How much time do your skilled workers spend performing tasks that could easily be accomplished by anyone or, say, an automation platform? Consider the simple day-to-day data entry assignments, the process of scanning through 1,000 line items in a single spreadsheet before collating them into another. Previously, this kind of work made sense for the most talented, meticulous data specialists since there was no alternative and they’re generally good at what they do. Now, however, that’s no longer the case — there being no alternative, not that they’re not good. We love our data analysts at Unito! To the topic at hand, we’re going to show you how to save money and reduce costs related to SaaS fees while boosting efficiency.
How can you save time, effort and costs related to SaaS tools without losing efficiency?
Here’s an even simpler situation than the example above: a sales manager making $120,000 per year (plus commission) needs to put review an expense report for a team of five. Perhaps the team shares that data in a spreadsheet but the manager needs to transfer it into a CRM? Who manages that task? If it takes your sales manager 2 hours, that’s around $120 spent simply making sense of 5 people’s expense reports. There are easier ways to solve day-to-day problems like this and it all comes down to understanding automation’s role in today’s business environment. It starts with a simple assessment of who’s performing which tasks, optimizing your processes and reviewing your app usage. The SaaS tools you’re already paying for may just be the key to cutting costs and working more efficiently if you just peek under the hood.
1) Review your tool stack and assess the number of seats you’re paying for
The first step in understanding the value of every dollar you spend on apps and tools is reviewing which tools you’re paying for, who uses them, and who actually needs them. That last part is the most crucial: if everyone in your company has a seat in a tool meant for your software developers, then something’s wrong. Does every single team member need access to your graphic design software? Digital whiteboard? CRM? You may respond to some of these questions faster than others, but ultimately the answer should be the same: no! Not everyone needs access to every app or tool, and cutting back the number of seats doesn’t have to mean creating silos between teams and we’re going to show you how. But the first step is understanding how much you’re spending and if you’d like that number to be lower.
2) Assess your capacity for basic automation
The kind of daily time sinks we mentioned above can easily be resolved through basic automation to help you reduce SaaS costs, without making dramatic changes. Typically basic automation refers to relying on apps and tools to consolidate and centralize your tasks and data. If you’ve ever set a rule in tools such as Trello or Asana so that if this happens, then that happens, you already have a firm grasp of what you can do with basic automation.
Examples of this could be creating a rule that automatically moves completed tasks from one place to another, or notifying team members about project status, etc. Adding functions like these to your day-to-day experience passes off the chore of basic data entry to the tools you’re already using. But this type of forward-thinking is just the beginning of what you can achieve once you start integrating your workflows.
3) Go beyond native integrations
Now, we understand one of the key benefits of automation. By taking simple tasks out of the hands of our high-value employees, we allow them to focus on tasks that utilize their full skill set. The money spent on that employee’s salary and the tool they’re using has just been made much more efficient. We’re demonstrating how easy it is to make each dollar count for more. Doesn’t that feel great?
Now you’ll look around at other tools in your stack, wondering how you can make them more efficient as well. The kind of rules we touched on above can also be applied between apps and tools. One method is through native integration. That’s when a tool in your stack prompts you to add an app to your stack. Ex: think about the Slack prompts you receive after linking to a different tool.
This kind of native integration is great in a single tool with a specific purpose in mind, but it’s limited. What happens if you’re in the other app and you’d like to share information with users in Slack? You can do so manually, which takes time (and expense), or you can see if another app also offers a native integration. But then you’re stuck in a rigid system of one-way automations that may not interact with each other in the way you imagine. Enter two-way automation, the future of work.
Unito users are saving time and money with more efficient processes
Boveda's IT department implemented Unito to reduce their SaaS costs and work efficiently with their tools.
4) Integrate a two-way sync to eliminate silos and reduce SaaS costs
Two-way automation functions much like basic automation or native integrations with a twist. Yes, you’re still creating a flow of information to streamline tasks, such as moving data from one place to another. However, when data is synced bidirectionally, changes in one app (Slack) are immediately reflected in the other (HubSpot). The benefits of automating those functions with a two-way sync are many. You reduce the risk of human error or bottlenecks, and ensure information flows smoothly. We also save time, which in turn saves money and makes our work more efficient, as we demonstrated earlier. Remember the anecdote above about saving time for our sales manager by automating a simple task for them? This is the same thing on an exponential level for everyone in an organization.
Platforms such as Unito are designed not just to simplify your day, but to unite teams between tools. It helps them collaborate even if they’re using completely different apps. By building efficient flows, you can even reduce licenses per tool, while keeping everyone’s work unified. Just one Unito flow can sync tasks, tickets, spreadsheets, contacts, calendar events, and more between tools. It doesn’t just to streamline your team’s efficiency, but also helps your organization reduce SaaS costs and fees.
Switching and syncing software to save costs and encourage collaboration
|Scenario A: |
100 users on Tool A
Cost: $12,000 annually
|Tool A: $10 monthly per seat|
Tool B: $5 monthly per seat
10 users on Tool A
90 users on Tool B
Cost: $6,600 annually
Savings: $5,400 annually*
|Here we end up saving thousands annually by reducing SaaS seats and costs.|
In this example, you could sync Tool A and Tool B with Unito to ensure team-wide collaboration and visibility. We can then create a two-way sync so the team in Tool A can collaborate with anyone in Tool B instantly.
Another simple solution is to shift your monthly plans to annual plans. Most organizations offer discounts for customers willing to pay more upfront in exchange for long-term commitment. At Unito, you get to take 20% off your subscription with an annual plan regardless of plan size. Apply that strategy to all your licenses that offer annual discounts and you cut those costs even further.
5) Cut costs, not corners to craft an efficient future for your teams
After those early stages, you’ll develop comprehensive systems of sequences to enhance collaboration and cut out manual tasks entirely. That means technical teams in Jira or GitHub can reach out to colleagues using project management software. They can share the same information in the same ticket or task in real-time without leaving their preferred interface.
Once you rescue your team from redundant data entry tasks, you can mold them into a more cohesive, efficient group. They can focus on high-skill tasks to truly let their talents shine. After all, automation can’t solve brainstorming, idea generation, people-centric problem solving or business process improvements. Adding this kind of system to your workplace makes people happier. They don’t have to worry about spending hours collating data, which further makes them more productive.
At this point, the door is open to a host of cost saving strategies you can achieve through automation. How much does your office spend on product licenses for the various apps and tools used by each department? Those costs can further add up. Does everyone need a seat in the technical tool used by the development team? Or could you remove a few and shift those users to a less expensive software option? At that point you might ask: but then how will those team members collaborate or coordinate work? Again, the answer is simple and straightforward: workflow automation.
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