I don’t know too many people who value automation of business operations through software more than we do at Finch. Adding people to manually attack the increased workload that occurs as a business grows detracts from the scalability of the company. When faced with an increased level of repetitive processes, humans will ultimately make mistakes, fail to get the job done in a timely manner, or perform the work poorly. Along the way, the quality of work will fluctuate because of any number of reasons: Mental clarity, stress level, current motivation, energy level, and emotional state are a few examples. As the business demands grow and the person becomes overwhelmed, the choice becomes simple: Hire more people to do more of the same repetitive processes, or build automation through software into your business to make that person more effective.
The choice of adding people is the easy answer, but not the best answer. The problem you encounter on this path is that you now have to train the new people to be as effective as the first person. Also, their level of capacity, motivation, and energy will differ, as all people are different. Since they have less experience because they’ve been there for less time and have less domain expertise, they are not as productive. As the business continues to grow, the outcome is an ever expanding group of less productive people to tackle the workload. The less productive a business is as a whole, the more the bottom line is adversely affected.
Building automation through software is harder, as it usually requires the extra skill of writing the software, which is above and beyond the domain expertise of running the business. There is generally an investment period of time required to build up the automation enough to be useful, as opposed to adding a new person who can immediately start providing some level of help to tackle the workload. However, with new automation, once you get past the investment period, you now have a more productive worker as some part of their workload is now automated. Invest enough time and automate enough operations, and you are now on the path of a business that scales. The more scalable a business is as a whole, the more the bottom line is positively affected.
Ok, so it seems the answer is clear: just automate everything, right?
It would be nice if this was possible, but mankind is not far enough along on the technology curve to achieve this. Generally an automated approach will handle the majority of cases; however the challenge is when exceptions are encountered. It is impossible to handle every exception to the rule, as they are impossible to predict. In fact, the only thing you can predict is that there is a certainty that exceptions will occur. Conditions will change, unforeseen situations will arise, and the environment will alter. Right now, no matter how much effort you put into software automation, it will never be enough to go completely on autopilot. The proof of this is simple: How many examples of true artificial intelligence exist currently? (Hint: none)
To really build a program capable of handling any exception as well as a human could, you need to write software that is as smart as a human. The problem is we don’t understand the human mind enough to know how to do this. Perhaps in the future, when nano-technology is far enough along to allow us to completely replicate a human brain, neuron by neuron, we will achieve this. For now, we need to assume this is fantastical idea (or something equivalent) that will only occur in the distant future.
Ok, so now maybe you are confused; am I saying you should automate or not?
The answer is that you should automate as much as you can. Since you know you’ll never be able to automate everything, you should also know that you always need to have a human involved with your business operations, no matter how much you are able to automate. The more you automate though, the more powerful that person will become. They will be able to achieve much more work in the same amount of time than a person without automation help.
At Finch, we like to look at the software automation we build as creating increasingly more effective power tools. Put these power tools in the hands of a person, and they can do incredibly powerful things. Finch focuses on continually making more powerful tools through software, to allow for any one person to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time. In fact, once you have a big enough array of power tools, you’re able to build something that isn’t even possible without them. Think about what type of house you could build with hand tools versus power tools.
Be wary of companies who promise pure pay per click bidding automation - as this is impossible in today’s world. At Finch, we do not run our automation on autopilot as this would lead to poor outcomes when exceptions occur. Other companies may also claim bidding automation, and then make you the person who has to actually manage it. Unless you are an expert in the domain of PPC bidding optimization, this means an unskilled worker is now using the power tools. Going back to the “building a house analogy,” we believe it is better to have a skilled craftsman building your house with great tools, as the outcome is greater for your business. The other reason it is very important for Finch to manage the power tools for your PPC bidding optimization is that it gives us hard feedback as to what is missing in a tool, as well as points out new power tools that we are missing. Rather than make the customer feel the direct pain of managing business operations, Finch takes this upon ourselves, as we also have the direct means to combat it through software automation. As a result, Finch provides you a managed service and manages your PPC bidding automation for you.