Digital Process Automation
Digitizing workflows reduces obstacles by 30%.
On the surface, it seems as if process automation is a key part of many companies’ growth strategies. After all, the workflow automation market was valued at $4.26 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach $18.45 billion by 2023.
However, according to a report titled The Sorry State of Digital Transformation in 2018 by Forrester, up to 22 percent businesses have still not adopted the change. Digital transformation is critical to process excellence, which in turn facilitates customer satisfaction.
Long story short, if you wish to have a growing roster of happy customers, you need to start focusing on process excellence. Business process automation is a straightforward, effective way to get started on that path.
What Is Business Process Automation (BPA)?
Business process automation is the use of technology to execute recurring tasks or processes in a business where manual effort can be replaced. It is done to achieve cost minimization, greater efficiency, and streamlined processes.
Business process automation is not to be confused with business process management, which is a larger discipline involving the management of complex organization-wide processes using different methodologies.
Business Process Automation Examples
For a better understanding of business process automation, let’s take you through a couple of use cases.
Although hiring employees may seem like a fuss-free process, it involves multiple tasks. Filling out employee information forms, setting up induction sessions, arranging training sessions, setting up bank accounts, collecting relevant documents, and assigning mentors are just a few of the activities involved.
Without automation, the entire process can become quite chaotic and result in:
missing out on some tasks
Applying business process automation to employee onboarding will ensure smooth transitions from one task to the next, keeping relevant employees in the loop and providing visibility into the status of the process.
Purchase order requests are recurring processes in most organizations. The requesting team fills out a form and sends it to the purchasing team. The approving authority then examines the request and rejects the request in case information is inadequate or if there are budgetary constraints. It is then sent back to the requesting team. If approved, a purchase order is created and copies are sent to the supplier as well as the inventory team.
Without automation, the following issues could crop up:
Delayed PO approval
Errors in the PO
Errors while taking delivery of the supplies
Business process automation can help improve accountability, transparency and enable accurate data recording, which can be accessed by relevant stakeholders when necessary. It will also retain all process-related communication within the workflow to make execution easier and faster.
Why Should You Automate Your Business Processes?
Here are some compelling reasons to automate your business processes.
Stepping stone to digital transformation
Digital transformation can seem like a lofty overwhelming goal to organizations that aren’t on that path. Business process automation can be a stepping-stone to adopting that culture of continuing transformation. You can start with a few processes that are clearly in need of course correction and gradually work your way up.
Automation necessitates a certain amount of clarity about the process right at the designing stage. If you don’t know the tasks involved and the people responsible for running the process, you can’t design and automate the workflow accurately.
Further, process mapping can provide clarity to all employees and serve as a training resource as well. The insights you gain from analyzing an automated process can clearly show you the gap between your process as is and as it should ideally be.
One of the great outcomes of business process automation is streamlined processes. Clear accountability, customizable notifications, valuable insights, and faster turnaround times make it easier to eliminate wasteful activities and focus on enhancing tasks that add value.
With business process automation, every detail of a particular process is recorded. This information can be presented to demonstrate compliance during audits.
Standardization of operations
When you automate a business process, you can expect a consistent standard of outcomes every time. Standardization helps to position your organization as reliable, which in turn can help increase your customer base.
Customer satisfaction is a key differentiator in any industry. Focusing on process and operational excellence helps you exceed customer expectations with ease. When you consistently meet promised standards, customers are more likely to develop a preference for your company.