Robotic Processing Automation

Ultimate Guide to Business Process Automation

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Ultimate Guide to Business Process Automation

Business process automation isn’t the same as business process management which is in and of itself much more complex, consisting of an organization-wide process that makes use of multiple methodologies to improve productivity and efficiency. According to Paperform statistics, 78% or more of business leaders reportedly use automation.

What is business process automation (BPA)?

Business process automation uses technology to automate manual, repetitive tasks so employees can better focus on critical and more important tasks. Automating a business process simplifies and reduces business costs, improves efficiency, and makes things far simpler for someone as a business owner.

Business process automation (BPA) examples

Business process automation uses technology to automate both repetitive and manual jobs in business processes to improve efficiency, and accuracy and improve costs.

Some major examples of business process automation are employee onboarding, purchase orders, HR processes, marketing, sales, and more. Let’s go into more detail about a few examples of automation:

1. Employee onboarding

Hiring employees often seems like an easy enough process. But often it involves multiple things. There’s a need to fill out information forms, conduct induction and training sessions, set up bank accounts, collect relevant documents, and assign mentors to different employees.

Without automation, the entire process is chaotic with multiple problems:

  • Lots of never-ending paperwork
  • Not completing certain tasks
  • Employee dissatisfaction
  • Low productivity

Business process automation applied to employee onboarding ensures smooth transitions from one to the next task. It keeps employees in the loop providing them visibility into the process status. Thus no one is in the dark about how things are moving.

2. Purchase orders

Purchase order requests are a generally recurring process in organizations with the requesting team filling out a form and then mailing it to the purchasing team. The authority then examines the request and rejects the same if the information isn’t adequate or if there are budgetary limitations.

It’s then sent to the requesting team. The approval creates a purchase order whose copies are sent to the supplier and then the inventory team.

Without any automation, a business could face these issues:

  • Delayed PO approvals
  • Low productivity
  • Incomplete records
  • Errors in PO

Business process automation platforms can improve accountability, and transparency and provide for correct data records that relevant stakeholders can easily access. With one stroke, all stakeholders get data that not only makes for quicker filing of request forms but also helps them include relevant information in those forms.

It also retains process-related communication within the workflow to make execution easier.

Why should companies automate their business processes?

Here are some compelling reasons to automate business processes.

1. Stepping stone to digital transformation

Digital transformation is an overwhelming goal for particularly new organizations. Business process automation can be a stepping stone to adapt to continuous transformation.

Anyone can begin with a few processes that need to be corrected and work their way to the top.

2. Get more clarity

Automating business processes demands some deal of clarity with the process right from the design stage. If there’s a lack of knowledge regarding the tasks involved and people running the process, it’s not possible to design and automate the workflow.

As businesses gain clarity they’ll see where they want to move the business to shortly.

3. Streamline processes

One good result with process automation is the streamlining of operations it brings to the table, eliminating activities that aren’t of great use and enhancing activities that bring a better return.

4. Get compliance records

With business process automation, every detail of a particular business process is recorded. This information can be presented to demonstrate compliance during audits. Compliance otherwise takes far longer and many sleepless nights to get every business detail in one place.

5. Standardize operations

With the automation of business processes, one can expect standard outcomes every time. Standardization helps the company be reliable which in turn increases customer base.

6. Increase customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is a differentiator in many industries. Focus on process and operational excellence to exceed customer expectations quite easily. When standards are met and exceeded, customers will develop a preference for that company’s products.

What business processes should be automated?

Business process automation isn’t restricted to some functions. Some factors that include automation needs are:

  1. High volume tasks
  2. Where many people are required for the tasks
  3. Time-sensitive nature or urgency of the task
  4. Impact on processes and system
  5. Impact on other processes and systems
  6. No need for compliance or audit trails either

If the activity meets the criteria listed above it’s likely that the business process can be automated:

Here’s what can be automated in most organizations.

Benefits of using business process automation tools

Once businesses start automating their processes they can start seeing many benefits.

