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Automation for the Rest of Us

6904521875_86ac4a0c77_nI’ve been on an automation kick recently. Well, perhaps “kick” is not the right word. Here’s what happened.

In 2015 Q3, we did some real digging into the company to determine what is and is not working. This includes a real deep dive into company culture, org chart, roles, support tiers, financials.. you name it and it was on a report or discussed in some way.

Through that process, I was able to start taking off a few hats here at Puryear IT. That has freed me up to really focus on two core roles: CEO and CTO. As CEO, I am responsible for the vision and strategy of the company. I then break that strategy into tactical needs, and I assign those tactical needs to a manager. (The old rule as a CEO is that my tactical action items become a manager’s strategic goals.)

As CTO, I am responsible for the vision of how we implement the technical requirements of the customers as well as the requirements here at Puryear IT.

And that is the long-winded way of saying: I’m automating because, as CTO, I see things that need automating.

We always tell our customers: Automate everything you can. Why? Because computers are wonderful at repetitive tasks and humans are absolutely horrible at them. Conversely, computers are horrible at decision-making while humans are great at it. Thus, you want computers doing the repetitive work and humans doing the decision-driven work.

We use several powerful tools to run our company, including Autotask PSA for helpdesk, project management, and financials and LogicNow MAX RMM for IT monitoring and management. We use a few other tools, but Autotask + LogicNow forms the basis of how we operate and everything else just plays a supporting role.

So clearly we need to reduce as much repetitive work in Autotask and LogicNow as possible. And that’s just what we’re doing. So far we’ve automated how projects are defined in Autotask, including financials for later comparison to actual costs; ensuring our techs are properly setup with rights and views; how tickets get coded and how small orders are billed; and more.

Fun, right? Actually yes. But more to the point, the automation is slowly but surely reducing the amount of time we require to do tasks that happen often. You add up several of these “automations” and suddenly you begin freeing up resources, especially people, to do more interesting work.

The coolest automation I’ve seen so far is the creation of a project in Basecamp HQ after a sale was closed in Quickbooks Online. A few clicks and the project was up and running. 2 years ago, you’d expect an human to actually do that legwork.

I’d love to know what you’ve come up with for tips and tricks to automating your business.

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