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How to Unlock Value in Your Business with Automation

Three key takeaways about implementing automation from our webinar

On June 1, 2022, Volaris held a webinar about how automation can help businesses unlock hidden value. Attendees got a glimpse of the discussions that our business leaders can engage in when they belong to a global community of more than 100 software businesses.

Did you miss the webinar? We’ve got you covered. Read a summary of the webinar below, or watch the full webinar.

Volaris Group CEO Mark Miller hosted the event and moderated the Q&A session, while Chief Strategy Officer Alice Luo served as our panel moderator. Luo shared recent research and analysis about automation, produced by her strategy team which helps advise many Volaris businesses. 

Attendees had the opportunity to hear from leaders from two businesses that are part of Volaris, including:

  • Four Js CEO Bryn Jenkins, whose business was acquired in 2021. Since joining Volaris, Four Js has been using automation to streamline parts of their business.
  • Function Point General Manager Bobby Floujeh, who has successfully used automation tools to help minimize customer churn. Function Point joined Volaris in 1997. 

Key Takeaway #1: You’re most likely underestimating the potential value and uses of automation in your business.

Businesses have opportunities to automate for both low and high-wage occupations, according to data cited by Luo. And reducing labor costs is certainly one reason business leaders may look for automated solutions.

But Luo cites data from the Bain Automation Survey showing that companies’ interest in automation extends beyond saving money—especially after COVID-19. Businesses are increasingly using automation to improve parts of the customer experience, reduce risk, and generate more business insights. Automation can enhance quality and productivity in all functions of a business, including product, services, and sales and marketing.

Automation can add value through:

  • Faster service and reduced processing times, 
  • Increased flexibility and scalability, with the ability to operate 24/7 and easily scale up or down, and
  • Improved quality control measures, possibly even achieving 100% quality control through greater traceability. 

Jenkins and Floujeh shared their observations about the biggest automation trends they see clients adopting. One of the trends being embraced is robotic process automation (RPA), which can use collected data and navigate systems to extract data. Another trend popular among clients is the all-in-one solution, which can integrate different solutions that a business uses into a singular system.

Mark Miller shared his own experience with automation when developing software for transit businesses, where it can be used to calculate pay for transit drivers and operators. He shared: “Sometimes people do things in a certain way just because they’ve always done it that way, but it may not always be right. Sometimes you can correct some of that by looking at the steps involved in automating a process.”

“Sometimes you can correct [business processes] by looking at the steps involved in automating.”

-Mark Miller, CEO, Volaris Group

Key Takeaway #2: Invest time analyzing how employees can add more value to the business if their repetitive tasks can be automated.

Floujeh empathizes with smaller companies that have fewer employees—the types of workplaces where automation can make a major impact. From Function Point’s perspective, one of the first recommendations that Floujeh gives to businesses is to ask: “How do I get more from what I have?”

When considering automation, Floujeh suggests that businesses clearly identify three distinct matters: (1) the problems they are trying to solve, (2) the intended outcome of automation, and (3) the value-add of automating that process. Then, he suggests assigning priority to each problem and determining which one would provide the most value through automation.

When implementing automation tools at Function Point, Floujeh asked how the process could make employees’ work more human: “How do we automate low-value, repetitive processes so we can focus more on clients, staff, and high-value tasks?”

Using automation reporting tools and machine learning, Function Point saw from their data that some clients weren’t getting enough attention from their customer care team. Then, Function Point used machine learning to predict which customers might be at risk of attrition. The business then reorganized some processes to relieve employees of repetitive tasks and allow more touch points between customers and sales staff. The result for Function Point has been reduced customer churn, along with improved customer care.

“We were able to create value from a human side instead of just a software side.”

-Bobby Floujeh, General Manager, Function Point 

Meanwhile, Four Js is already seeing positive outcomes after only a few months of automating some internal processes. New tools are allowing the company to reduce distractions for their sales staff when reporting internal data. Previously, that work sometimes involved staff chasing down other people to get the latest information. Four Js wanted that information to be readily available at their staff’s fingertips, and with less human error.

Now that Four Js is getting real-time data about their company, they have improved visibility into the company and can make better business decisions. Staff are more empowered to respond quickly to any patterns they see in the reporting data.

Key Takeaway #3: Don’t underestimate the importance of getting employee buy-in and navigating change management when implementing automated processes.

Automating business processes can introduce changes in how employees conduct their day, and both the panelists emphasize the importance of getting the whole team on board when implementing new tools. Both Jenkins and Floujeh got buy-in from their teams by communicating changes transparently and involving employees in the changes.

At Four Js, and Jenkins was careful not to impose new initiatives on this team. Instead, as the business leader, he shared his ideas along the way and the embrace of automation became a shared goal within the group.

Function Point's Floujeh shared a similar story. Function Point’s team became invested in automation as staff continually shared data points on how automation was improving their processes. This practice made it clear that the new automation tools were bringing value into the company.

Learn more about automation at Volaris:

About the Author

Dilys is the editorial director at Volaris Group. She has a background in business journalism, with past experience covering publicly-traded companies, M&A, C-suite executives, and business trends as a TV news producer. Do you have a topic you'd like to see Acquired Knowledge magazine cover? Send your reader suggestions to: acquired.knowledge@volarisgroup.com

Profile Photo of Dilys Chan