How APIs Can Help Your Team Work Smarter, Not Harder

Every small business owner is in a constant race against time. Tackling tedious yet crucial tasks like invoicing and inventory management can quickly drain productivity levels without a direct return on time, distracting an owner from the company’s strategic trajectory. 

However, ready-made APIs could be the solution to streamlining these processes for thinly stretched small business owners. By automating daily operations, you can eliminate the minutiae and focus on big-picture initiatives that will help your company grow.

The same sentiment is true for building new software applications. Automation is a secret tool that can take repetitive, time-consuming tasks off your programmer’s to-do list. That way, he can focus on more creative, valuable items.

Application program interfaces are key to streamlining tedious tasks — both business- and programming-related — and offer a variety of features to make your life easier.

Reduce the Programming Workload

ProcessAPIs are blocks of code that perform a particular task, which programmers can then drop into an application to add the respective capability. Their value is enormous.

Conversion APIs, which modify a document from one file type to another, can save programmers from rewriting existing code. For instance, if the application your developers are building needs to convert PDF files to JPEG files, developers could spend hours programming the feature from scratch — or they can simply insert a conversion API. It takes a fraction of the time, and the files won’t be any less converted.

Personal assistant programs like Siri and Cortana — the lovely ladies inside our smartphones — both rely on voice recognition APIs to identify and understand human voices.

Simplify Vital Business Processes

APIs are ubiquitous but helpful to more than just programmers. They can also automate work for business owners and other everyday technology users. Here are just a few examples:

  • Easily convert image files. If you’ve ever been frustrated that you couldn’t copy and paste text from a TIF, JPEG, or other image file and didn’t feel like retyping the whole document, you’ll be happy to know that a text extraction API exists; it can automatically convert an image into a searchable PDF or text file.
  • Streamline inventory management. To keep track of products or equipment, barcode APIs are quick, ready-made solutions that eliminate the task of manually recording goods.
  • Improve your website’s user experience and SEO ranking. By using compression APIs, you can shrink the file size of documents and images to make them load faster without reducing their visual quality. Not only do fast load times help boost your Google page ranking, but they also keep your customers happier and on your website longer.

APIs have the potential to impact nearly every aspect of your company. In fact, almost any manual task can be automated with the help of these tools and others.

Streamline Everyday Technology

Popular API-syncing programs can link applications together for an enterprise software-like effect. Similar functionality exists with Slack, QuickBooks, and 400 other business applications.

Don’t waste your days punching in numbers or tackling tedious tasks. Instead, embrace the world of possibilities that APIs offer to your programmers, customers, and employees.

Start by thinking about what issues or problems you routinely face, and research which APIs could alleviate them. As business processes continue to move to computers and the cloud, it’s imperative to take advantage of API technology so you’re free to focus on what you do best: growing the company. 

About the Author

Jack Berlin is the founder and president of Accusoft, a company that provides the full spectrum of document, content, and imaging solutions for businesses of all sizes.