Automation – Friend or Foe?

by Melissi Brickel

I work for an internet-based company immersed in data, spreadsheets, lead generation, metrics, email campaigns, phone calls, sales, messages, and numbers. As you can imagine, automation has become a big and important part of our company. But it wasn’t always that way, and I remember the days when many of my duties were conducted manually.

An important part of our process at Sales-Link Inc. is the constant updating of our database of 500,000 prospects. As prospects respond to emails sent on behalf of our clients, it is my responsibility to upload their comments into the database. When I first started in this position, I spent the bulk of my days typing these comments into the proper slots of the database, and as our business grew, it became increasingly overwhelming to keep up with the demand of all the emails we received.

Soon, we began to automate more of our system; my job along with it. Under the new system, prospects still have the option of going the old route, and manually typing a response, but they can now chose to conveniently click on one of the auto-responses provided for them on the email. If the auto-reply option is used, the system will automatically notate for that prospect in our database.

When my job became more automated, I wondered how it would effect my job. My workload had gotten considerably lighter since automation, and although I enjoyed being free of the stress involved in getting my work done in a timely manner, I also worried about my job. What would I do now within the company?

I soon realized that I needn’t have worried; my position is still very necessary to the company. There are prospects that are still choosing old school responses, which still keeps me quite busy, only now I am also freed-up to help in other areas of the database needing attention, and I experience much less stress, as I do my job.

Throughout the automation process, we are still finding flaws that need to be verified by human hands, which falls under my responsibility. Any flaws I find, I report to the appropriate person to get it fixed, then keep an eye on it to make sure the fix worked. 

I’ve come to realize that automation is nothing to fear. Human touch is still a necessity.  Automation helps in making my job less stressful, and enables me to get the job done in a timely manner. Automation is not to be seen as the enemy; it is a helpful tool, and does not completely take over.  Automation is now my friend and not my foe.

So what will Automation & Technology look like in the near future?

From Tech Insider: The World Economic forum surveyed over 800 experts and executives to find out what the future will actually look like. Here are 7 amazing technologies they think the world will see by 2030. Yes, perhaps it’s time for all of us to make friends with Automation.