Automation and You: Admitting When a Process Isn't Working

This is an excerpt from our new E-book: "Future-Proof: Automation and Your Community Association Management Company."

When you know what processes you currently have in place, you can create workflows to streamline those processes. But how does that really benefit you? To quote the old adage, "Why fix what isn't broken?" 

Well, how do you know it isn't broken if you don't take the time to analyze it? 

A Process Mapping Example

First, the receptionist takes the call and asks the homeowner how they can help. The homeowner explains that the street light is blinking outside their window every night. The receptionist enters a service request into the management software, and tells the homeowner they will be out to look at it soon.

End of process, right?

Not so fast.

As a result of the request, someone (or something) has to inform the maintenance manager, who has to assign one of their people to go have a look at the light to confirm the issue the homeowner reported. They realize that the light can only be replaced by the power company, so they have to put in a request for the power company to come out.

The power company tells the maintenance manager they have to special order the part and cannot replace until next week.

Meanwhile the homeowner is still waiting on someone to fix the light. But because the receptionist took that call and then washed her hands of it, nobody is informing the homeowner of what is happening with the light.

Now the homeowner is angry, and it just so happens that she is best friends with the board president.

Next thing you know, the community is shopping for a new management company because of how poor the communication is from this management company.

(This is a real story that actually happened!)

Automation Can Save a Client

With just a little bit of automation, this management company could have kept a client from being put at risk, and followed through on all of their responsibilities.

At the stage when the receptionist added the request, the management system could have automatically associated that request with that homeowner. Each time the ticket to replace the bulb got updated, the system could have generated an email or a note on the community’s online portal to inform the homeowner of the new status.

At the end of the process, the community manager could have had a task automatically assigned to follow up with the homeowner to insure that everything worked out to their satisfaction.

That is how you can insert automation into your processes. Find the areas that will help reduce duplication of efforts, lighten your load, and improve communications.

Good automation makes your team look good, and by extension, your business.

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