Nice to meet you! 👋 The automation and software integration space is still relatively new. The world is changing, and maybe you, like many others, are crossing the chasm: realizing that the future of business is having streamlined automated processes.
In the future, we predict that the same way companies have a Legal Team or an Operations Manager, businesses will also have Business Process Automation Specialists, helping string together all of the different of software/apps used at the company. With the end goal of making day-to-day tasks as weightless as possible.
Our company is the beginning of that. Take our customers for example: they view us as their automation/integration team. I mean heck, maybe even one day you'll view us as the same! (Now wouldn't that be exciting 😁)
The idea of outsourcing specific integrations or hiring someone like us to help set up your software stack may seem a bit strange, we know — we are somewhere between educating businesses on the need of an entirely new department, while also helping the companies that are ready for it to move full-steam ahead. A bit scary to be an early adopter, no?
So in this article we strived to share the answers to our most frequently asked questions! Ones that you yourself probably have, especially if you're only just hearing about this new evolution in business.
Skip to the end of an article to apply for a Complimentary 30-Minute Efficiency Audit for your company 🤫
What does Efficient App do?
If an Operations Manager and Engineer had a baby (totally first approved by HR), whelp, that'd be us — all with a speciality in APIs, integration, and CRM. You can look at us an extension of your team, here to help improve efficiencies, reduce time spent on mundane tasks, all while striving to help protect your employees time from wasteful and repeated tasks.
- Some teams hire us to setup or overhaul their software stack to match their desired processes.
- Other teams hire us to build a specific integration between two pieces of software so they can automate a workflow and save their team time (or in some cases, to prevent the need to hire an additional employee just for business admin).
Who on our team would you work with?
For Small/Medium businesses, it's common for us to work with the owner of the business as they are usually the ones creating the business processes for the rest of the team.
If your business is larger and has an employee dedicated to Operations, this is typically who we work with. In this case, the Ops Manager typically identifies inefficiencies within the team internally and then comes to us with a specific use-case for software/automation/integration.
Regardless of working with the Owner or a Manager at a company, we always request there is a Project Champion. One that serves as our main point of contact, who is responsible for communicating the internal operational changes to the rest of the team.
Why should our team work with Efficient App?
Well, we are confident that we can help improve efficiency! (In most companies — and if not, we'll be the first to tell you before even starting to work together). Not to mention, we've been in business for over 12 years (doing automation/integration for over 7 years), and would you believe that some of our first customers are even still with us today (also evolving with us).
That said, we only take on a handful of customers per year (for our full-service package that is) and that's so we can dedicate the proper time and attention to detail required for each team that we work with.
We specialize in complex automation and integration, so much in-fact, that we're confident most "Automation Experts" wouldn't even know how to build much of what we've built over the years.
Companies that work with us report saving a minimum of 25-120+ hours per month while having saved on business administrative and operational salaries, racking up to $90k+ per year.
In our peak month (as of writing this post), we had 153,000 automations that were ran across all of our customers, resulting in 85 hours saved per day! 🤯
But more importantly than all of these stats — we simply love what we do.
We're a small team and we only take on projects with companies that we're excited to work with. If we don't think we'll be a good fit, we're the first to tell you because, well — it's core to our business that we only build automation when we know it's going to save your team a substantial amount of time (and yes — we actually do the math)!
What's the difference between working with Efficient App and trying to figure it out ourselves?
We just see A LOT of inefficiencies. In everything. When it comes to team members playing around with software, signing up for trials, putting their best guesswork into properly setting up that software. Take a CRM for example, we've seen how much companies try to bend and break things, getting frustrated, all by things that could be solved with some best practices and proper structure. Inefficiencies in researching complimentary software to use for different needs (eSignature, Email Sequencing, Form Software, VoIP, etc).
Simply put, when you're paying someone a full-time salary (or you're the owner of the company), we are certain that your time is better spent on other areas of the business that you have expertise in. We've been doing this for a long time, which means when working with us, you have a shortcut to over a decade of experience in this space.
When you're working with us, you may say: "We want this to happen automatically. We are doing this over 50 times a week, so it would help us a lot to automate this manual task... Is that possible?"
We often see internal team members spending a ton of time setting up a solution that somewhat works, and the entire team is struggling to get by on this "somewhat good solution" for sometimes years.