  1. As a result, there will be improved productivity from enhanced access. Additionally, one can see the business data from anywhere since the information is stored inside an online database.
  2. The business processes become more transparent as one starts tracking and monitoring processes as they still run and this improves accountability and visibility on tasks at hand.
  3. The ability to monitor processes on the go helps one look for errors and fix them. Performance reports give insights against recurring errors.
  4. Considering the long term, one can see quicker turnaround times and cost reductions due to limited manual interventions.
  5. One can also enhance workforce allocation since the application is designed to handle recurring tasks.

A business process automation system helps one grow business efficiency.

Features of business process automation

1. Workflow management

Streamlines and organizes tasks for better execution. Workflow automation shifts activities from humans to software doing the bulk of the work. To automate workflows, an organization identifies tasks that make up the job and next creates rules and logic that govern those tasks finally programming the software with business rules and logic.

Logic is a set of if-then statements that are instructions that tell the program what actions to take next and how to move from one task to the next.

2. Task scheduling

Task or job scheduling is when tasks are executed on a schedule or when something specific occurs. This automates manual tasks and doesn’t require a human to manually kickstart the process, which gives the IT dept more time to spend on higher-value things.

3. Process Monitoring

With business process monitoring, one can automate tracking progress and generate real-time insights into the process. Business process monitoring uses data from process activities with pre-defined key performance indicators that measure the process performance. A project will include defining the process, setting the right metrics, collecting and analyzing data, reviewing findings, making changes, and monitoring it.

Identify the process to monitor, its inputs and outputs like cycle time, error rates, throughput, and KPIs. Observe the process to both collect and analyze performance data using process mining software.

4. Integration

Integration is when automation software connects with existing software and tools to add data from multiple avenues. BPMS is an important tool that manages, automates, and optimizes business processes. It manages invoicing, order processing, customer service, and additional tasks. It provides visibility and control over the entire business process from launch to end. BPMS is a great tool to manage, automate, and optimize different processes. It can manage invoicing, customer service, and more things. It provides more visibility and control over the business process from start to end.

Integrating BPI and BPMS is essential to ensure that all business processes are managed efficiently. When one integrates these, they can streamline operations and reduce business costs. Integrating BPI and BPMs also improves customer satisfaction and gives customers the necessary products or services.

5. Reporting and Analytics

With the reporting and analytics features, one gains additional data-driven insights into decision-making and for further optimization of business processes.

  • Complete visibility over different processes as well as graphical charts, reports, and dashboards.
  • Real-time monitoring that controls costs and business processes and helps improve efficiency.
  • Health status indicators for identification of resource-heavy projects.

Best practices for business process automation

Just using a business process automation tool doesn’t guarantee anyone success. This requires a practical approach to optimize business processes.

Here are a few things to start with:

  • Start with an understanding of tasks, who’s responsible, and when to execute the tasks.
  • Ensure there are clear goals to automate a business process. This saves course correction time.
  • Measure results with a phased approach. Most organizations are unhappy when results don’t come in a day
  • Invest time in training employees and factor in the adjustment period too.
  • Adopt a long-term outlook to experience greater ROI
  • Use readymade solutions where available.

In conclusion, business process automation helps speed up many related business tasks and helps automate what would otherwise take considerable time by the human workforce. This frees up a lot of workers' time and engages them in more high-value tasks that cannot be easily replicated with automation.

One can use business process automation as a stepping stone to digital transformation, scheduling tasks, automating jobs, and getting a bird’s eye view of the entire business with detailed reporting, charts, and graphs.

Suggested Case Study
Automating Portfolio Management for Westland Real Estate Group
The portfolio includes 14,000 units across all divisions across Los Angeles County, Orange County, and Inland Empire.
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Ritu John
Written by
Ritu John

Ritu is a seasoned writer and digital content creator with a passion for exploring the intersection of innovation and human experience. As a writer, her work spans various domains, making content relatable and understandable for a wide audience.

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