Office automation systems are the computer aided techniques that we use to carry out tasks in the office such as the collection of information, storage, retrieval and analysing of such information. In an office, there are all kinds of different equipment used for carrying out different tasks. In some offices automation will be in the form of attendance counting systems which are used to collect attendance information on all the employees of a business. As far as salaries are concerned, there will be payroll systems which get used to keep and maintain all the financial records of employees plus bonuses and deductions.
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Tasks in the office are simplified and improved
What comprises the basic functionality of office automation systems in an office are electronic transfers, unrefined data collection as well as the management of data. It just makes it all so much easier in office procedures. Uses for all these automation systems became very popular in the 1970s. The whole aim was in order to improve and simplify all organisation tasks. Office automation provides the elements to make the activities of a company simplified and improved.
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Other very useful equipment in an office are usually equipment such as the fax machine, the photocopiers, scanners and much more. These tools are bought with the aim of enhancing productivity as well as better communication facilities. Office automation is the amalgamation of certain inputs such as software and hardware, and these inputs can be word processing, electronic mail, electronic filing, data storage, message switches and much more.
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Fewer or no manual tasks
Office automation systems lessen the involvement of clerical tasks in the office such as organizing creating reports manually or customer data. Where office automation helps in the office it has the ability to assist the less skilled employees in performing their jobs efficiently. A clerk will for instance create a presentation by adding pictures and some music in the software templates and then he will type in some information. The automation system will help with reducing storage space, speedy retrieval of information and also allows different employees to access that same data at the same time.
Some disadvantages, but it still remains the way to go to stay competitive
Office automation certainly has its advantages but there are a couple of disadvantages too. One is that it is quite expensive to set up all the office equipment and a professional office suite will be costly. Even just the very essentials such as photocopiers and fax machines can be a costly investment. Another disadvantage abut office automated systems is that a lot of the older employees are used to doing their work manually, and many of them find it difficult to operate and adjustment the new type of technology. And to cover these difficulties, time consuming and expensive training sessions occur which in many times do not even help. Another disadvantage about automated machines machines is that if there is a power failure, there are no longer any manual methods to do the tasks. However, even with these disadvantages, office automation continues to expand because the advantages also make it very attractive for offices to grow and expand and keep their competitive edge in the market.