How Automation Can Transform Your Law Firm

Lawyers have enough legal work on their hands without needing to juggle the business side of their practices too. Yet, for too many of us, 23% of our work involves mundane tasks like creating contracts, producing monthly newsletters and drafting, adjusting and approving notes for billing.

New lawyers tend to ask themselves questions that include the following: How can we handle 200 or more clients calling us per week? How can we reduce the length and cost of judicial proceedings? How do we simplify billing? How could we get to the next level? 

Automation’s the answer. Here are three ways automation can transform your law firm. 

1. Onboarding and Legal Communications

New staff have to be led through an extensive onboarding program where you produce, check and process intake forms, welcome emails, consultation notes, contracts/ NDAs, case sheets, case templates, draft documents and signed packages, among other forms. Lawyers told us that onboarding new employees typically takes at least three months.

Automation can slice that time to 99% by automating tedious manual workflows and scaling their operations.

Tasks you can automate include:

  • Template intake, where you simplify your intake process with a legal client intake form template to save time and standardise your onboarding process
  • Partnership agreements
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Contract signing system that’s where you upload a generic contract, have the client’s name automatically inserted, and the client can sign with encrypted electronic signatures
  • Non-disclosure agreements

Check out how AUTTO helps you accelerate these contracting processes through its simple no-code solution.

2. Legal Operations 

Legal automation helps you boost your productivity and get the most ROI from resources like law firm partners and in-house general counsel, by relegating them to high-value work. (Automation does everything else). No-code automation builders like AUTTO, help legal teams and law firms stitch together manual processes to make common workflows scalable. Examples include processing legal intake, prioritising legal cases, and assigning the right cases to the right people at the right time.

Most law firms are represented by legal innovation teams at industry events and have early adopters that buy their products. But actually achieving adoption at scale within a hierarchical environment like a law firm is a different story.

It’s also been notoriously difficult for in-house GCs to persuade decision-makers to invest in automation, although more recently that’s changed, where high-growth tech companies have come to appreciate that these legal teams use automation to patch up inefficiencies and maximise company productivity – and that investing in legal automation is just as profitable as investing in product marketing and sales.

No-code solutions like AUTTO’s automation platform makes it even easier for GCs to persuade their decision-makers to adopt automation since it cuts the cost of digital transformation by 99%. There’s no need to hire IT experts or invest in ongoing IT maintenance, among other costs. The headache at the thought of investing significant money, time and effort disappears. The timeline is hacked from four to six weeks to mere hours. You don’t need to learn to code. All you have to do is connect to a modern browser and your legal team could automate their work processes and forms on the same day.

Check out how AUTTO helped UK law firm Burges Salmon develop their own automated NDA within a few hours and at a minimal cost. No code was involved.

3. Legal Billing

Lawyers can lose as much as 50% of their revenue because of billing mistakes. With automated billing, you can reduce write-downs and write-offs through task-based automation.  For example, you can insert parameters into certain petitions or cases, specifying conditions like cost or time. 

Automated billing eliminates errors. Using systems such as AUTTO for billing not only standardises your invoices but also prompts clients to pay you faster.

Automated billing also provides the transparency that’s critical for auditing and conflict prevention. You can automate this billing to integrate with Quickbooks and your lead tracking system to improve collections.

Also, Law firms can set up prescheduled payment reminders to notify clients with overdue accounts. Automated UTBMS/LEDES coding that organises and standardises legal work. These make it easy to capture and communicate meaningful billing data, leading to a higher rate of claims acceptance and less time spent on correcting and resending invoices. Unfortunately, legal staff have to manually search for and insert the correct code for each entry, resulting in a process that’s tedious, drawn-out and prone to human error. Automation automatically assigns the correct codes.

Check out this case study about how AUTTO is used for automating invoices.

Save Time, Money, and Aggravation By Automating Legal Processes

AUTTO is an automation platform for law firms, legal departments and GCs, helping you automate everything from file sharing to signing documents. Its no-code tool helps you build automated workflows for routine tasks and build conditions in data and documents. No coding skills are needed. The tool plugs into your system and doesn’t need IT maintenance. All you need is a browser and you’re good to go. 

