is an obvious time saver. More importantly, however, automation increases the ease with which your departments can communicate and share intelligence. With automation software, your data is manipulated into a coherent database in moments.

Automatic privacy

So, automation has already universalised your data storage methods, and now everyone uses the same system. This helps you because it increases ease of access to information when you and your employees need it. But what about managing privacy?

When it comes to privacy law, every company has its own complex privacy policy.  Why not automate processes to make following that policy easier? Privacy is important both inside and outside your business. On the customer side, you have the customer’s data — such as purchase information, contact details and login information — to keep safe. Automation software can help with that.

For example, you can set up a method of identity verification for your customers, which uses automated text messaging. Software can text a code to a customer, which they can enter into your site during login changes to verify that they have a right to the information. This is not only effortless for you and your employees, but it increases customers’ confidence in your security.

A sensitive subject

Much of the data you hold will be sensitive. Fortunately, automation can improve both internal and external privacy issues related to sensitive data management. Automating the extraction and organisation of sensitive data limits the number of people access to the information, and user provisioning provides an effective method of controlling who gets these access rights. The software can control access and distribute information only to those that need it and can use it.

Furthermore, the automatic forwarding of data to the relevant employee means that agents don’t have to chase up the information they need to fill out official documents, cutting through red tape restrictions.

Under EU data protection laws, an employee should know when and where you store any data pertaining to them. Instead of wasting the time needed to manually alert your employees, your team leaders or HR department can set up automatic bespoke emails. These would alert employees of any personal/sensitive data collected, as well as automatically categorising and forwarding requests for access to personal data. In this instance, automation software can cut out the middleman in sensitive data management.

Employee management

As you’ve no doubt gathered, automation can help your human resources department take care of your employees. What it cannot do is replace them entirely.

So, in what areas can automation streamline employee management to help your HR team work best? Well, let’s use a recruitment example. You’re hiring, so HR needs to manage applications and organise interviews. With business process automation software, they can have all web submissions monitored, parsed for keywords pertaining to the job and then scored based on suitability. Relevant applications can then be added to a central mailbox, or used to populate an automated invitation to interview.

Naturally, you wouldn’t want a piece of software to go on and interview the candidate. That’s where you need the human touch, and where technology could not assist. Automation simply speeds the time taken to get from A to B.

Untangled red tape

Automation can help you deal with repetitive, routine admin. By organising and categorising your data, automation software makes areas like recruitment, employee management and data protection a whole lot simpler.

The benefits for your business are clear. Automation organises the information that allows you and your employees to look after each other (almost) effortlessly, leaving you more time to look after your customers too.

That official ‘red tape’ isn’t just untangled. With business process automation software, those time-consuming jobs are wrapped up in a neat red bow.