How to move from old spreadsheets to an automated booking system

22 November 2021

Automated booking system

Tired of copying and pasting? Spending too much time on business tasks? There’s an easier, more streamlined way of speeding up your daily activities and it’s in the form of workflow automation.

Estimated reading time: 4.7 minutes

Before any business can get the most from automating, it’s essential to understand exactly what automation is and the types of processes that can benefit. The problem is, making the move and overhauling key processes can be concerning for many business owners. What happens if something goes wrong?

When you know what to target and how to tackle the process, moving to automated reporting software can benefit your business in a multitude of ways. If your business is being held back by manual processes, it’s time to embrace automation and boost your workforce’s efficiency.

Start reducing repetition with these tips:

Ask these questions

A little self-evaluation is important before you start automating. You can define your goal and identify the needs of your users and objectives by answering a few questions first.

  1. How many documents (paper and digital) do you process each week, month and year?

  2. What are the bottlenecks in your current manual processes?

  3. Are all your current business processes aligned with your organisational strategies?

  4. Do you have a clear understanding of what your team do?

  5. Are there any critical issues that could arise from moving to automation? Troubleshooting, regular maintenance, team training and proper testing of your automated booking system can help resolve problems.

  6. Once automated, can your business work with less manpower and still deliver products or services with the same or better quality?

Audit your workflow for inefficiencies

Once you have a clear outline, it’s time to highlight inefficiencies in your current processes.

What activities are holding your business back? Pay attention to repetitive tasks, risks for human error or anything that requires intricacy, such as accounts payable and automatic payment processes. The idea is to automate processes you’re spending too much time on so you can free your staff up for higher-value work - more complex and vital tasks like building stronger relationships with customers.

Some factors to consider when auditing are:

  • The level of human involvement, e.g. data input/output and claims processing

  • Number of steps taken to complete each activity

  • How many systems your business is currently using

Sketch out the processes you want to automate by looking at how each typically works. Identify the steps and who does what. This will give you an indication of what technology you might need to effectively automate your processes.

Start simple

The best approach is to automate simple, small activities first.

You don’t need to overhaul everything or rethink your industry. Instead, start with a task or two and target the processes most likely to benefit from automation then work your way up.

Choose the right automated software for your business

The best automated reporting software is one that grows with your business, with powerful features and elevated customer service and experience. You’ll also want to check the level of support and training to minimise downtime and trust your team will be comfortable with the move.

Some features to look out for are:

  • Website and point of sale system integration

  • Customer portal for updating details, viewing information or setting up a direct debit

  • Flexible payment options

  • Secure payment processing

  • Booking and scheduling online

  • Multi-device compatibility

  • Performance reporting

  • Stock and inventory management

  • Self check-in

Read these tips for choosing the right software.

While automated booking systems are good for driving efficiency, you cannot remove the ‘human’ element from your team. Remember, technology and bots serve their purpose, but business is between people.

Find the perfect balance between automation and teamwork for your business. Book your free demo with Udio today.