6 ways to recession-proof your business with automation in 2022
About 70% of economists believe that the United States will soon be in a recession. Regardless of the cause—inflation, the war in Ukraine, or the underwhelming effect of interest rate hikes—it looks like an economic downturn is inevitable.
So how can you make sure your business can weather a recession—or any other kind of economic storm? The key for many organizations is automating core processes and tasks. Figuring out where to start, and exactly how automation can support your business, can be a challenge.
This guide will help you start designing your automation roadmap.
Creating a Recession-Proof Business Through Automation
A recession-proof business is one that’s able to:
- Pivot to a leaner operation and reduce costs to offset lower revenues
- Modify or diversify offerings to appeal to a wider customer base while also fine-tuning products to win the loyalty of existing clients
In other words, to survive a recession, you need to cut costs and attract and retain devoted customers. While there certainly are other ways to achieve these objectives, automation can help you hit your goals faster.
1. Cost Optimization
The first step in optimizing costs is to identify tasks that don’t directly result in revenue generation. Automating non-revenue-generating tasks saves you money because these activities take time, and time is money—specifically, in terms of staff salary.
Here are examples of tasks that can be automated:
- Compliance and risk management
- Resolving accounting issues, such as processing mismatches between invoices and purchase orders
- Certain equipment maintenance procedures, such as identifying faulty parts before they fail
2. Employee Hiring and Retention
By automating repetitive, monotonous tasks, you keep employees happy, which boosts retention—not to mention, productivity. By helping your employees stay productive, you make more customers happy, which is crucial during a recession.
However, you can also automate elements of the hiring process to pinpoint high-value candidates. By focusing on acquiring talented, dependable individuals who can succeed in multiple positions, you're positioning your company to survive—and thrive—during a recession. For example, human capital management (HCM) software can help standardize the screening process, remove many manual activities like sorting and organizing resumes, and even take care of scheduling.
3. Better Customer Experiences
Customers hate it when companies waste their time. To enter a recession with more satisfied, loyal customers, use automation to:
- Deploy chatbots to answer basic customer queries
- Quickly surface data regarding the status of orders, as well as events that could impact product delivery timelines
- Provide retailers with automated self-service portals that enable them to place, manage, and check on orders
4. Inventory Downsizing
Once you've acquired inventory, you also have to store and manage them. To reduce inventory and the associated costs, you can use automation to:
- Automatically generate purchase orders only when inventory drops below a certain level
- Design inventory analysis systems that can predict when inventory for certain items may reach a crucial level
- Set up systems that factor in transit times for different supply chains, enabling you to execute a lean, just-in-time (JIT) inventory strategy
5. Multiple Revenue Streams
By adding new sources of revenue during the lead-up to a recession, you provide your organization with extra income that can offset cash dips when the economy slips. How you use automation to create additional revenue streams will vary according to your business, but the goal is to identify what your customers need and provide the corresponding product or service.
For example, by building a system that automatically produces financial performance charts and graphs based on customer data, a professional services firm could add business forecasting or consultancy to their menu of products and services.
6. Improving Your Offerings
With automation, you can modify your products or services to make them more valuable for customers without rebuilding from the ground up. For example, you can use automation to:
- Provide customers with tools that help them keeptheir items in tip-top shape
- Find ways to optimize the supply chain—such as eliminate redundant processes—so manufactured goods get to customers faster
Doing NetSuite Automation Right with GSI
GSI’s managed services can help you nail your NetSuite automation, so you can diversify your offerings, reduce costs, and keep your customers happy. Our seasoned experts have extensive experience setting up NetSuite automations to help you weather the next recession. Reach out today to learn more.