Fancy trying it out for free? Sign up to our 14-day FREE trial here

Is Digital Transformation the Future?

How your business can survive (and even thrive) through digital transformation?

Digital transformation (DX) is currently the single most important force in business and innovation.  Leveraging its 13,000 agencies-strong network, DesignRush reported that companies with digital-first strategies are 64% more likely to achieve their business goals than competitors and to succeed in the Future of Work. In contrast, as many as 55% of companies that have yet to digitise believe they have less than a year before they suffer financially and begin losing market share. 

How can you be Digital-First’?

Well, there’s a method to successful digital transformation which McKinsey encapsulates in  five key factors: 

1. Leadership factors

Impactful leaders are committed, enthusiastic, wholly change-driven and digitally-savvy. 

“Top leaders realise that it’s imperative for senior management to keep up with everything from AI to e-commerce to data analytics, or they risk the company’s viability and their own careers,” says the Executive Monitor report from Boyden Global Executive Search that surveyed 1,200 CEOs. 

You need leaders who are agile, committed to change, and ready to invest – recognising that investments do result in payback over time. Research by both McKinsey and Boyden demonstrates that organisations that hire digitally-savvy leaders into the C-suite, such as chief technology officers, are more likely than competitors to report successful digital transformations. 

2. Creating the workforce of the future

PwC suggests that by 2030 we’ll see four possible “worlds of work”. There’ll be the Red World of innovation; the Blue World where corporations dominate; the Green World of a strong social conscience; and the Yellow World where companies recognize that humans come first.  To succeed in this Future of Work, PwC insisted that:

“Leaders need to own the automation debate and realise that Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will affect every level of the business and its people. It’s too important an issue to leave to IT (or HR) alone.” 

 Indeed, McKinsey found that companies that digitised for this world of the future, not only hired digitally-savvy persons, but also upskilled their staff to align with the goals of their transformations. Most companies also had “integrators” who served as bridges between the company’s traditional past and its digital future, integrating new digital processes into existing ways of working. 

3. Facilitating new ways of working

Digital transformations require cultural and behavioural changes in areas that include accelerated collaboration, calculated risk taking, continuous learning and open environment.  As McKinsey found, organisations that reported improvements in even one area, such as customer centricity or agile business processes, were more likely than competitors to report successful transformations. That was particularly so when stakeholders and employees were encouraged to contribute their own ideas on where digitisation could support the business.

4. Upgrading tools the workforce uses every day

Almost all organisations that reported success told McKinsey how upgrading their day-to-day tools contributed to structural change. Examples include streamlining repetitive tasks and paperless processes with automated processes such as automated emails, NDAs,  legal forms, documents, approvals and so forth across desktop, web and mobile. You can create and manage all aspects of your automations from a central portal, across stakeholders and on the go. Businesses that use AUTTO’s no-code automation platform report that it helps make information more accessible across their organisations, gives them more time to market and innovate, supercharges their services, and removes human error from their processes, among other benefits. British-based financial crime consultancy, FinTrail, for instance, said that AUTTO’s no-code solution helped triple its membership and reduced their workload by 75%.

5. Communicating via traditional and digital methods

Effective communication may well be one of the single most important factors when it comes to digital transformation. The same 2018 McKinsey report found that successful transformation was at least three times more likely when staff were fed a compelling change story that dramatised why digital transformation would generate profits. McKinsey’s survey also showed that managers influenced when they communicated with a sense of urgency, providing teams with clear roadmaps and accompanying metrics. 

Wrap-up

Digital transformation is one of the biggest risks your business will ever face – and one of the biggest opportunities. Over the past six years, it has mostly been the traditional companies like travel agency Thomas Cook, Revlon and retailer Arcadia Group that filed for bankruptcy. Those that embraced digital transformation – consider Vodafone, Shell, Bayer, and Audi – reported they made tremendous strides forward. Change is risky – but clinging to dated methods and processes almost certainly augurs disaster. 