Think of it this way, if you needed an important legal contract written, you'd hire a lawyer, not learn and do it yourself, right? (Let's just say it your answer to that question is "no", then it means you likely don't have enough pain in the business yet to benefit from the automation we are proposing 😬).
Integration & Automation — "But we have engineers on our team that can build integration, we don't need to outsource it, do we?"
Sometimes when a tech savvy company reaches out to us, they tell us they have engineers that can build integration and automation, so they just want a little help to "get started", and then they'll happily take it from there.
So let's start here: the skillset of building automation and integration is actually a completely different skillset than that of an engineer.
Here's why: Automation involves a ton of data manipulating, formatting it in a way that it will work across many different APIs, understanding each app's API, and the idiosyncrasies of them all. The average software engineer is not spending the bulk of their development time working on and researching this specific skillset.
We focus 80% of our time accounting for and building for edge-cases (which means unique scenarios that may happen less often, but when they do, would break the automation). This is critical in building for scale and reliability. We know that once an automation is in place, your entire team will rely on it, so we place the utmost importance on minimizing any potential future downtime.
All of this to say, this is not a skillset of a typical engineer, of whom should have their plate full from — you know — actually building your product 😝 To add to this, engineers in this market, on a junior level, are making anywhere from $80k-$120k, with senior engineers making $200k-$300k. Do you really want them fumbling through figuring out an integration at that salary, all while our services are a fraction of that cost?
What happens when your engineers build them a non-standard way, with no documentation, and then something breaks? Are you, again, going to pull them off your product to fix these edge-cases? If there's one thing I know about my time as an engineer, it's that you do not want them context switching. Yes, an automation is a problem to solve, and most engineers love solving problems, so they may volunteer to do it — I know, it's confusing! And this might seem great... until they are working on something more important that is, and then you lose all support and your team is stuck.
What about privacy? I don't love the idea of giving Efficient App access to all my apps.
Okay, we love answering this one! We put a high emphasis on security and privacy. We don't outsource any of the work we do together and we don't have random team members you've never heard of that will have access to any of your credentials. The people you meet — myself and Alex — are the people you will work with.
Remember when I had mentioned that our customers have evolved with us over the past 12 years? Yep, well, we were a MSP and Google Workspace partner back in the day (managing the IT and software infrastructure for entire companies, from their team on-prem/cloud servers, to computers, to Google/O365 seats, and all the software in-between. We did this for businesses of all sizes, for years, and even for a government agency). That said, we take security incredibly seriously — only using long and uniquely generated passwords, stored securely in a password manager, not accessible by anyone else. And with that, you'll also see us often recommending some best practices around IT services side of things as we see them come up... It's just in our blood.
And if that's not enough, we have in our Terms & Conditions a clause that cover confidentiality — some of our customers may ask us to sign their own NDA too, and in most cases, we're more than happy to do that! 📝
Dealing With (And Planning For) Employee Churn
It is also very common to have employees leave your company. People are switching jobs every 1-2 years, and in many cases, we've outlasted the employees at the company that hired us in the first place (we're not kidding, this happens a lot).
And when employees leave, all the information of how they did something, often leaves along with them. What happens next is someone new comes in, and they, without first understanding why things were done how they were, often see gaps in the business processes that exist, and start to build out their own version. This is often where we see software switching costs eat away at a company's budget: "I used this software at my old company, so lets switch to it and implement it here!" — rarely taking into consideration how much time and resources may have been spent on getting the software to the state that it was at the prior company (we talk about this in more detail in our Salesforce alternatives podcast and article here). This is super costly and inefficient for the business overall.
With that, having your automation and integration managed externally is actually a great way to ensure that processes remain consistent, especially in the case of an employee leaving. We make it a point to build documentation (which includes video trainings), so that if our main point of contact leaves (or moves positions at the company), we can work with the new team member to bring them up-to-speed.
This means your business process have more consistency and stability, regardless of employee churn. Some of our core customers have had this point-of-contact change up-to 4 times in our working together. It happens, and it happens often. We account for this day one in working together.
How do I know I'm ready to automate?
Building automation only makes sense when there is enough volume — e.g. you're doing something repeatable many times over each day or week. It only makes sense to invest in an integration when the cost of paying for the integration more than pays for itself in time saved. We wrote an article about it here.
Curious to learn more? Apply for a free Efficiency Audit.
If you're curious about how we can help your business improve efficiencies, we offer a complimentary operations audit for select organizations. Apply here for a free 30-minute audit.
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