Automate to elevate: MSP automation best practices

  • Hosted Network April 28, 2022
  • Hosted Network Madeleane Abejero
  • Hosted Network 2 mins

What’s the most important asset an MSP could optimise to become profitable? Time. How do you use it wisely? We say, automation.

Automation can relate to all areas of your MSP. It could be payroll, ticket management,  onboarding new customers or people to your team, it could even be customer support. Whatever it is, it’s always about streamlining your workflows. 

Read on to learn why you should start automating repetitive tasks, where to start and how to do it right. 

The benefits:

  • Simplify and speed up repetitive tasks – Tasks that usually take hours can be done in a minute or two.
  • Lower costs for service delivery – Streamline your workflows and invest in the right tools.
  • Minimise human errors – When you start automating tasks, especially those that are done manually, you’re most likely to reduce errors.
  • Boost productivity – The more processes you automate, the more time your team can spend on billable work.

Where to start? 

Before you deep dive into automation, ask yourself these questions first:

  • What’s taking the most of our time?
  • What’s our biggest priority?
  • What’s our worst bottlenecks?

Answering these questions will help you determine the areas that matter the most and need greater attention. Start with the low-hanging fruit. Now that you’ve seen the problem, what can you do to eliminate it?

Further Reading>>  MSP Automation Checklist 

Best Practices

Develop an automation mindset. Always think ahead. Take time to review your processes and ask yourself, “Is this the right way to do this?”. If a single task takes longer than it should be or  blocks the progress of other tasks, then it’s time to do something about it. 

Have a dedicated person to manage automation. Let’s admit it, not everyone is an automation junkie. To implement automation efficiently, find someone who’s an expert at it so other members of your team can also do what they do best.

Remove the fear element.  Robots aren’t taking over! Automation isn’t here to take jobs.  It alleviates the tiresome work that keeps your team from working on strategic tasks that will contribute to your MSP’s overall growth.

Don’t lose that personal touch. Business is still human. While automation can streamline a lot of your work processes, don’t let it take over customer relationships. Your customers certainly don’t want to talk to robots when they’re trying to reach out to your team. Make sure not to remove the human element in supporting your customers. 

Further reading >> 10 Ways to improve your MSP’s customer experience

It’s not all about tools! Automation can also be delegating and outsourcing tasks. Instead of training your techs and adding more to their workload, outsource it or delegate it to a team member that can do it better. 

Choose the right tools. Often, MSPs are  blinded with “shiny objects”, and  jump on the trend without thinking if investing in a new shiny tool is worth it and can significantly improve their bottom line. Review your systems and processes first before you invest in new tools. In this way, you can develop the correct strategies in implementing it within your organisation and get the most value out of it. 

Be patient! It’s not necessary to quickly go big when you start your automation journey. It depends on the operational maturity level you’re in. Improvement is a continuous process and you can’t just skip levels. 

When you do the same things over and over, you will most likely get the same results. Remember, automation is a mindset- don’t think of the what ifs and just do it. 

Find  out more about automation and learn practical tips from your peers, Aaron Jacobs of Rodin Business Solutions and MSP Coach, James Davis of Sea-Level in our on demand webinar, MSPs in Conversation: Automate to Elevate.