I’ll admit it – I’m lazy. I love things that make my life easier. I love tools that save time and take away the hassle of doing day-to-day jobs. (And, given that today is my wedding anniversary, I should point out that I don’t mean Louise!)
That’s why I’m a huge fan of automation. Software that does exactly that – makes my life easier by taking away some of the daily grind for me and for the team.
As an example, on the accounting side, our cloud software lets us just take photos of invoices and automatically analyses them and posts them. And links directly to the bank accounts. No more typing!
I also love the fact that, for example, I dictate this email and it’s transcribed for me. I then schedule the email in advance to drop into your inbox at 10.30am on Thursday.
When I meet a prospect, I have a cloud-based tool that produces a swanky proposal. When they sign it electronically, it automatically takes them through to a page where they can start filling in all the details that we need, while simultaneously entering their details and raising an invoice in my accounting system, and also sending them a direct debit form. All without me doing anything.
But the thing with automation is you do have to keep an eye on it. For me, one of the things that crops up periodically is on my own invoices and receipts. Receipt Bank, our app, is brilliant, but every now and then it makes a mistake as it can’t think around a problem. Recently I had a £400 parking bill in my accounts. To be fair to Receipt Bank, there wasn’t a decimal place between the four and the two zeros, so how could it know it was actually £4.00? And it did stick out a mile so I spotted it in my accounts and fixed it. But, like I say, you do have to keep an eye on it.
This week, Arsenal FC and Adidas found this out too. Arsenal launched a new kit, and Adidas posted it on Twitter, asking people to retweet it. If they did, the account automatically took their Twitter name, put it onto the back of a shirt as a picture, and retweeted that photo with “Welcome to the Arsenal squad.”
The problem was that a number of these Twitter names included either rude words or racist terms, and Arsenal and Adidas were left with egg on their face.
You see, they relied on automation, but forgot that every now and then you have to be careful, and it needs that human touch.
So this week my question to you is – what can you automate that will make your life easier?
But, while doing that, just reminding you to be a little bit careful as computers do make mistakes too.
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