It’s The Small Things That Matter
How tired of entering the same data into multiple systems are you? We’ve all been there, and some of us are STILL there!
You have your customer fill out a paper form on a clipboard. Then someone takes that information and puts it into “the system”. At this point, you might hand it to someone else who puts it into “a different part of the system”.
Finally, after a few of those iterations, someone has to file away the paper “JUST IN CASE!”
Stop the madness!
Let’s explore this briefly by estimating the time spent with these activities. Let’s stay fairly conservative and we’ll say you only have to enter the information into your system twice (or in two different areas).
Front desk explains the form(s), and shows the customer what to fill out = 2m
Front desk takes the submitted form(s) and enters them into the system = 5m
Someone else puts it into “a different part of the system” = 5m
Total time spent with customer = 12m
At $15/hr, that’s $3/customer. Let’s assume each day you check in 100 customers. That’s now $300/day. Over the course of a year, that’s in the ballpark of $90k conservatively.
Why do you want to know about APIs? Because they can take the time you spend with customers to get them checked into “the system” from 12m down to 0m.
Do you want to save $90k/year or more in expenses? Whether you save the money or re-prioritize your staff on more important tasks, the benefits here are obvious.
Introducing the Application Programming Interface (API)
Application Programming Interface is just a fancy nerd way to say “the way you can talk to my program”. It’s an interface that allows other developers and companies to collaborate and cooperate with the system that you’ve built. This is how things like ecommerce websites work. There is an API that allows your website to interface with Visa/MasterCard, etc.
If you are using Cloud based systems in your business, you’re already half way there. If you aren’t on the Cloud yet, stop reading this and get on the Cloud now!
APIs used to be the sole dominion of the developer. You had to be super nerdy and have a special kind of crazy goin on to even consider using them. Thankfully this is no longer the case. There are several offerings on the market specifically aimed at bringing the power of APIs to the non-developer (or “normies” as we call them).
Check out some of our favorites here!
Microsoft Power Automate – Microsoft’s offering. If you have O365 as part of your architecture, you need to check this out!
Zapier – One of the originals, and absolutely one of our favorites.
Automate.io – Another provider gaining popularity out there.
If This Then That – This one has a more consumer feel and seems to be aimed at personal use. Great way to automate those nagging tasks you have to deal with each day in your personal life.
Do things like automatically entering customer data from your CRM into your QuickBooks instance. Or maybe you want an alert to pop up in your company chat room whenever you make a sale! The options here are endless.