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Virtual Seminar on Sept. 15 to Address Importance of Automation

SPRINGFIELD — Delcie Bean says business owners have always had good reason to consider automation and what it can do for their employees — and their bottom lines.

But today, they have more reason than ever, he told BusinessWest, adding that technology and urgency combine to make this a time for business owners and managers to stop talking about automation and commence doing it.

“The labor market is so terrible right now that many organizations, in addition to trying to hire and figure that out, are also just having to figure out how to be leaner and how to be more efficient,” said Bean, CEO of Hadley-based Paragus Strategic IT. “So as you look at the state of the economy and the state of the job market, you have to ask: ‘how can I do more with less?’”

These sentiments comprise the main thrust of a virtual seminar to be presented by Bean, in conjunction with BusinessWest and Comcast Business, on Wednesdsay, Sept. 15 at 11 a.m. To sign up for the event, visit businesswest.com/businesswest-virtual-webinar.

The program is titled “Automation: the Time Is Now,” and subtitled “How Automation Can Streamline Your Business and Offset the Labor Shortage,” and those words effectively and succinctly describe the material to be covered.

Indeed, the 60-minute presentation will focus on the benefits of automation and the ways it can be utilized to save businesses time, trouble, and expense, said Bean, adding quickly that many business owners and managers are not fully aware of the many ways automation can benefit them.

“In the small-business space, it’s usually the most boring, unattractive tasks you can think of,” he said. “But it’s the things that have to get done behind the scenes that you never really pay much attention to but take up a fair amount of time and energy.”

As examples, he listed everything from the many steps involved in onboarding a new employee or client to the information that has to be gathered when someone signs up for something on a website and then moved to another system, to the steps involved in the approval process when employees want to request a new computer.

All of this should be automated, Bean said, and with emerging technology, specifically the Microsoft 365 platform, it can be, to the point where these tasks and functions now take a fraction of the time they once did.

But technology is just part of the reason why now is the time to automate, he added, noting that the ongoing labor shortage has given more urgency to such matters.

“Rather than sacrificing quality or increasing stress and risking burnout, which can lead to even more turnover, businesses need to ask how they can leverage technology to help them solve some of this problem,” he said. “Reacting to the current situation, there’s never been a better time, both from the availability of the technology and the demand and the urgency of the situation, to look for ways to automate things.”

Overall, the virtual presentation is designed to educate and empower business owners to first identify those tasks and processes that can be automated and then take the steps to go about doing it, said Bean, adding that the program is targeted for businesses with 15 to 250 employees, which encompasses most of the companies in Western Mass.

“There is not an industry that isn’t applicable,” he concluded.

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