Digital transformation is here to stay. Embrace it, and you will be rewarded with faster revenue growth,  customer loyalty and a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Using tools like AUTTO’s no-code automation platform is one step closer to becoming digital-first.  

Responsible Automation – With Great Power comes Great Responsibility

With the rise of no-code platforms, we are seeing a shift in how organisations develop and use technology. Gone are the days where all IT infrastructure sits within the IT departments – we’re all technologists now and all have access to tools to make our day jobs easier. But what impact does this have on the business if it is not managed correctly?

Platforms such as AUTTO puts power at the fingertips of knowledge workers to help develop business solutions. They give organisations a quick and easy start to becoming digital-first and put the user in control.

No-code brings a shift in how technology is delivered to the business – and that means there are a number of risks if left unchecked. With governance and security the primary areas to focus on, the role of the CIO has to change and adapt to prevent a free for all, where IT activity becomes siloed and ad hoc. 

Get it right though, and no-code tools will be an enabler. Businesses don’t have to worry about having big teams of developers, they don’t have to worry about version control, because that is handled by the platforms themselves. The days are long past when almost any IT project required coding from scratch: slow, difficult to build and with painstaking testing and iteration.

Now, it’s possible to access a single tool with multiple functions and functionalities all from one central platform. Tools like AUTTO, help businesses automate repetitive tasks by digitising business processes through workflows – freeing up the one thing that is most important – time.

In short, through no-code, technology has become simple – it’s how you apply it that brings it to life.

Barriers of Adoption

While it solves many problems, no-code does raise other challenges – like how you fit it all together. A big part of the task is how you integrate these platforms with your existing legacy systems. You need to ringfence legacy so that you don’t break it. So finding a tool which allows you to connect to existing technology is key. 

What all of this means is that the skills needed have changed. It used to be about having lots of coders and developers. Now, it’s about how you fit everything together – so there’s a much higher need for enterprise and business solutions architects. It’s given rise to a new term as well – Citizen Developers.

It also opens a new doorway into technology careers for people who may have been put off by the highly technical nature of many tech roles. Apprenticeships and boot camp-style skills programmes, such as the PMI’s dedicated Citizen Developer certification program, can equip talented individuals with the tools they need to implement no-code solutions quickly, without compromising on responsible design and governance methods. 

Where does No-code sit within an Organisation?

In the past, the CIO or IT director would have focussed on overseeing complex multi-year projects. Now, the role is about overseeing more rapid iterative changes and governance – ensuring there is a clear framework for activity, that activity is coordinated, and that there is connectivity between applications.

A lack of control also introduces security risks. Given today’s alarmingly prevalent cyber threats, it has become simply imperative that strong and consistent security protocols, resilient infrastructure, and robust data protection and privacy processes are in place.

Meanwhile, it is Citizen Developers who are driving the business forward in terms of new capabilities, functionality and solutions. It is the role of the IT department to safeguard the way that business owners adopt new tooling, providing oversight and ensuring no-code development is safe and responsible.

The Future of No-code Solutions

The covid-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for change. This acceleration of digital transformation through no-code, the move to cloud and other major trends mean there is still much to do for IT teams in building a robust and safe digital enterprise.

Automating Legal – What are you waiting for?

General Counsels and in-house lawyers are under more pressure than ever before – with an increase in workload volume, a greater demand to deliver advice, manage risk and ensure legal compliance for the business, there’s very little time left to practise law. 

With the Legal sector being considered as Tech sceptics, is it time to start looking at ways to evolve through the digital revolution or risk getting left behind? 

On Thursday 23rd June a group of like-minded tech and legal professionals met online to discuss the drivers and barriers to adopting technology within the legal sector. 

The morning started with introductions from our partners, Off Road Legal and the conversation started by considering the normalisation of automation. 

Adverts are popping up on buses and on TV which is showing acceptance in white-collar industries; everyone is starting to understand that automation can help. “Obviously, factories and blue-collar industries adopted automation a while back, but recently there has been a shift to white-collar automation that is here to stay,” said Peter Impey, Co-Founder of Off Road Legal. 

