Dubbed the ‘Great Resignation’ or ‘Talent Crisis’ by the press, SMEs are struggling to grow due to a lack of staff. Recruitment agencies are intensely searching for candidates to place & charging well for the good ones.
The Office for National Statistics said the number of job vacancies in Q3 of 2021 increased by 318,000, with all industry sectors being above or equal to the levels seen between January to March 2020, before the UK’s first lockdown.
While recovery news is good news, the pandemic has turned recruitment tables into an employee controlled market; the better talent using this as leverage for high salaries & better packages.
There is an alternative that is often overlooked; automation. An automated workflow can do the work of several people, quicker, more accurately & will run 24/7. Such systems typically cost less than the salary of one office administrator yet the benefits are numerous.
In fact, Lloyds Bank predicts around one million SMEs are still missing out on; productivity gains, cost savings, and crucially, a better work-life balance.
With this in mind, why are many companies still reluctant to embrace workflow management technologies?
Fear of change
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. We’ve done fine so far. There is often a reluctance by business owners to change, especially when that change involves technology. They may have little or misplaced knowledge of tech, so try to avoid it. It would have been difficult to explain the concept of the first car to horse owners.
The truth is, evaluating how new productivity technology can benefit your business has never been easier. The availability of free trial accounts, ready-to-use workflow templates and extensive support resources, means you’re in complete control of the evaluation process, at no financial risk.
Twenty-something years ago they installed a dos-based program. The IT crowd never fixed half of the bugs & it’s been a nightmare in a multitude of ways. Today, most systems are cloud-based (i.e. don’t need installing on office PCs), automatically update, connect to pretty much anything contemporaneous, plus most are a delight to use.
Designed with the user in mind, modern workflow management systems can be configured to your bespoke work process requirements, without a need for the developer. You don’t need to be able to fix an engine to drive a car anymore.
Where to start
One used to need a degree in astrophysics to integrate IT, or months of IT geeks going round in circles. Today’s systems are very user friendly, ready to use ‘out of the box’ workflow management tools, which can be integrated and customised in a few simple, guided steps. User guides & hints are commonplace now backed by customer support teams.
The dos based program cost thousands, needed loads of expensive hardware plus the cost of an IT team’s salary. Today’s systems run in the cloud so need nothing other than a half-decent PC & internet connection. They tend to cost less than the price of a daily coffee per employee and will pay for themselves many times over within weeks and months.
Has your interest peaked? Then here’s some more good news:
- Lloyds Bank estimates digital workflows could deliver the UK economy a “productivity dividend” of £64.6bn.
- The new government Help to Grow: Digital scheme will even fund 50% of the cost of a system for qualifying businesses, up to a maximum of £5,000.
This means the opportunity to integrate improved workflow management processes into your business has never been stronger.
Don’t want to make staff redundant.
Don’t then; you’ll have more time to source more work; twice the output with half the staff. You’ll have a more defined understanding of your typical customer demographic, so your marketing will be considerably more effective.
Where to look next
There are plenty of systems on the market, so do your research. We’re biased but we love SwiftCase because it ticks all the workflow automation boxes. It’s easy to start, includes a library of ready-to-use workflow templates, is extremely configurable, and can integrate into virtually every popular application, software or platform that businesses use.
Start your 14-day free trial today.