Your body needs a certain amount of protein, fat and carbs to function properly. Depending on your lifestyle, the amounts vary. By tracking your macros, you make sure you fuel your body with the right type of energy to perform, have energy throughout the day, build muscle and maintain hormonal balance. In other words, no matter what goal you have, it’s important to eat within the right macro ratio to be healthy. Simplify your macro tracking with Lifesum’s great in-app meal plan. The Lifesum app is available for both iPhone and Android and even offers a free version.
Few workers may have the desire to fully self-automate, but it appears a growing number are interested in scripting the busy work. The productivity web is littered with blog posts and how-to articles with titles like “How I Automated My Job With Node JS,” and there are dozens of podcasts about every conceivable kind of automation: small business, marketing, smartphone. It’s a burgeoning cottage industry.
As it stands, self-automation can be empowering. But as automation techniques become better understood, they may simply become yet another skill set management can expect employees to possess, or learn—passing the gains to their organization, then making themselves useful in some other way. “Employees will increasingly need to automate their own jobs or get moved out,” writes the Harvard Business Review. “Worldwide, we’ll see many more top-down managerial mandates for bottom-up automation initiatives.” And the rich and their employee-built bots will again swallow the gains.
Business process automation (BPA) is the technology-enabled automation of complex business processes. It can help to streamline a business for simplicity, achieve digital transformation, increase service quality, improve service delivery or contain costs. BPA consists of integrating applications, restructuring labor resources and using software applications throughout the organization. Robotic process automation is an emerging field within BPA and uses artificial intelligence. BPAs can be implemented in a number of business areas including marketing, sales and workflow.
Ajay Prasad, Founder and President of GMR Transcription and RepuGen, says: “There are two major ways that I have been able to improve my own businesses and my clients' through automation and systematization. First, I have developed an automated software solution called RepuGen to automate the difficult process of gathering customer and client feedback and managing online reviews. We all know the importance of online reviews, but typically we can never find the time to manage them. My clients and I were facing the difficulty of getting our happy customers to write reviews, and all manual processes were taking up much of our time.
“The most important thing to consider is the problem you are trying to solve. Many test automation initiatives fail because teams are trying to jump in head first and automate every test possible instead of the most valuable tests according to the goals of development. They find themselves in a maintenance nightmare. Pick the most valuable test you were already performing manually and automate those first.”
Check out some of the resources below or head over to our automated testing starter kit for more tips, resources, and tools for you to use to make your transformation seamless. You’ll find more information on what you should automate first, how to succeed when moving beyond manual testing, a downloadable guide to help you pick the right tool that fits your needs and an ROI calculator you can leverage to help your boss, or your team understand why automated testing is imperative.
“With the use of automation tools like CRM software, it is easier to quickly resolve customer complaints. Automation helps you deliver excellent products and services with robotlike efficiency: quick order fulfillment, faster service delivery, and seamless logistics. As a digital marketing agency, we always use SEO software, such as Screaming Frog or Xenu, for BPA. This helps to reduce our effort and increase our on-page optimization. Most companies spend a significant amount of time, effort, and money training new employees on their way of doing things.
The example is trivial; of course you'll create a login function that you can reuse. But when we get to the nitty-gritty of the application — creating new data, editing rows and profiles, searching, and so on — it is tempting to just get the code to work. As you add new features, you copy/paste to make a new automated example. Over a period of years, you end up with a lot of copied/pasted code.
A bank deploying thousands of bots to automate manual data entry or to monitor software operations generates a ton of data. This can lure CIOs and their business peers into an unfortunate scenario where they are looking to leverage the data. Srivastava says it's not uncommon for companies to run ML on the data their bots generate, then throw a chatbot on the front to enable users to more easily query the data. Suddenly, the RPA project has become an ML project that hasn't been properly scoped as an ML project. "The puck keeps moving," and CIOs struggle to catch up to it, Srivastava says. He recommends CIOs consider RPA as a long-term arc, rather than as piecemeal projects that evolve into something unwieldy.
Ethan H. Goodman, Digital Marketing Manager of DubSEO Limited, says, “All business growth is directly or indirectly tied to your ability to automate your business. The advantage of business automation is the ability to increase efficiency and productivity. People generally function well when they are put in positions that motivate them. The reality is that most routine activities aren’t motivating or exciting. This means that your employees will simply go through the motions without putting in 100 percent. The best part of business automation is that you spend less time on routine tasks by letting your software or outsourced agency handle that part of your business while you focus on growth and expansion.
Where do you begin with a BPA project? How do you identify which processes should be automated at the beginning? Companies should select the processes by first looking at their strategic needs. In this way, companies should ask themselves what will make them more competitive in the marketplace. For instance, you may be concerned with getting goods to market quicker (or first) or decreasing the price of your products by improving your margins.
This approach involves finding a specialty within your profession that wouldn’t be economical to automate. In Boston, near the headquarters of Dunkin’ Donuts, a reporter recently peered into “the secret world of the Dunkin’ Donuts franchise kings.” One of them, Gary Joyal, makes a good living (if his Rolls-Royce is any indication) by connecting buyers and sellers of Dunkin’ Donuts franchises. As the Boston Globe put it, Joyal “uses his encyclopedic knowledge of franchisees—and often their family situations, income portfolios, and estate plans—to make himself an indispensable player for buyers and sellers alike.” So far he has helped to broker half a billion dollars’ worth of deals.
Automation, the application of machines to tasks once performed by human beings or, increasingly, to tasks that would otherwise be impossible. Although the term mechanization is often used to refer to the simple replacement of human labour by machines, automation generally implies the integration of machines into a self-governing system. Automation has revolutionized those areas in which it has been introduced, and there is scarcely an aspect of modern life that has been unaffected by it.