This begs the question of why is automation not accelerating at the same speed within Legal as in other areas of white-collar work?

 

The Drivers of Change 

Ian Gosling, CEO of AUTTO, followed, “Over the last 10 years we have seen a big change within digital transformation in Law.  It has been driven by the rise of Legal Operations led by  CLOC (Corporate Legal Operations Consortium).  CLOC’s Core 12 framework gives us a good basis for looking at all the pieces you need to have in play to move towards having a modern digitally transformed legal function,  and how those pieces connect.  In my experience, for change to be successful people, process and technology need to align with the business model.

The main driver for adopting technology is operational excellence.  Andrew Wingfield Co-Founder of Off Road Legal went on to explain “The client expects more and that is a major external driver for change.  Those demands are being met by new entrants to the legal market, the big four consultancies, technology-enabled competitors, and listed legal businesses all driving change.  How will law firms win in this situation, if they don’t innovate with technology?”

Legal operations is a discipline, if you instil it in a legal team, whether they are private practice, inhouse or a legal operations team, it’s a mindset of understanding the importance of process, legal, data, and using technology to get the best results. The drivers behind adopting technology for law firms and legal functions within a business are completely different and I think that has to be recognised,” said Jeremy Hopkins, Legal Operations Specialist, Contentsquare.

 

Barriers to Adoption

When it comes to adopting new technologies within any organisation there are always barriers to change. People have tried introducing new tools before, for example, Contract Lifecycle management tools,  and failed.  This raises the question, do people fail around the tool instead of the tool failing? Have you ever used or been given access to a tool but you either didn’t know how to use it or chose not to use it and continued doing what you normally do?  Eventually, the tool takes the blame.  To successfully change the people, the process and the technology all need to be aligned to deliver.   This can be especially difficult to manage if the change is externally driven and not internally led.

The technology itself must align with the change. 

 

Overcoming the Barriers to Change 

The legal industry is traditionally conservative and often a late adopter of innovation.  How do law firms and legal professionals adapt to a more competitive and demanding environment?

Trying to get to the result fast using a big bang model of change is risky and a better approach is to implement smaller pieces of the overall digital process. “It’s all about incremental change – small changes that will lead to overall bigger changes and bigger impact for the business,” said Ian Gosling

One way to implement incremental change is the use of no-code tools which enable incremental change. These allow teams to adopt new ways of working that are low risk, low cost, and still show big results.  A no-code environment gives control of the change to the legal team, allowing them to own the transformation of their work.  This can help make digital and operational transformation internally-led, helping overcome barriers and concerns about technology and change.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this event and our Partners Off Road Legal. If you would like to find out more about how automation can help your business, request a free demo below and one of our automation experts will get in touch.  

How the Rise of the Citizen Developer Enables the Scaling of Automation Across the Legal Sector

As defined by Gartner, a citizen developer is a persona for an employee who creates application capabilities to be used by themselves or others – for example, forms, automations, connections to other systems.  The increase in citizen development is part of the trend towards the democratisation of IT – people who don’t sit in the IT department being able to access sophisticated technical capabilities without technical or development training. These people are working within individual business units and are using no-code tools to rapidly develop applications. They simply don’t need advanced technical training. They need an analytical mindset and an understanding of their subject matter, but they don’t need to be developers. And they are on the rise – with an ever increasing younger, more tech savvy workforce wanting to develop their own applications. Gartner further showed in 2021 that 41% of organisations already used a platform for citizen development, while another 27% expected to use one within the next 12 months.

What are the implications of this for legal? Who are the new citizen developers in law? We’ve heard from a number of them in this white paper. In a GC’s office, they are the legal ops specialists who sit in the legal innovations department and their role is, with input from the legal experts, to assess the challenges the department faces and begin to develop these applications. In law firms, it’s not the front-line lawyers developing these applications (although as we’ve shown in this paper, they will have a massive contribution to make) but rather the Legal Tech teams. 

