Business Automation: Inefficiencies Are Eating Your Profits

May 10, 2016 • 3 min read

Here at Townsquared, we’re big fans of business automation for all the mundane and time-consuming tasks that can be automated. Of course, being able to automate a task that used to suck up your time is always a win, but it’s an especially big win for small business owners, who always have a ton of things to do and never enough time in which to do them. To that end, we present this list of five areas in which using manual processes is making your life (a lot) harder. Get automatin’!

This content was originally posted over on the Stitch Labs blog and was written by Stitch Labs’ CEO Brandon Levey.

Are your retail operations functioning as efficiently as they should be? If you’re unsure or you think they’re ‘good enough,’ you are incurring unnecessary costs that are eating away at your company’s bottom line—especially if you’re using manual processes to track your inventory.

Manually entering orders is error prone, and errors affect your bottom line. Providing your operations team with the right tools to automate processes not only increases their productivity, but decreases the inevitable errors that come from manual input. If your business is selling products on multiple channels and operating multiple warehouses while still manually managing inventory, you’re falling behind competitors. Entrepreneur found that companies can increase their profitability by 20-50 percent or more through careful inventory management. Here are a few reasons why you should pay attention to how your operations team is handling inventory management:

Human error is the leading cause of inventory issues: We recently surveyed over 150 customers to find out the leading cause of inventory or fulfillment issues, and 62 percent responded with human error. Without automated systems and integrated platforms, you’re more susceptible to the negative repercussions of human error.

Out-of-stocks are expensive: Out-of-stocks, overstocks, and returns are costing retailers $1.1 trillion per year. If you’re using manual or inefficient processes, your revenue is contributing to that number. Automated systems with multichannel integrations can sync and centralize your inventory, establish low stock alerts, and provide real-time visibility into stock counts and order statuses.

One mistake can have a ripple effect with your customer base: If your team is manually inputting information into disparate systems, mistakes are bound to happen. Eighty nine percent of customers stop doing business with a company after a bad experience, and customers are twice as likely to share a negative experience with their social network(s) than a positive one. Additionally, it would take 12 positive reviews to make up for the 1 negative review and convince consumers that the issue was solved.

You’re wasting time with spreadsheets: A Ventana research study shows that on average, people spend 12 hours per person, per month consolidating, modifying, and correcting their spreadsheets. With 12 hours per team member, that adds up to a lot of time your employees could be spending on helping to scale your operations and improve productivity.

Your systems should be integrated: The Aberdeen Group found that 36 percent of retailers increased their customer conversion rate by making sure all sales and service channels integrated with each other. Tracking processes using disparate systems is unnecessary when so many platforms offer value-adding plugins and integrations.

It’s hard to grasp the importance of automation when you aren’t managing your business’ day-to-day operations and logistics, but the proof is in the data: inefficient or antiquated processes are costing you money and time. In order to reduce human error, improve efficiency, and increase profitability, you need an inventory management system that will automate processes, integrate with your other applications, and streamline your multichannel sales.


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