Is there such thing as “over automation”?

on 28 January, 2019

In today’s society we are overrun with technology. But within a business, you cannot beat human interaction and personal understanding of your business’s facts and figures, according to Mike Cockfield.

Bring back clarity and control

A unified business management solution will enable you to take your business to the next level. As a successful entrepreneur, or business leader, you know that there are limits to how far you can take your business with the range of disparate solutions you started out with. Excel, QuickBooks and your website’s CMS, for example, can only get you so far. Implementing ERP software will enable you to streamline your processes, whilst also giving you access to the data and integrated functionality that you need in which to grow your sales.

In a nutshell, a business management system is designed to make your life easier, help improve accuracy and share information with you that will essentially help to run your business, all from within one piece of software.

Positive Automation

There are several automated processes for businesses to utilise in this omni-channel world we live in. From automated emails to update customers regarding invoices, to accurately predicting stock availability and confirming delivery date, retailers need to be able to market their product accurately across all channels at all times. The key to this is to trust your stock control and be able to share your available stock figures with each of the channels you are selling through. This type of real-time stock visibility enables you to deliver on the promises that you’ve made to your customers.

Additionally, having visibility of key data is fundamental. With a comprehensive range of tools, the ability to automatically distribute reports will ensure you have constant access to the vital metrics within your business that will then enable you to grow. With the ability to manage your entire business from within one piece of software, integrating your finances, sales order processing, marketing, stock control and purchasing in one central system, you’d think you were good to go.

But is there such thing as too much automation? Automation is designed to assist you, not run the business for you.

Technology Overload

In today’s society we are overrun with technology. But within a business, you can’t beat human interaction and personal understanding of your business’s facts and figures. Endless technology runs the risk of you losing sight and control of what is going on.

It is key to remember that a Business Management Solution/ERP is designed to give you back clarity and control, not remove it. For example, if a particular item you sell drops below a certain stock level, you can automatically have the management system generate a purchase order to send on to your supplier. If that purchase order is then automatically sent to the supplier, with no human intervention, you could easily neglect what’s going on.

If that particular product isn’t actually selling all that well, or becomes discontinued, the system will automatically be regenerating stock orders, when really you no longer want to stock high quantities of that item. You’ve forgotten that you have set up a process to re-order low stock and all of a sudden you have a lorry full of items you no longer want.

Efficient Application

Utilise the system to discover new trends, which channel is working most efficiently, what types of people are buying the products and what profit are you generating from these. Do not rely on technology to run the business for you. You need to be in control and utilise technology to enhance the business, rather than lead it.

It is essential to stay ahead of the wave by trying new things, from new channels to delivery models - but don’t lose sight of the customer in the process.

Sign Up

For the Builders' Merchants News enewsletter.

In the spotlight

We have vacancies all over the UK for those who work within the Building Supplies sector.