Automation: Because You Care

I was working with some automation over the weekend. I had a very repetitive form that I had to complete for a regulatory body. I had the data in a few different places, but the form was an absolute pain. I would cut my data, have to find the right place to put it in the form, and then paste. Then I would have to double-check that everything was correct. If I missed something, or if I entered the wrong data in the wrong place, the form wouldn’t let me submit (as it shouldn’t.)

After a little bit of work, I decided that I would be better off setting this up as an Autoform form. I expected that for the number of entries I had to do it would take me another hour to complete the work. Autoform is a small application which takes data from a CSV file and inserts it into your form when you need it. Here is the graphic of how this works.

I still had to take the data an put it into a table. But at least I could easily cut-and-paste duplicate columns. (I could just drag specific fields around in google sheets.) But once I had the data in a nice table, I could use Autoform to make entry after entry.

As I watched the text fill each form automatically, I could feel a sense of peace. I didn’t have to cut-and-paste. I was confident that what I had put on the spreadsheet was ending up in my form.

Automation Is To Make People Better

My Autoform experience reminded me (or taught me again): we use automation to make people better at what they do. If you want your employees to feel better about their work, be more engaged, and offer personal customer service: take away the repetitive soul-sucking tasks. You clock an efficiency gain. But also think about how your employee feels when answering their phone after having horrible data entry experience for 30 minutes. Now think about how they will answer the phone if they watched automation do the data entry for them. Which employee would you rather speak to if you were calling?

Automation: Make It Happen

Use Autoform, or use something else. If you care about your employees, find ways to automate the tasks that cause stress. Automation isn’t about getting rid of employees; it is about valuing the work that your employees can do, that a computer can’t do. Show your employees that you appreciate them by having them do the tasks that only they can do.

This Post Is A Sales Pitch

Automation is important. You need to invest in it. You don’t necessarily need to buy it from me, but you need to find a way to use automation. I can help you figure out what can make life better for your employees, but so can other people. I don’t care who you talk to about automating something, just make a plan to improve your employee’s lives. They will thank you, and you will thank yourself when you see your bottom line increase.