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What is Digital Automation & Integration?

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Here is an example: Efficient Networking Contact Management

Let me explain about digital automation and how brilliant it has been for our networking processes in the past.

I will use the example that I always talk about for networking connection business cards. Those business cards that are piling up on your desk and you never get around to logging. Or even sorting out a system or place TO log them!

Digital Automation at its best

This is what I do when I meet someone new at networking; it’s about getting their business card details into my CRM (Client – or Customer – Relationship Management) system and making an appointment for a one to one. I have things set up so that I can automatically send out an email to get an appointment to meet for a 1:1 by only taking a photo of the business card!

  1. I take a photo of the business card via a contacts app on my phone.
  2. The details are transcribed along with a pre-set tag that I add – i.e. “Business Woman met Networking General” (I have other specific tags for my regular networking meetings)
  3. These details are automatically sent to a web-based integration tool (I use Zapier – there are quite a few around check out… .
  4. The Integration tool ‘interprets’ the data and then matches it to the data in my CRM (client relationship management) system, which I have pre-set.
  5. The data is then sent to my CRM system where it recognises the tag that I created, and it adds this tag to the contact.
  6. My system is set up to then trigger an automation by sending out an email to this contact.
  7. In that email, which is personalised, I say that it was lovely to meet, but hard to chat at these type of networking meetings. It would be great to meet for a one to one. I have a link to my appointment booking system (which is automatically kept up to date through an automation from my calendar) so that my new contact can book an appointment with me to meet, either in person or online.
  8. I have also set it so that if they DON’T click on the link then they get an email to remind them.
  9. I DO tell everyone that this is what is going to happen when they hand me their card. I also ask if it’s okay to do so. Just a bit of
  10. I can also set my system to then send out follow up emails and just keep in touch with my contact.

As you can see, something like this has a powerful impact on my business and saves a lot of time. Not only that, it means that I grow my list and can communicate swiftly in the way I want.

Digital automation set up takes time and is not a quick job but…

All of this takes some time and planning. There are so many ways in which you can automate some of your most laborious tasks by finding and setting up the right processes.

I won’t say it’s an easy thing to do, however once you have mastered the idea of it and researched and set everything up, it saves you SO much time over and over and over again. Not only that but you can spend time on getting your communications RIGHT. And this is critical.

There are too many variants to cover them all in one blog but if this just raises awareness to the fact that you actually can automate so many jobs that are taking you a lot of time. And even, do things that you never get round to doing. Then at least you can now research and get more of an idea of what to do.

We can help you set things up and discuss what would best suit your business and way of working.

And if you are a woman in business check out Women On the Web for the best digital knowledge

10 Challenges of Digital Automation and Integration

Digital automation and integration pose unique challenges in the United Kingdom, and addressing these hurdles is crucial for businesses looking to streamline their operations and stay competitive in today’s digital landscape.

1. Data Privacy Regulations: The UK has strict data privacy regulations, notably the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Ensuring that automated processes comply with these regulations is a significant challenge. Businesses must invest in robust data protection measures and ensure that customer data is handled securely.

2. Legacy Systems: Many UK businesses still rely on legacy systems that may not easily integrate with modern automation tools. Upgrading these systems while maintaining business continuity can be complex and costly.

3. Skills Gap: Finding talent with the right skills to implement and manage automation processes can be challenging. There’s a growing demand for professionals who understand both the technical aspects and compliance requirements.

4. Cybersecurity: As automation increases, so does the potential attack surface for cybercriminals. Protecting automated processes and data from cyber threats is an ongoing challenge that requires continuous vigilance and adaptation.

5. Interoperability: Integrating various software and systems can be complicated, especially when different vendors are involved. Ensuring that different components work seamlessly together is essential for efficient automation.

6. Scalability: Digital automation should be able to scale with business growth. Ensuring that automated processes remain effective and efficient as a business expands can be a complex undertaking.

7. Costs: While automation can lead to cost savings in the long run, the initial investment can be significant. Small businesses, in particular, may find it challenging to allocate resources for automation projects.

8. User Acceptance: Employees may resist automation if they perceive it as a threat to their jobs. Effective change management and communication are essential to gain buy-in from staff.

9. Monitoring and Analytics: It’s crucial to continuously monitor and analyze automated processes for performance and compliance. Setting up the right monitoring tools and interpreting the data can be challenging.

10. Adaptation to Market Changes: As the digital landscape evolves, businesses need to adapt their automation strategies accordingly. Staying ahead of technological trends and consumer preferences is a perpetual challenge.

In conclusion, while digital automation and integration offer numerous benefits, they come with their fair share of challenges, especially in the UK’s regulatory and business environment. Overcoming these obstacles requires a strategic approach, investment in technology and talent, and a commitment to staying compliant and secure in an ever-changing digital world.

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