We are witnessing the rise of multi-functional teams to develop solutions. Lawyers or people with legal expertise plus IT departments who arrange and secure the correct platforms for delivery, join with citizen developers or legal technologists. The latter of these, take the expertise of their lawyers, assess the solution that needs creating and then are developing them on no-code platforms. And no-code is a massive growth area – Gartner predicted a 23 percent expansion within business Worldwide during 2021.  

The implication for cost reduction by moving this functionality out of pure IT development and into legal is massive. Automation is now in the hands of the citizen developer making it possible to automate areas that previously could not as the gains in time simply did not justify the investment.

Why Scale your Shipping and Logistics Business with Digital Process Automation?

There is no doubt that the shipping and logistics industry is facing a challenging yet opportune time. Spiralling fuel costs, labour shortages, sustainability, new government regulations and, of course, the small matter of a global pandemic, have contributed to unpredictable, highly disruptive waters.  But, as The Economist neatly put it recently, “the era of predictable unpredictability is not going away” – with challenges come opportunities. The pandemic has seen shipping volumes explode as consumer demand continues on an unprecedented level. The industry has invested heavily in response to this – we’ve seen the rise of robotic technology to automate processes from picking to packing, inspecting to container stacking. However, what of the fundamental digital processes and documentation that sit behind the physical movement of goods? The instructions to partners, the insurance documentation, the verification of processes, the letters of credit, the accounts payable invoicing? Are these time and energy intensive processes keeping up with today’s volumes?  Will ‘the way you’ve always done it’ be enough to keep pace with growth now and in the future? Could you improve operational efficiency and save money by automating these processes? 

Still not sure? Consider this example.  Research from Drewry Shipping Consultants estimates the container liner industry carries 60% of the goods (by value) moved internationally by sea, deploying 5,100 container ships worldwide on approximately 400 scheduled liner services, most of which sail weekly. This generates a global transport revenue of some $166 billion a year in transport revenues. But it also creates 1.26 billion freight invoices.  Each of these has to be issued, verified, paid and reconciled.  Astonishingly, the majority of these are still handled manually, making it a costly and onerous process, rife with errors.  The level of automation of invoice reconciliation and settlement is very low, particularly among small and medium size players. Drewry states the cost of these process inefficiencies represent $34.4 billion a year.  

Imagine an easy-to-create and run system that could massively simplify this.  A process that makes it faster, more accurate and less resource heavy. Technology is available today to easily create a workflow to reconcile bookings, invoices and payments automatically, linking all stakeholders, ensuring digital records are kept for verification. All stakeholders can see it, track it and have the digital evidence.  

But this is just one example. The reality of a modern-day supply chain is that every element of the process still generates a huge volume of documents. In fact, it’s estimated that every year, 12 billion documents are processed in ocean forwarding alone. Business leaders in the shipping and logistics sector should be looking at digital automation as a chance to change, to scale up and future proof their business.  

Typically, the generation of shipping documentation has been handled by people because the cost of digital automation was simply too high and too complicated to create. However, today the use of cloud-based low-code and no-code automation platforms means that companies in shipping and logistics can build, operate and support an automated system with non-technical staff and budgets from a few thousand pounds  a year. It has opened intelligent automation up to companies that could not previously afford this kind of tech. Platforms such as AUTTO have a lot of flexibility and yet also allow control, audit trail and monitoring and allocating tasks to your team. These systems will automate document production, calculations, task allocation, approvals, data transformation, integrations and update records. Potentially packing lists, bills of lading, certificates of origin, invoices and letters of credit can all be automated. 

As software completes tasks within seconds instead of hours it cues staff or another automation to begin the next task – the overall pace at which your business responds increases. This means not only time spent doing a task is reduced but the ‘time elapsed’ between when a job was requested, and when it is completed drops rapidly. As your customers (both internal and external) are becoming more used to an ‘Amazon Prime’ business culture of immediate fulfilment, then the ability to deliver quickly is a competitive edge. 

