Web Application - Automation
Briefly about internet applications
I think that no one needs to describe for the millionth time what is a web application.
What I would like to point out are the benefits of using web applications:
- no need to take a computer with us with the firmware installed,
- access to your company data from anywhere in the world,
- the ability to check important data even from a mobile phone.
As entrepreneurs operating today, we must take into account our mobility and flexibility to changing market factors. I do not think this trend will go in any other direction than the increasing integration of our business with technology. I even think that in the next decade, innovation in the company will be on a par with marketing. But enough about applications, let's read about what these applications can really give us.
The benefits of automation
One of the greatest benefits of using the application in the company is the automation of repetitive processes, thus saving time and minimizing errors during data processing. We will characterize some of them using a simple application to process your clients' data:
- repeatability of processes - when entering data into the IT system, thanks to the use of forms, we obtain constant repeatability of the entered data,
- flexibility - in the course of running a business, it is almost certain that some changes will occur, thanks to the fact that we have data in electronic form, we are able to easily adapt them to new requirements,
- fewer mistakes - while entering the data can be automatically validated by the system, thanks to which we minimize the number of mistakes,
- scalability - the same data can be processed by many people and automatic processes,
- more time and savings - although the application may seem like a big expense at the beginning, after some time we will start to notice benefits and real savings.
Automation of contacts with customers
One of the examples where we can use a web application as an automation tool is the contact with customers. These types of systems are known as CRM. This is obviously an English abbreviation (Customer Relationship Management). What can such a system do? Well, a lot, I will give a few simple examples.
The first is communication with the client. The system can fully integrate with an e-mail account, thanks to which it will receive and send messages grouped into the appropriate category. It is not difficult to lead to a situation where when we have 100 customers and we contact them at least once a week, these specific messages simply disappeared in the maze of our inbox. I do not have to mention that we can filter these messages by looking for some key terms or sort by date or appropriate priorities. Automation is not yet visible, but the more data we enter into the system, the more we can get. For example, imagine a situation that we want to send a new promotional offer to the most active customers, i.e. those who have contacted us in the last 90 days. It's easy for such a system. The system will search for such customers and send a promotional offer to each of them.
Another example is something similar to what I described above, but using a different means of communication, namely a telephone. After installing an additional application on the phones of our sellers, the system can monitor calls made and received from our customers and send and receive SMS. What can it do for us? Well, we can set the system so that it sends notifications to the sales manager that a customer waits for a response longer than 6 hours, thanks to which we can react to such a situation.
Another example is arranging meetings with clients and integrating with the company's calendar. The system can analyze the effectiveness of such meetings and the occupancy of the calendars of individual salespeople. In addition, it can alert sellers to attempting to book consecutive appointments at intervals that prevent you from reaching the venue at the specified time.
The last but also a very important example of the use of CRM is collecting feedback from customers automatically. The system can do this periodically after each contact event or after a specified number of contacts. It will automatically record customer responses, and with the appropriate definition of questions, it can also analyze the customer satisfaction index.
Automation of ordering
Let's imagine that we already have an application that manages the sales processes in your company. However, it is an internal application used by sellers, warehouse workers and courier companies. Currently, customers order goods by phone or direct sale. The 2020 pandemic has shown us that this solution has significant disadvantages. So how to enable the further sales process without involving direct sellers or call centers or expand the current sales target also on the Internet?
The solution to all these problems can be a dedicated website, let's call it a small online store, through which customers are able to make and pay for the purchase, and all information goes to the main system that you currently use in your company.
What do you get:
- full automation of orders placed, thanks to which your employees have more time to perform more important tasks or you can even minimize the costs associated with the management of these orders,
- after making a purchase, you can send customer surveys assessing the purchasing process and the product itself,
- automation of the after-sales process by automatic sending of e-mails regarding order details and payment,
- you do not have to build the application from scratch and incur higher costs, but integrate the store with the existing application.
Automation of counting working time
Another example of automation thanks to the use of a web application can be presented on the example of an application for counting the working time of employees.
Suppose you are the owner of a factory, shop or other enterprise where employees come to the workplace at a specific time and work according to the planned schedule. If there are five employees, it is not a big problem to make sure that everyone came at the specified time and worked for the specified time. The problem with supervision appears when there are more than 20, 50 or even 100 or more employees.
How can you solve such a problem with one application? Well, each employee receives a card (generated by the application) with a unique code. Then, when entering or leaving the workplace, he is obliged to scan his card, the application will do the rest.
What can we gain:
- very big time savings,
- financial savings, we do not have to hire a person who would be responsible for the registration of your employees' working time
- current information on the number of people at work,
- the possibility of keeping a work schedule, holidays, sick leaves, etc.,
- employees can access their schedules through the application, which minimizes human errors resulting from failure to provide information,
- the system can automatically calculate salaries and order transfers to the bank,
- the possibility of integrating the application with ZUS,
- the ability to report efficiency and many others.
Is it worth investing in the automation of your company? I think this description leaves no doubt.
Automation of preparing offers for customers
In my work, I often come across inquiries from clients regarding the preparation of a dedicated application for them. It can be said that this process of preparing an offer is a repetitive process, of course, personalized for the client, but some elements in web or mobile applications are repeated. If something repeats itself to a greater or lesser extent, you can use automation to speed up this task.
An example of such automation will be the application that we prepared for one of our clients. The purpose of the application was to prepare service points based on the entered vehicle data, which could be modified and improved in the car. What previously took about an hour has been reduced to a few minutes. Of course, the application not only generates offers but is also a simple CRM system that maintains customer relations, reminds about the next service dates and sends notifications to customers.
So what can we achieve by using this type of application:
- saving time,
- quick edition and update of offers,
- the ability to prepare offers in a few minutes without even being in the office,
- maintaining the history of contacts with customers,
- sending additional marketing offers within a specified period of time (e.g. the appearance of new software).
So is it worth getting interested in automation in the company? First of all, the time that we can save is priceless. If the company is in a stable position, I think that such an application will have a positive impact on its further development.