April 09, 2013
3 Ways to Automate Repetitive Business Processes
One of the tenets of IT managed services is to deliver value and stability to your client in the most efficient way possible. For IT and managed service providers (ITSPs and MSPs) looking to provide the greatest level of efficiency within their business, automating repetitive business processes is key.
Here are three key business processes that you should automate within your business to increase their efficiency.
Although you are in business to make money, many MSPs find billing clients a chore - and as such they put it off.
A fully integrated IT business management platform will reduce the manual effort that goes into billing - automatically sending recurring invoices to clients at a specific time each month, and making the process of manually sending other invoices to clients a quick and painless affair that can be dealt with in a batch.
Integration between a IT business management platform like Autotask and industry standard accounts packages such as Sage and QuickBooks mean that your business and accounting systems are never out of sync either, reducing the potential for costly or embarrassing errors associated with double-inputting data between systems.
Keeping track of the various contracts you have with clients and suppliers can be a challenge. When you factor in that some individual clients might also have multiple contracts - for support, for hardware leases, for cloud services and for software licenses - and ensuring that no contracts approaching the end of their term slip through the cracks becomes a Herculean task.
Using customized workflows, Autotask can continuously scan your contracts with both clients and suppliers to ensure you are alerted when any contract is approaching its expiration.
You can then use the data gathered throughout the contract to make a fact-based decision on whether the contract should be renewed as is, or whether you need to renegotiate the deal to ensure it provides the best value to your (and their) business.
From the day your client signs a managed service contract with you, their IT infrastructure is likely to start changing.
Employees join and leave, servers are replaced, workstations are added and removed, and printers and other network devices change.
But what happens if a client adds a workstation just days after an audit of the existing infrastructure is undertaken? How would your client feel if they’d be billed for months for a workstation that has been decommissioned?
A better way of tracking assets is to implement a remote monitoring and management (RMM) tool which feeds asset data directly into your IT business management platform. Once this data is captured, it is kept up to date in real-time - meaning you always know what hardware and software is being used on your client networks, and that you can bill for it accordingly.
Delivering managed services is about efficiency and providing value to your clients. Make sure to leverage automation for key business processes so that you can manage, service and bill your clients accurately and automatically.