As an industry run increasingly by robotic process automation, leaders of shipping and logistics businesses should also be looking internally to ascertain which operational processes could benefit most from digital automation.  We at AUTTO help businesses  make operations leaner – improving customer satisfaction whilst using as few resources as possible – by helping you to create your own digital automation workflows. A few simple changes can really transform your business.  With the challenges and opportunities currently facing the shipping and logistics industry, now is the perfect time to start to reap the benefits of adopting this leaner approach to operations using digital automation.  We’d love the opportunity to talk to you more about how your business can benefit and provide you with a free trial of AUTTO. https://www.autto.io/free-trial/ 

If you’d like to understand more about our approach to lean operations using digital automation you can download our white paper here: https://www.autto.io/three-step-guide-to-lean-operations/ 

1 https://www.economist.com/leaders/2021/12/18/the-new-normal-is-already-here-get-used-to-it?frsc=dg%7Ce

2 https://www.solent.ac.uk/research-innovation-enterprise/documents/china-centre/global-maritime-weekly-digest-08-05-2018.pdf

3 According to in a Billentis report last year, of all the invoices issued worldwide, a jaw-dropping 90% of them are still processed manually

 

Happy New Year (or is it?) – How Automation is driving the Future of Work

This week sees the big return to work after the Christmas break.  But after the last of the celebrations are over is the real hangover your lack of enthusiasm for work?  Has time off made you reflect and realise certain parts of your role are over repetitive, uninspiring and just taking up too much time?  Are you considering quitting your current role and finding a job where you feel more engaged, more valued and one where you feel more excited to turn up every day? You are not alone. Globally business is witnessing what has been termed “the big quit” – in the UK alone the number of open jobs rose to a record high of 1.1 million in the three months to August 2021¹. Employee burnout is also on the increase – research shows a 15% global rise this year increasing to a jaw dropping 81% in “non-thriving” company cultures.² 

 

The good news is that the effects of an almost two-year global pandemic have thrust digital transformation on employers and a recognition of the need to use this digital investment to keep their valuable staff.  Leading employers are becoming increasingly genuine about putting the employee at the centre of the business.  They want to keep them engaged, create space for critical thinking and problem solving and use their time and talents to develop the business.  Some are embracing automation as a way to take away those ‘time-rich, imagination-poor’ yet critical tasks from employees.  

 

‘Business automation is getting software to do some work so that humans don’t have to.’

Automation software loves the work that people hate. It is good at speed, repetition and accuracy. “No-code” platforms like AUTTO make automating key business processes and documents easy.  Automating these tedious but nonetheless important daily tasks of every company will free up your time – our customers tell us about 75%.  Investing in a technology that can replace the hours you spend, for example, laboriously cutting and pasting into a spreadsheet or sending out endless emails, proves an employer is invested in you and wants you to feel more valued and empowered to make decisions for the good of the business. Routine documents such as order processing, contracts, invoices, sales activity reports, quote generations, T&Cs, licenses and more can all be replaced with automation. If technology can take care of the mundane, repetitive tasks, that frees up your time to focus on more challenging, creative projects. 

 

Platforms like AUTTO are so easy to use that non-IT staff with no programming skills are being given the automations to identify and create – after all you are at the coal face of your business and know which processes need changing.  With AUTTO anyone can automate in a few hours with our simple no-code platform.  No technical expertise is required. You can take any of your unique business processes, easily learn the system and, like Lego building blocks, automate them.  

 

Automation is driving huge change in the employee experience of work. Perhaps as you return to work this year you should be asking your employer what investment they are making in automation – after all, it is in effect, an investment in you.

 

References:


¹Office of National Statistics 2021
²O.C.Tanner Europe Global Culture Report 2021

2021 – The Year Resilience Ruled and how Digital Automation will Fuel 2022’s Need for Lean

So as another pretty challenging year draws to a close, we see those businesses that have taken practical steps to strengthen operationally are those that have responded best to the market’s prolonged volatility.  Continuing to build this resilience into 2022 will be crucial. With last year’s accelerated trends of remote working, e-commerce and digitisation now firmly considered the norm, smart businesses have realised they must now introduce a leaner operational platform to weather future storms to maximise customer service and reduce waste.  As businesses learn to live with the “new way” of doing things the scalability digital automation provides to help meet this end goal will be pivotal. 

