Using IoT to Streamline Business
It's 12:09 am on March 01, 2015 and my phone lights up with notifications from Podio. You see, this happens twice per month around this time. Why? It's the way I designed our company’s workflows to operate.
On the 16th of every month, our Podio API account automatically creates new time cards for each of our employees and contractors. It marks all prior time cards as "to be paid" and then automatically submits them to our payroll app, creating a task for the accountant and I to review and approve each new entry.
On the 1st of each month all of the above takes place again. However, within this automation it closes out each clients billing cycle, marking them as "to be invoiced". It creates all new client billing cycles for March and automatically links them back to the client project.
The API then cycles through every employee time punch adding a "review" tag to any punches missing a time out punch, a client billing cycle, or even an employee.
The following morning, each employee reviews their punches for their recent pay cycle and corrects any client billing errors that have occurred. I review each client billing cycle for accuracy and with a click of the button, hit "create invoice." All of the cycle data is transmitted directly into Freshbooks where an invoice is automatically created. I do another walk through of the invoices that need to be sent and close out each one by hitting "send by email".
What used to take 12-16 hours of every month in 2011 & 2012 now takes 12-16 minutes! I have literally saved myself an average of 336 man hours since implementing these automations into my life.
I bring all of this up because the world around us keeps talking about the "Internet of Things," which is really a consumer product movement. What we accomplish at TECHeGO is something we like to call the "Internet of Processes." Some might call this an automated workflow, and they would be right. They may also contend that this has been around for ages, and that's where they are dead wrong.
Never in the history of this world has there ever been a production revolution such as what is about to unfold in the coming years. Tech magazines around the globe are touting that the IoT revolution will change the way the world works and how we interact with one another. They are absolutely correct. However, they don't see what I see.
I see what we at TECHeGO do for a living. We implement and integrate the "Internet of Processes" so that the "Internet of Things" can not only succeed, but thrive within an organization. In the past four years we have streamlined not just one or two processes within a company, but a complete redesign of entire workflows. We design workflows to contain new efficiencies, automations, and even algorithms. We tie in software and external platforms to make their processes autonomous and self-learning.
My paltry savings of 336 hrs for my one simple process is like a grain of sand on the beach of efficiencies we have created for clients.
Since 2011, we have restructured over 420 clients and witnessed the laying off of thousands more. Clients emerge free from the bondage of internal email and free from Microsoft word or Excel. What seemed to be revolutionary with Google Docs & Sheets now seems so outdated and unnecessary.
Since we host client automations for free, I can report with confidence that our servers crunch through just over 10,000 client automations per day. Each automation is a minimum of 30min in time saved for that respective client. Given that number and having architected every single one of those calls, I can say with confidence that each day a minimum of 83.33 hrs of client work is saved (10.416 full-time positions). A total of 2,500 hrs per month (15.625 full-time positions) and at a minimum 30,000 hrs per year. And that’s just an average. We have worked with some processes that used to take the clients 45 days to complete, but are now completed with 8 minutes.
The profitability of clients who adopt these efficiencies is about to skyrocket higher than anyone could ever dream. Profit margins will increase, stocks will rise, and a great swell of pride will wash across our faces. This is American efficiency. This is why we are the greatest economy on earth? This is why our unemployment is well above 15% and climbing! This is why consumers aren't purchasing our products, and this is how the Internet of Things will cause the greatest economic boom and collapse all at the same time!
Everything in life has a natural order or a balance if you will. So does the Internet- you simply can't have the Internet of Things without the Internet of Processes.
Since there is no stopping this train from moving forward, the only thing you can do is adapt to the coming climate and learn a skill that cannot be replaced by one of our workflow redesigns!