You’ve convinced yourself that your departement or your company needs to be fully automated?

First, look at the big picture of automation possibilities

In order to automate, you need to know what can be automated first. That’s why you should take 1-2 hours to search through lists of automations on popular automation softwares.

  • Integromat’s use cases:
  • Zapier’s use cases:
  • Zapier’s use cases by roles:
  • Parabola’s recipes:

Then, understand which are the major categories of automations

For SMBs and startups, most of automations fall in these categories:

  • Notifications: you (or your employees, customers, etc.) need to be aware automatically of an information in a mass of data, when it happens. Then, you act manually on it.
  • On-demand document creation: reports, contracts, HR documents, invoices, recap emails, etc. : documents are still essential and creating them automatically can be a HUGE time-saver.
  • Single Place of Truth (SSoT) / Central database: you need to organize your documents, your projects, your data in one central database to maintain data integrity. That’s the specific case of connecting third-party between them. Read our article.
  • Enhancing your data: using multiple APIs easily is the basis of automation. The last part of automation is to enhance what you can do with you data, automatically.

Where should you start?

You should start by automating notifications

Why? Because it’s quite easy to configure, and because there are mainly upsides for notifications.

To sum up: the system identifies an important information in dozens of emails, and sends this information to slack or some similar channel.

2 cases:

  • the notification isn’t useful: okay, you loose some time because you’ve read it and it’s not useful.
  • you didn’t see the info: now you can act on it manually and answer more quickly

Minimum downsides, maximum upsides (for example, if you forgot a part of an important project, and the system identifies that).

If you are a manager, you will have a backguard system to not forget things.

If you’re a business owner, you will have a extra-system so that you identify important things in your company, and your employees can also have notifications to not forget things.

That’s easily the best ROI you can find. Even if you don’t save time by automating repetitive tasks, you will save time/money by uncovering things earlier, and act on them quickly.

Then, automate your reports/documents

Again, that’s where automation has a big ROI.

Most of documents in companies have inherent variables in them. You just need a form and a template: then you link them with automation.

Many SaaS offer solutions to automate that. You can use them if it solves 100% of your problems, but you can also make a custom automation for this part because it can be a huge time-saver.

That’s the category that probably has the best ROI in terms of time saved.


Once you get there, create data integrity with a central database

Once you have notifications and documents created automatically, you or some employees will have time to work on more high-value things.

You will be blocked if you can’t access the data properly.

That’s why we discuss this issue in this article.

Having a central database means that when you update something somewhere, this thing is updated everywhere else. That’s crucial to keep moving correctly.


Finally, enhance your process

That’s the last step. You’ve got automatic notifications to be aware of problems and act manually on them.

You create recurrent documents/reports with forms, document templates and glue between them.

Your data is reliable and accessible.

Your processes are probably more efficient and Bill Gates resonates in you: “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”

So what do you do in this step?

  • You can add power to your data with additional APIs,
  • You can take each process and semi-automate it from start to finish. We talk about semi-automation in this article.