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As a businessman, you work hard to get your business to reach new heights. However, some of you are not able to achieve the desired growth of dry cleaning business . While, others reach great heights with little hard work.

Do you know why? Because some of us do not see the other side of the coin that is smart work. Hard work and Smart work go hand in hand. If you work on only one part of the equation, you can never reach the answer.

We all know how to do hard work, but the secret to smart work is only known to few. That secret is Automation.

Automation is the ultimate golden-egg laying hen. Use it wisely, you have invaluable rewards. If you get impatient, all you get is nothing. Automation has been long criticized and praised simultaneously for its advantages and disadvantages. To us, we see automation in a completely different perspective. As the saying goes, the glass is half full, to some the glass is half empty. But we miss out on the point that the glass is refillable and this is so apt for automation too.

Before we dive into the part where we discuss how automation can help you with the growth of dry cleaning business, let me clear out the air that goes around the advantages and disadvantages of automation.

Automation Advantages

Let’s start with the advantages.

  1. Automation brings in higher efficiency. Your business operations, services and user roles and responsibilities are clearly defined, hence, the functioning is streamlined to achieve optimal results. 
  2. The scope of pilferage is reduced to nil. Since, there is little room for employees to do anything beyond their assigned role, manipulation is non existent. 
  3. The scope of human error in order generation and service delivery is limited. Each order has to be generated using the set of rules predefined by you. Since the deviation from these rules either result in either order not being generated or you being in monitor of an exceptional case. Let me make it more clear with an example, assume there is a customer with a garment that has a delicate fabric. Most probably, treating it might damage the garment. Not at the time of order generation one of the step defined is to check the garment before order generation and to add the delicate garment at their risk. The consent is taken in the form of digital signature during order generation while keeping the customer informed about the probable damage. At the same time, the special note is attached to the garment tag to notify the staff about the condition of the garment. Now, the only possible way to still upset teh customer is to deliberately deliver a bad quality service of processing the garments, which, we know, is highly unlikely.

Here, the highlight is the clear expectation that you have set with the customer and your employees at the workshop. Instead of getting a shock of a damaged garment, the customer can make a wise choice of either not going ahead with the service or opting for another service which might have additional charges, which also justifies your prices.

In case of absence of automation, these information would have most probably not been told to the customer and eventually would have ended up in a bad experience for both you and the customer.

  1. As a derivative outcome from the above success, is the decrease in number of customer complaints.
  2. This also leads to better customer experience that is consistent and builds customer loyalty. When looking out for building a brand value, customer loyalty is the number one criteria that you need to fulfill. Automation brings this most sought after goal as a byproduct of your efforts.
  3. Special offers, discounts, and packages are some of the best ways to keep your customers engaged and retain them for longer. Ease of application of special offers is a piece of cake with automation.
  4. Automation brings in data security as an integral part of the structure.
  5. Load management of your everyday tasks comes swiftly and effortlessly.
  6. All the aforesaid advantages,sum up to give the result of better productivity
  7. Identifying and eliminating loopholes is possible only through automation.
  8. When you make a lot out of it, it’s true value for money.

Automation Disadvantages

Now let’s look at how the glass is half empty.

  1. Initial hard work is double than needed for manual operations as you need to automate your entire business operations and simultaneously need to make new in case if tthey do not exist.
  2. Since, automation reduces the manual labour and more work is done in less time, you will have more time. So you might have to work at home too with house chores.
  3. Your employees will be more productive, so they might have to figure out new excuses to be unproductive. This might cause them to feel overworked.
  4. Since a majority of your workload has been taken over by the automation, you might become lazy.
  5. Efficient operations increase revenue and reduce time consumption. This means that you might have time and money to spend on vacations and activities with your family. The rejuvenation from quality time spent with your family, might make you addicted to such vacations.
  6. No pilferage, so employee thefts are not possible hence decrease gains for employees. 
  7. Proficiency makes you realize the scope of growth, hence you dive deeper into the game which is more than you expected and you might feel over charged. This might result in exertion.

Although, there are disadvantages that result from automation, they are worth having as they are a sign of growth of dry cleaning business.

The enlightenment brought from the advantages and disadvantages of automating your business operations, let’s move further into the direction of growth.

Automation Summary

Here is what all automation summarizes of.

  1. Automating your billing can take away the amount of time and effort invested in maintaining the bill books and ledgers. Needless to say, it automatically takes care of taxation on bills. Not just this, automating your billing also sets in place necessary access controls and rights that keeps your business in best of its health and prevents potential thefts and manipulation is bills.
  2.  Customer information management is one of the core tasks of any automation software. A CRM(Customer Relationship Management) is a tool that takes care of this aspect of the business. Read more about CIM here to know how it can impact your business.
  3. Replacing manual tags with automated barcoded tags is the holy grail of the laundry and dry cleaning business. The amount of information stored on a barcoded tag is crucial and irreplaceable. The effectiveness of barcoded tags to be detected at any stage is the core to eliminating garment loss, or wrong deliveries.
  4. Any business is bound to fail without monitoring and improvisation. Hence, accounting and reporting is the central part to ensuring optimum automation. Consistent monitoring keeps your business practices in check. This highlights any loopholes that might exist in the operations and can be eliminated easily.
  5. CIM is a waste if not utilized to its potential. The reason why CIM exists is to use it for acquisition and retention. Read more here to know how retention and acquisition works to grow revenue.

Rome was not built in a day, but some of it was. Sitting on the fence, thinking about automation isn’t going to get you anywhere. You have got to get going and initiate it. Once begun, you only have to gain. The losses are losses that are worth losing. The growth of dry cleaning business begins with the implementation of automation. Give your business the X factor to stand out in the crowd and grow more than the potential.