 

A lean operational approach should be at the top of every CEO’s Christmas list. This approach – where the central business goal is to focus on providing greater customer satisfaction whilst using as few resources as possible – requires leaner processes and procedures.  By digitising these processes, many successful businesses in 2021 have already been able to track, monitor and efficiently manage their growth. Critically, by automating routine tasks as much as possible, they have left themselves breathing space to scale-up, and if necessary, easily scale down as market demands change.  

 

The cost of automation has previously been too high or too unique to a particular business. But the low-code automation solutions now available democratise technology making automation more accessible to the everyday business user.  The use of cloud-based low-code (simple scripting) and no-code (drag and drop) automation platforms, means that companies can build, operate and support an automated system with non-technical staff on a budget typically of just a few thousand pounds a year. Given the challenges of constricted budgets and fewer IT resources to support internal processes (as IT is simply still too busy digitising the whole business!) line-of-business teams should be looking at self-service by turning to low-code solutions to automate business operations, documents and knowledge quickly and easily. 

 

Similarly, one of the critical benefits of digitisation is the ability to scale up or down quickly and seamlessly.  Cloud-based software gives organisations the option to increase or decrease capacity with the click of a few buttons of a website. 

 

One of the advantages of digitisation that perhaps we had not appreciated so much until this year is that modern cloud-hosted digital services do not care where you are in the world.  They don’t care if you are at home or in the office as long as you can log in. Not every employee in every business can work from home, but there is no doubt that the more digitised savvy companies found this transition much more straightforward.  

 

 Lean automation can deliver time savings of 75-99% on routine work, and perhaps more significantly, increase accuracy.  While it is overstating the case to say most businesses can be completely automated ( these kinds of gains can dramatically increase a team’s capacity.  That means when your company finds itself back on the now familiar rollercoaster ride of recent months over 2022, your teams will have the time and ability to navigate and successfully manage the ups and downs.

Why automation presents a substantial opportunity for MSP’s

To stay competitive, managed services providers (MSP’s) must offer their customers innovative services that are demonstrably better than their peers.  Standalone revenue no longer cuts it – MSP’s need opportunities to develop customer relationships and generate additional revenue streams.  At AUTTO we believe the automation market for MSP’s is set to be massive.  We present our top tips on how to make the most of this market space.

 

1) The market for automation is there for the taking

Riding on the tailcoats of the acceleration in digital transformation that occurred during the pandemic1, digital process automation is the new must-have.  Research2 demonstrates 80 percent of SME leaders are acknowledging the importance of automation of tasks, processes and digitising of paperwork for their survival.

However, data3 also indicate that SME’s lag behind big businesses in the adoption of nearly all technologies.  The largest gap is in the digitalisation of internal organisation processes (sadly where the greatest efficiencies can be made). This presents a fantastic opportunity for MSP’s. They can:

  • Identify the barriers to automation.
  • Create the solutions required.
  • Provide ongoing incremental support and training to automate their digital processes.
  • Extend the value of their services beyond the IT department

 

2) Become the expert

SME’s want to “do things better”, but they don’t necessarily know how. MSP’s can be the expert and become a trusted partner by providing guidance on how automation can best impact their business.  The benefits of automation are vast:

  • Time and cost-saving.
  • Improved efficiency – tasks are completed faster and with greater accuracy when automated.
  • Improved customer experience.
  • Happier and more fulfilled staff.

Processes such as filing sales reports, customer and staff onboarding, contracts, licences and order processing can all be automated saving vast amounts of valuable time (our customers tell us up to 75%). Be the expert and win their respect.

 

3) Do it all for them

Sometimes a SME simply doesn’t want to make a change because of perceived time and skills shortages.  This is our experience at AUTTO.  Although our product is a no-code, easy to use platform, customers often want us to build their initial workflow automation. As a product business, our small sales and professional services capability is a constraint on us growing quickly – hence the driver of our value-added reseller partner programme. Partners can work with customers to develop their workflows and as a result, often are then called on for ongoing support….

