Today’s repair shops have a lot to deal with – fixing devices, ordering stock, scheduling appointments, contacting customers, managing bookkeeping, and so much more. It often gets overwhelming, easily taking you a couple of hours on each task. That’s what you need to do to run your repair shop. But because the repair business is so busy, it stands to benefit immensely from process automation.
Business process automation is a highly-efficient way to keep the gears running at your repair shop. It’s become the main staple for all sorts of business owners and companies looking to simplify their operations and generate more sales. If your repair shop doesn’t have some form of automation already, you should definitely consider putting some model in place. To help you see the benefits of process automation, we’ve listed down some of its major advantages for you. With automation in place, you’ll be able to see firsthand how it helps you save money at your repair shop.
Check out our podcast episode with Israel Quintal, Co-Founder and CEO of AdCentral, where we discuss the importance of automation and processes.
What exactly is business process automation?
Let’s first look at what business process automation really is and why you should definitely invest in it. As the name suggests, business process automation is the practice of digitally transforming or “automating” your procedures. It is used to essentially streamline repetitive and complex tasks so that they can be made simpler.
In today’s environment, almost every business has some form of repetitive task that needs to be done again and again. You can’t really ignore them because they’re important, but they do end up being major timesinks. Because these tasks are so demanding, you often end up working on them more than maybe reviewing the business or growing it. So it makes sense to cut down on the workload and make things easier for yourself and your staff. That’s where process automation comes in.
Automation is a great way to minimize manual processes and have everything run smoothly in a business. Anything that you can think of that will require you to work on it manually can benefit from process automation. It’s a way to speed up work greatly. You’ll rid yourself of repetitive tasks and can focus on more important things.
How can process automation help your repair shop?
Like any successful business, you want to simplify routine tasks as much as possible for an easier time. Process automation lets you do that and reap a whole range of benefits when implemented. Here’s a couple of things that will enable your repair business to do better.
Increase your productivity
We all use computers and cellphones daily. It practically drives our entire world today, and we couldn’t imagine life without it. Our electronic devices are so important to us that they allow us to be more productive.
Technology basically exists so that people can do more. Digital transformation enables us to go even further and be more productive by offloading jobs to computers and machines. For a repair shop, that’s an excellent thing to have. Imagine being able to automatically send customers alerts on when their device is repaired and ready for pick-up. Or maybe you can receive automatic alerts when your stock is low, and you have to reorder from your suppliers. How about freeing yourself from painstakingly ordering multiple items, and instead, getting everything you need with a click of a button? With process automation, you can take care of those things very easily.
Bringing automation into the equation helps you eliminate excess work and optimize your pipeline. Repetitive tasks needn’t bother you any more since they’re super-streamlined. It’s the perfect way to increase your productivity.
Save time on work
This is a point we’ve made several times before, but it’s just that important that it’s worth mentioning again – automating your processes saves you so much time!
By putting most of your tasks into an automated pipeline, you’re going to get things done much faster. This means that there’s more time to around to do the things that you want. You can either serve more customers, provide a better customer experience, look at ways to improve your business, or even pack up and go home early. You only need to set up the automated task once, and it will take care of everything from there. All your tasks will be performed much faster, much smoother, much more easily, and without the risk of errors.
Take, for example, your repair store’s average footfall. If you measured the people who enter your store by hand, you’d have to calculate it every day manually, taking up so much time. With automation, you can get your footfall figures at the end of the day without assigning any of your staff members to the task. It’s a great way to run your business and can be applied to other parts of your repair shop as well. Instead of manually inputting a customer’s details, have a self-check-in system. Have your tickets assigned automatically to managers so they can schedule them for technicians later. Place your ticket queue in the store or online that updates automatically so customers can know when their device is fixed. Automation will cut down those excess hours you put in and make life a whole lot easier.
Reduce chances of error
We’ve all had days where we make mistakes at work. Forgetting to send that email or working on the wrong thing at the wrong time. Humans make mistakes, sure, but machines very seldom do.
Process automation can help you perform tasks better by reducing error margins dramatically. You won’t have to worry about keying in the wrong amount or sending messages to the wrong customer. Your automated repair shop software can easily take care of those things for you. And because machines hardly ever get it wrong, you can rest easy with the knowledge that everything is working perfectly.
Here’s another benefit: reducing the average person’s workload means they can focus better on other tasks, thereby reducing the chances for human error. So it’s not just the software that’s not making mistakes; it’s the people working at your repair shop as well.
Make communication better
Communicating with your customers and your team is important. But sometimes, you get your wires crossed and can’t get the message across. With business process automation, you won’t have to worry about it.
Automating your communication can work wonders for your repair shop. You won’t have to leave the process of sending messages to a person anymore. That makes it easier to get the message across and saves time for whoever will do it.
Let’s say you want to notify your customer about their device being repaired – you’ve made the fixes, and all they have to do is come and get it. With automation, your system can send them a message when the repair status has been changed to “completed.” This takes a major burden off of your team. Similarly, your technicians can be notified each time a new repair job enters their work queue or if a repair deadline is approaching.
Communicating with your team and your customers is much easier when you’re automating most of your processes. You won’t have to run the risk of errors and can deliver the message every time.
Get better analytics and reports
Every business wants to know how well it’s doing at any given time, and repair shops are no different. Having an eye on your daily sales, cost of goods sold, employee efficiency, etc., can greatly benefit your business’ growth. Using automation to get you those statistics is very helpful, and you should definitely use them wherever you can.
Having automatic reports and analytics that you can study helps in growing your repair business out. With an automated process in place, you’ll be able to see just how well you’re doing at any given time. Data on what the top-selling items are, the number of tickets completed in a week, or even the type of devices repaired can help you strategize better. With the information that these reports provide, you’ll know what to stock up on and what to market better to increase your sales. So, getting these reports automatically every day is a great way to build and grow your repair shop.
Cut down on operational costs
When you account for all the things, we’ve previously mentioned – increased productivity, fewer errors, saving time, etc. – you’ll see that it cuts down on operational costs significantly. Having automation at your repair shop can help reduce spending and save you money.
Increased productivity means you’ll be able to get more work done. Fewer errors mean you’ll spend less time making costly mistakes. Time saved from engaging in repetitive tasks can be used to serve more customers or grow your business. All the while, you won’t have to worry about the daily grind because your automated system is taking care of everything in the background. All these things come together to help you save on operational costs and save more money.