Daily routine tasks: many hours are spent on simple tasks such as replying to requests for information materials and sending out acceptance e-mails in response to inquiries about sending information materials.

By reducing the time spent on such simple tasks, the time saved can be used for other tasks, and labor costs can be reduced through proper segregation of duties.

This time, we would like to estimate the time required for simple routine tasks and consider how we can reduce such wasted time.

Time Consumed by Routine Tasks

Now let us estimate how much time is consumed by simple tasks for the following operations.

Order handling

Except for mail, telephone and fax orders, whether the customer is a company or a general consumer, or the products handled are tangible or intangible, replying to an email promptly after receiving an order is an important initiative that will give the customer a sense of security.

However, it is also true that in many cases it takes time to confirm order details after receiving an order and to reply that the order is complete. Therefore, immediately responding that the order has been accepted provides the customer with a sense of security.

The following is a possible flow for manually creating and sending such a confirmation e-mail.

  1. Open Order Management screen/Order Mail
  2. Copy the email address of the person who placed the order
  3. Open mailer
  4. Paste your email address into the destination
  5. Open Order Management screen/Order Mail
  6. Copy the name of the ordering company or department
  7. Open mailer
  8. Copying the address into the body of the email
  9. Select (copy and paste) a template for the body of the email
  10. Open Order Management screen/Order Mail
  11. Copy order details
  12. Open mailer
  13. Paste your order into the body of the text
  14. Confirm the contents of the transmission (e-mail address/address/text/order details)
  15. Send Email

Considering that the work time to send an e-mail is about 2 minutes, 30 orders would take about 1 hour..

Inquiry response

In responding to inquiries, a quick response is required as well as in handling orders. How long does it take to manually create and send an email acknowledging receipt of an inquiry?

Since the workflow is similar to that of order fulfillment, it is expected to take about 2 minutes, which means that 30 inquiries will require about 1 hour of work time.

Support for requests for information materials

A quick response to requests for information is also required. Providing prospective customers who are interested in your products and services with the information they seek as quickly as possible is an important approach to preventing a decline in their willingness to purchase.

Considering the time required to do this is about 6 minutes since the work such as finding the material file, attaching it, confirming, saving the requester’s information to the database and confirming it, are added to the order fulfillment workflow. Therefore, 30 requests for information will take about 3 hours.

Web page access report

Checking the number of visits to the company’s website is an important initiative in implementing the PDCA cycle for content marketing and digital marketing.

In terms of work time, it will take about 2 hours for 30 pages, considering that it takes about 4 minutes per page to search and acquire access data for the relevant page and period from the management screen of access analysis software, CMS, etc., and report the data in a graph or other summary form to the relevant persons by email.

Automation Methods and Time Saved

For example, the four tasks for which we have estimated the work time (sending order confirmation emails, sending inquiry confirmation emails, responding to requests for information, and reporting web page access) would take approximately 7 hours if performed manually. If these tasks were to become daily routine tasks, one person would be needed.

Specific ways to automate routine tasks

For automation of routine tasks, we recommend the cloud-based workflow Questetra BPM Suite, which allows you to create a workflow diagram and set up tasks to build a business system with no code. (The created workflow diagram becomes the blueprint of the business system, and the system runs according to the workflow diagram.)

By using Questetra BPM Suite to draw a workflow diagram of the business, set tasks, etc., the business application is completed (and made into a business system). There are two types of Tasks: Tasks to be processed by humans and Tasks to be processed automatically. By using these automatic processing tasks, you can automate routine jobs.

The following is a workflow diagram for each specific task to see how it will be automated.

Send order confirmation e-mail
Workflow diagram for order fulfillment

The figure above is a workflow diagram for order fulfillment. The area circled by the red line is the flow where confirmation emails are automatically sent. The process starts automatically (the workflow diagram starts moving from the start task to the end task) when the order receipt email is received.

  1. The contents of received order emails are automatically imported.
  2. The pre-written text is set in the body of the email. In addition, the data imported in step 1 (email address, name, order details, etc.) will be automatically inserted into the designated areas (such as the address of the email and the body of the message).
  3. An email automatically created in 2 will be automatically sent.
Inquiry confirmation email sent
Workflow diagram of inquiry response

The above figure shows a workflow diagram for responding to inquiries. The red line indicates the flow where a confirmation email is automatically sent. The process starts automatically when an inquiry email is received or an inquiry form is submitted.

  1. The contents of incoming inquiry emails and inquiry forms are automatically captured.
  2. The pre-written text is set in the body of the email. In addition, the data imported in step 1 (email address, company name, department name, name, inquiry content, etc.) will be automatically inserted in the designated areas (such as the address of the email and the designated areas of the body of the email).
  3. The email automatically created in 2 will be automatically sent.
Support for requests for information materials
Workflow diagram for responding to requests for information

The above figure shows the workflow diagram for responding to a request for information. The area circled by the red line is the flow where the document download URL email is automatically sent. The process starts automatically when the information request form is submitted.

  1. The information entered in the information request form will be automatically imported.
  2. Obtain the document download URL. First, a folder is automatically created on the storage service Box that can be accessed by the person requesting the material. The master file of the document, which was previously saved in another folder in Box, is duplicated and saved in the temporary folder, and a folder sharing link is created.
  3. An email with the URL for downloading the documents automatically created in step 3 will be automatically sent.
Checking the number of daily visits to the web page
Workflow diagram of automatic visit count acquisition

The above figure shows the workflow diagram for automatic visit count acquisition.

  1. Every morning at 7:00 a.m., a timer is activated and the process starts automatically.
  2. You can get the measurement period (the previous 7 days) and automatically get the number of visits from WordPress for the pages you set up in advance for the measurement period.
  3. The acquired data is converted into a bar graph (for easier viewing).
  4. The acquired data (number of visits in the previous day for each page/graph of visits in the past 7 days) will be automatically inserted into an email.
  5. The email generated in 4 will be automatically sent to the predefined parties.

By automating all of these routine tasks seven hours of work time can be saved each day, which reduces labor costs for one person. If we assume that the monthly salary of one part-time worker is about $1,300 (converted to 140 hours of work per month based on the Tokyo minimum wage), the Professional Edition of Questetra BPM Suite will save about $1,260.

In addition, if the work is divided among several people each person will have new time to devote to other tasks.

The Benefits of Automation are not Limited to Time Savings

Operational errors can occur when sending emails manually. For example, when sending an order confirmation email in response to an order, a confirmation email may be mistakenly sent to another person who placed an order.

In this case it is necessary to spend more time than usual to review, create, check the contents, and send the apology email, which takes extra work time. It also makes the customer feel uneasy. This is a counterproductive approach to improving the customer’s sense of security. This is true not only for sending emails but also for other operations.

Automation is one of the ways to mitigate such risks, and if you make good use of automation, you will not have to worry about making operational mistakes.

We recommend Questetra BPM Suite to reduce man-hours including labor costs and improve business quality.

※ You can try a free trial to see how it actually works. (We have a wide variety of templates available, so you can see how it works right away if you use one of our templates.)

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