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Could automation technologies help to strengthen businesses in a post-pandemic world?

There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the conventional landscape of work as we know it. From the normalisation of remote working to the urgent need to reinvent our day-to-day businesses operations, we have seen companies go above and beyond to adapt as best as they possibly can. Speaking of which, there seems to have been a surge in businesses now relying on automation technologies to keep themselves afloat.

Headshot of Pavel 200x300 1 In investigating this trend, we spoke to one particular CEO, Pavel Stepanov. Pavel is the founder of Virtudesk, a company that has been using automation to refocus and expand during the pandemic. Here are some of the takeaways of what he had to say. 

Automation technology is now more important than ever 

From adding value to business workflows to minimising the risk of error, there are many advantages to implementing automation technologies in the workplace. In relation to the pandemic, it can be argued that such an unprecedented situation has helped to emphasise how these technologies can indeed save businesses in a crisis. 

In speaking about what the business world will be like when normality does come back into our lives, Mr Stepanov said: “Automation technology can absolutely strengthen businesses in a post-pandemic world. What 2020 has shown us is that we are relying heavily on technology. At the start of the pandemic, businesses were forced to transition not only their entire workforce online, but consumers more broadly embraced the online business world,”

“Because the volume of activity has gone dramatically up, automation technology is more important than ever in order to keep up with consumer activity, and run businesses efficiently.” 

Businesses need to use automation if they wish to scale and grow 

This leads to the burning question – is it essential for a business to turn to automation processes, whether that would be now or after the pandemic? 

Commenting on this, Mr Stepanov said: “We will see in a post-pandemic world that businesses will have to use automation technology if they want to scale and grow. If they don’t, further growth will be impeded as owners scratch  their heads as to why their company can never reach greater milestones.”

He added: “Automation allows any organisation to stay organised, structured, efficient, and relevant to their industry and customer base. Not only can automation dramatically cut down on costs, it can also allow the organisation’s people  to focus on revenue-generating activities such as spending time with leads or customers, expanding into new markets, exploring new channels, and more. This will reduce employees’ time spent on repetitive tasks that are essential, but don’t contribute to growth.” 

In considering these benefits, one can argue that automation technologies will not simply die out once this pandemic is over. Rather, automation is helping to change the future of work as we know it. 

Concerns about the future of the workforce 

Due to its ever-evolving nature, it is natural for workers to be fearful about automation when it comes to job security. However, it must be brought to light that automation can actually prevent job losses and even open up new employment opportunities. 

This is because we humans have unique skills that even the most advanced automation technologies lack. These days, companies are now looking out for workers who have the specialist skills to deal with more complex AI projects, particularly from a creative or logical point of view. That said, there seems to be a definite possibility that humans and bots can effectively work together in a post-pandemic world. 

The automation technologies of today 

Whether one is aware or not, automation exists all around us, especially in the context of work. From automated HR and accounting systems, to chatbot assistants, manufacturing and product line automation, the modern workplace has indeed been digitally transformed. What’s more, these processes have resulted in massive gains for businesses, from greater ROI to increased productivity. 

Finally, in speaking about the automation processes at his workplace and how these emerged as a result of the pandemic, Mr Stepanov said: “At Virtudesk, we have pivoted our business models around technology. We use automation not only to support our business but also to scale and grow,” 

“We currently use technologies such as Infusionsoft, Sprout Social, Podium, and more. However, we are growing rapidly in 2021, so we are onboarding a more robust automation system in order to increase the efficiency of our workforce, and help them spend more time on revenue-generating activities. When the pandemic is over this trend won’t fade away with the virus, but is here to stay.” 

As Mr Stepanov rightly puts it, it looks like automation technologies are here to stay. However, not only will they simply continue to exist, but it looks like they will also serve a beneficial purpose for the workforce of tomorrow.

Where Manchester-based businesses are concerned, we have already seen countless firms embrace automation and have already reaped the benefits. From AGM spray booth services in Heywood to businesses in and around the city centre, automation has helped overhaul age-old processes and streamline them to achieve newfound levels of productivity.

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