Business owners are all too familiar with the headaches caused by manual administrative tasks. They can be tedious, time-consuming and distracting, but even saying all of that could be underselling how harmful such processes are to businesses. Small and medium-sized businesses are especially susceptible to the often-unseen costs of manual workflows, as resources are a bit more limited than in an enterprise environment. If you think manual processes are dragging your organization down (and there’s a good chance they are), consider looking into professional services automation solutions for help.

Before Professional services automation: Calculating the cost of manual processes

SMBs have so many pressing day-to-day challenges to tackle that it’s easy for less-overt costs to go by unnoticed. Administrative tasks and manual entry may be viewed as nuisances, but department heads may not readily identify the tangible dollar value attached to these headaches.

Once you sit down and quantify the lost productivity and manpower resulting from such workflows, the final numbers are nothing short of eye-popping: A September 2017 survey conducted by Plum Consulting revealed that the average business devotes the equivalent of 120 working days each year solely to administrative tasks, representing 5 percent of an SMB’s total manpower.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though: The study concluded that even a slight increase in productivity (about 5 percent) across the United States would increase the nation’s annual gross value add by $325 billion. A little efficiency can go a long way.

“Manual processes are a massive drain on business resources.”

Where manual workflows hit hardest

Manual processes are annoying, sure, but how do they become so expensive? First, there’s the lost productivity: Every minute and hour spent handling mindless data entry or tedious administrative jobs is time that could have otherwise been devoted to more value-driven and business-critical objectives. If you think filling out spreadsheets with duplicate information is just mind-numbingly boring, think again – it’s also a massive drain on business resources.

Then there’s the employee engagement and satisfaction elements to consider. A happy worker is a productive worker, but all too often, manual processes get in the way. Instead of spending their days on impactful and meaningful work, many staff members are tied up in headache-inducing administrative tasks. That can have a profound effect on their level of job satisfaction.

According to Paycom, 87 percent of employees feel disengaged while on the job, costing the U.S. economy as much as $500 million each year as a result. Automating those tedious processes can lead to better engagement and higher productivity.

professional services automationEngaged employees are more productive than those mired in manual processes.

PSA solutions are here to save the day

PSA software can eliminate some of the manual processes that are such a drain on business operations. To see PSA in action, consider accounts payable. APQC researcher Mary Driscoll noted that 62 percent of total accounts payable expenses can be attributed to labor costs. By automating those workflows through a PSA platform, businesses can drastically cut down on unnecessary expenditures and improve efficiency.

Of course, PSA solutions can be applied to numerous scenarios, workflows and departments, bringing the benefits of automation to every corner of the business. To find out more, contact us today!