1. What is Business Process Automation (BPA)?
Business Process Automation (BPA) is a process of managing information, data and processes to reduce costs, resources, and investment. BPA increases productivity by automating key business processes through computing technology. The BPA process is geared toward implementing software applications to automate routine business tasks through initiation, execution, and completion while achieving enterprise-wide workflow efficiency.
2. Benefits of Business Process Automation
Given the right tools, automating computer operations can be surprisingly easy and can reap major benefits. Understanding these benefits and some obstacles will help you develop support for an operations automation project.
There are some recurring tasks such as bill payment, scheduling reminders that happen regularly and are predictable. If we use technology to automate such tasks, the employees will have more time at their disposal and will also considerably reduce the risk.
Workflow and business process automation reduces the amount of time needed to complete a task. This can result in higher productivity rates for routine tasks, with the side benefit of freeing up employees’ time to concentrate on more complex and revenue-generating activities and better customer service.
Reduced Time and Costs
Automation reduces the number of tasks you and your employees would otherwise need to do manually. This frees up your time to work on items that add genuine value to the business, allowing you to be more innovative and increasing your employees’ levels of motivation.
Your company can have the same level of output even after reducing the human workforce. Thus, you have the chance to focus more on the quality of your employees instead of quantity. And eventually, reduce the overall cost of business operation.
No matter how efficient your workforce is, it’s impossible to avoid human errors. It’s natural in manual processes that there is an increased chance of human error. This is more prevalent in jobs that are monotonous and are carried out every day by the same people. An excellent example of this is processing records in finance. Automation here could help to complete a tax return online with accurate data quickly to hand. Using automation for these processes can help to reduce this error margin considerably and produce data that is more reliable in the long term.
Higher Employee Satisfaction
One way to improve employee engagement is by providing them opportunities that will help them develop a sense of purpose about their work. With automation, employers can automate repetitive tasks and free up time for high-value work. When the employees have more time to focus on valuable work, managers need to make them aware of the strategic goals of the company or the department. They will be able to think of new ideas for the overall success of a business.
3. Business Process Automation Use-Cases
Without the right tech, operations management can be very tough. You can’t tell how your projects or processes are going without getting in touch with the team leader or supervisor, and even then, any kind of miscommunication can lead to a bunch of errors.
An employee finishes a task, and the system automatically notifies the next person within the workflow that they have a new task. This makes operations management much easier and more efficient. As a manager, you get a dashboard which shows you what all of your employees are working on and how they’re doing. So if someone’s late with a deadline or there’s a bottleneck in a process, you’ll know it instantly and be able to possibly remedy it.
Emails, information, files, everything can end up being lost in miscommunication unless you have the software to prevent it. Task management software is essentially a dashboard with everyone’s tasks on it and can act as a digital board.
If you’re a software company, you probably have a customer support form online on your website. Let’s say there’s a bug with the new update, affecting a big chunk of your users. Within a day, your support inbox will be packed with hundreds or thousands of texts complaining about the issue – and there’s no way your support team can take care of all that. If you’re using customer support software, you can automate most of the replies.
4. Who automates their business process?
To automate as many manual processes as possible, businesses are turning to BPA to foster improvement. Here are some examples of how different industries can be benefit from BPA:
Healthcare (including sectors like hospitals, biotech, pharma, medical devices, and laboratories) has concerns around quality and risk management. This industry looks for support in connection with record management, electronic signatures, and project management.
Telecommunications looks to BPA to automate its office systems, customer service, billing systems, databases, document and workflow management systems, and technical support.
Trading and manufacturing require BPA to automate manufacturing processes, CRM, ESB, and ERP systems, warehouse and procurement activities, and document-flow management.
5. Challenge of Business Process Automation
When you have outstanding workflow software, naturally you want to put it to work right away. But trying to overhaul all your business processes at once can lead to confusion and disappointment. It’s better to start with one definable workflow, automate and test it, and then, once it proves its mettle, choose another workflow to automate. You’re better off starting by automating simple, standalone processes before attempting to automate complex business processes.
Automation Software is difficult to use
There was a time not that long ago when workflow automation required the input of trained programmers. Today that is not necessarily the case, but not all workflow software is equal. A software package that’s designed for ease of use may not be powerful enough to do what you need it to. Conversely, a software package that’s powerful enough can be very complicated. Evaluate workflow automation software carefully to ensure both that it does what you want, and that you can learn to use it in a reasonable amount of time.