Whenever you are building an app, your business must think about adding employee productivity through features that make their work easier. Automation is important in the business world today due to the availability of technology and expectations from users. A single automation feature may be the difference between an app being widely used or not getting any traction after its launch. But how should a business go about deciding what automation features to build? There are constraints such as development time, costs, and ensuring the app is not too feature-heavy and bulky?
Tasks to Automate
In your business, the following characteristics indicate that a task is prime for automation.
Repetitive– Tasks that employees have to do manually over and over are great to start with. These tasks include downloading and uploading files, transferring data, and sending reminders to employees.
Boring Tasks– Tasks that do not engage employees mentally are boring and can easily make people become detached from their work. Automating such tasks and allocating more meaningful work to employees will increase motivation in the staff.
Regular or Frequent Tasks– Tasks that occur at regular intervals can also be automated. For instance, if the company requires weekly reports of each sales team member and the whole team, it’s easy to automate the generation of such reports from the billing system or another primary source. This will greatly relieve the team from having to do extra paperwork each week.
Rules-Based Tasks– These are tasks that follow a logical sequence. They are pretty straightforward and easy to delegate to a bot. For instance, incoming emails can be redirected to the right people based on their subject matter. Such things as reminders would fall in this category whereby people are nudged to complete tasks if the deadline draws near, and they haven’t delivered or communicated.
Software-Based Tasks– Tasks that require communication between two applications are also prime candidates for automation. Such things as synchronization of data between two Software as a Service (cloud applications) need no human intervention.
Time-Consuming Tasks– There are certain tasks that take up too much time to complete but they have little effect on the bottom line. Automating them would save the company numerous man-hours. For instance, consider scouring the internet each month to find information on the average performance of certain companies. This can take time. However, it’s possible to create a feature that tracks those metrics from the different sources in real-time.
Automation Features to Build
With these characteristics in mind, here are some features you can build to help automate tasks in your organization.
Scheduling of Posts
Content is an important part of marketing in organizations today. Whether content is for social media or for your blog, there is a team of people charged with creating and curating such content. It is highly likely that they create social media posts and blogs in batches and then post them later. This works well when the organization follows a content calendar. You can include a scheduling feature so that your posts go live at the appointed time. Your team then can concentrate on creating content whenever it’s most convenient for them or whenever the creative spark hits.
It’s quite tiring to keep plowing through online publications, social media, and other platforms to look for company mentions, competitor activity, or trends. You can use information aggregation tools to have that information compiled and sent as an email regularly. The responsible party then takes minutes to go through the email and make their assessment.
What if you could have the inbuilt analytics tool send a weekly report regarding activity on your app or website? It’s a much more effective approach than trying to have a tab open to keep an eye on real-time activity on the backend dashboard. You can customize the report to show the metrics you really care about. Such reports can show the important sources of your traffic, your peak days and hours, the most important pages, and any chokepoints in the users’ experience.
If you are building an e-commerce application for your business, some of the automation features should help boost revenue. If customers had a cart with items but they did not checkout, a nudge through a push notification may prompt them to complete the purchase. The app should also integrate with your email marketing system so that offers and coupons sent are based on the customers’ activity on the e-commerce app.
On the e-commerce app, you should automate the process of responding to inquiries through AI-powered bots and setting up tickets. Customers should not have to call or send emails.
Backing Up Files
If an application to aid in the organizational workflow stores important information, it’s important to have such information backed up in a cloud storage. The process of synchronizing app information with cloud storage should automatically happen at regular intervals and without human intervention.
An often-tiresome task is having to email clients to request them to pay outstanding invoices. You can automate this feature so that clients get reminders a few days before the due dates. The business itself can also schedule certain bills for automatic payments to avoid service interruptions or problems with vendors.
Case Management Feature
A case management approach is ideal for dealing with scenarios where unstructured data is involved. It’s also useful when there is a mix of human interaction as well as technology in the completion of tasks. For instance, when an incident arises within an organization, a ticket may be raised, and certain people will be expected to handle it. A case management feature allows the management to track the various stages an issue passes through until resolution. Other use cases of the feature included in the onboarding of new staff and vendors, management of claims from customers, and ensuring regulatory compliance.
Challenges Businesses Face in Automation
Whereas it’s easy to enumerate the benefits of automation features in an app, the reality is always different for the development team. First, they have to pick the right tasks to automate based mostly on the return on investment. However, this is not always the case. For instance, automating a task may reduce the need for human labor to handle the task. Yet, the cost of building the feature may be more than the cost of the human effort. However, in the long run, allowing those people to handle other higher-level tasks may bring in bigger returns than the initial cost of the feature.
Automation projects also need to get buy-in from employees. The organization may try to solve a bigger problem using fragmented automation tools. This could lead to a complicated workflow with glitches and numerous interruptions. It can easily lead to frustration on the part of employees.
Automation of a single process cannot happen in isolation. It’s better to design solutions with a bigger picture in mind, including how existing laws may affect them.
If your organization is seeking to build automation features, you need an experienced and world-class software development company. NS804 is a leading mobile business application development company. Reach out to us for a free consultation on your automation needs.