 

4) Workflow support and training

Once workflows have been developed, the MSP can provide a single point of IT support, development and training.  This is a powerful competitive differentiator as the value-add given to customers helps create stronger relationships and loyalty and cuts back on customer churn.

 

Additionally, creating this relationship lays the foundations for a potentially deeper digital transformation programme. This presents opportunities for additional professional services such as change management, remote working and process automation workshops.

 

5) Encourage existing customers to automate

Similar to “being the expert”. Existing customers regard their MSP as a trusted technology supplier that understands their business and existing digital processes.  Leverage this relationship to introduce the idea of digital automation where they had not previously thought of it or thought possible.

 

We hope you can see how AUTTOmation is set to be a game-changer for MSP’s.  More than a standalone revenue opportunity, automation will keep a partner relevant and engaged with its customers, will develop new, stronger relationships and loyalty which ultimately will boost revenue streams.

 

Let’s drive digital transformation together!


References:

Recent McKinsey & Company research demonstrates the pandemic has had such a profound effect on digital transformation that seven years of progress was made in a matter of months. As reported on by ConsultancyUK  –  https://www.consultancy.uk/news/26372/covid-19-has-accelerated-digital-transformation-by-seven-years

2The State and Fate of Small and Medium Businesses Xerox 2021

3Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2020 data

Bridging the Digital Divide

The wide-ranging benefits of digitalisation to business has never been more obvious.  Recent McKinsey & Company research demonstrates the pandemic has had such a profound effect on digital transformation that seven years of progress was made in a matter of months.  No wonder this has thrust digital transformation to the forefront of business goals.  According to a survey by HCL Technologies, 80% of organisations now see it as a priority.

However, despite the obvious benefits, data also indicates that SME’s lag behind big business in the adoption of nearly all technologies.  The largest gaps are in the digitalisation of internal organisation processes where automation can save time and money. Why is this the case? Are SME’s unsure how to proceed to best benefit their business? What are the barriers to digital transformation? How can SME’s also ride the wave of this technology revolution?

Process automation and digitalisation could be the answer. Using simple, cost-efficient technologies, SME’s can transform manual operations into digital ones.  For SME’s, the benefits of embracing automation are huge:

  • Save time to focus on what matters
  • Reduce costs
  • Boost sales
  • Reduce human error

We acknowledge SME’s are a diverse group but some processes are common to us all.  Think how long the sales process can be. Quotes, approvals and sales contracts going back and forth in countless emails and phone calls.  Routine documents such as NDA’s, onboarding new clients (and staff), invoices and reports are also extremely time-consuming.  Overcomplicated communication, slow approvals, rerouting of documents, fixing errors and digging through piles of paperwork and emails.  Automation is the answer – it simplifies the systems, eliminates the tedious tasks and replaces staff time with tech, freeing up more time for them to do what they do best (which let’s face it, is what you employed them for).

So, what is holding SME’s back?  Why is there this digital divide? Is the perception that the cost of automation is too high for a small business?  Automation doesn’t have to be expensive just strategic.  Simple tools can be used to do repetitive tasks for you, saving time and money for the business.  But implementing automation must require specialist skills by IT programmers that we simply don’t have, right? Wrong! New low or no-code platforms like AUTTO puts the technology directly into the hands of people who run the everyday business without the need for specialist programming skills.  Valued staff are empowered to identify their own pain points and easily automate their day-to-day tasks with no-code automation.

The McKinsey research concludes that although small business is less likely to automate than large corporates it is more likely to succeed.  We at AUTTO want to help you realise this. Get in touch today to book your free demo:  https://www.autto.io/book-a-demo

NEW WEBINAR!

An Intro To AUTTO

How to Automate a Complex Process without Writing a Line of Code

  • Date: 31 March 2022
  • Time 14:00 BST
  • Host: Ian Gosling, Founder of AUTTO

Hi there,

AUTTO is a no-codebusiness and document automation platform. No-code means you can build tailor-made automated processes without having to be a developer.

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