How the Four W's of Automation (Why? What? When? Who?) Can Benefit Your Business Significantly

Thursday January 31, 2019
Read in 4 minutes

A technology that’s been going mainstream in the last few years is business automation. Whether it’s application designers building more robust automation features into products or businesses that exist simply to get one piece of software communicating with another, automation is at the forefront.

How the Four W's of Automation (Why? What? When? Who?) Can Benefit Your Business Significantly

Many offices have only scratched the surface of automating their business processes, with many automation features they already have access to going unused. The main reason? It’s simply a lack of understanding of the technology and how it can benefit them.

Ion Technologies helps New Zealand businesses understand what we call the “Four W’s” of business automation, which include why, what, when, and who. Once they fully understand the benefits of automation and how it fits into their daily office workflow, our clients can experience benefits like freeing up manpower and having more reliable processes.

Another important area where automation can significantly impact a company’s bottom line is marketing.

Companies that use marketing automation report 3 times more leads passed to sales after one month (Fathom)

Let’s get started with a primer on business automation and why it’s so important to incorporate it into your office.

What You Need to Know About Automating Your Business Processes

So, what are the Four W’s of business automation all about? They encompass the following key points that business owners need to know in order to make impactful decisions about this technology.

  • Why automate?
  • What to automate?
  • When to automate?
  • Who should automate?
Over the next three years (2019 to 2021), the global business process automation market is expected to grow by 55%. It’s not just a trend, it’s becoming a business necessity.

Why Automate?

Here are some of the biggest reasons that companies implement business process automation.

Too Much Time Spent on a Process

Is your marketing person spending nearly half their day just entering data into spreadsheets instead of creating great new marketing content? Then that’s a good reason to find automated solutions.

When you find there are too many time-consuming tasks in one of your business processes, automating is a way to solve the issue and free up man-hours.

High Cost of Failure/Error Reduction

Are mistakes costing your company thousands of dollars each year? Do you have processes where failure means extra costs and negative impacts on your company?

Automation reduces the chance of human error because every task is completed the exact same way every time, just as it was programmed, ensuring a consistently accurate process.

Customer Consistency

One of your new customers received a welcome package, the other one didn’t because two different reps were handling them. By automating a customer care process, you can ensure that your client experience is consistent, no matter which of your team members are handling the contact.

What to Automate?

Here are three examples of successful ways businesses implement process automation.

Lead Nurturing

Using a lead nurturing automation can email a steady stream of targeted information to incoming leads based upon the website pages they visited or products they browsed. Automating the process frees up your sales team for phone and face-to-face contacts, while no one falls between the cracks.

Document Generation

The right automations can gather data from multiple sources and allow you to create compliant, consistent and up-to-date documents in minutes. Whether it’s a product sales sheet or new employee handbook, automation can take hours off the update and creating process.

Data Collection/Sharing

Bring data from various sources all into your accounting program without need to re-enter data. Automations can automatically update a customer or vendor file from data collected from an online form or mobile device app.

When to Automate?

Evaluating Billable vs Admin Time Ratios

If the time it’s taking for project administration is out pacing the billable hours, that’s a good time to consider automating processes to reduce that admin time.

Staff is Buried in Manual Input

If your staff is doing input rather than their true calling it can bring down morale. Automation can free them from duplicate tasks that are dragging down their day.

Need to Close More Sales

It’s easy to miss sales opportunities when the lead nurturing process is done manually. Automation lets you drill down into messages that work to close more sales.

Who Should Automate?

Growing Companies

Businesses with less resources can do more by adding business automation. It frees up staff time and helps a small business function like an enterprise corporation.

Those with a Low Unit Cost per Sale

Sales is a numbers game, especially if you sell a lower priced product or service. Automation can increase your ROI by allowing the sales team to spend more time on billable work.

Companies Wanting to Reduce Risk

Automation can help companies with regulatory compliance, reducing their risk of fines. It also greatly lessens the chance for costly human errors that can hurt your business.

Learn How Business Automation Saves You Time & Money

Ion Technologies are business automation experts. We can help you identify exactly where automation will save you the most time and money.

Contact us via email ( or phone (09 553 3057) to have a chat about your specific business needs.