Do you get a lot of emails requesting approval? Do you use a lot of paper forms to track processes and tasks? Do you know there are bottlenecks, but don’t have the data to prove where they are? Do you wish you could change a process quickly, but are buried in hierarchy? You are experiencing the effects of an un-automated work-flow.
Most tasks in any given business require a sequence of events to achieve them.These could range from getting approval from finance, then to marketing, escalate to legal, and so on and so on. When these processes are not automated, you run into the challenges described in the previous paragraph.
Business process automation has been defined as the automation of complex business processes and functions beyond conventional data manipulation and record-keeping activities, usually through the use of advanced technologies. It consists of integrating applications, restructuring labor resources and using software applications throughout the organization. These are some of the processes that can be automated:
1. Employee training (requests, approval, completion records, reimbursement)
2. Job applicant tracking
3. Onboarding – employees, vendors, customers
4. Purchase orders and invoice processing
5. Due diligence processes
6. Product changes
7. Anything requiring a routine intake, notification, approval process or manual handoff
So, why should any business seek to automate its process?
With business process automation, you get visibility into process status. You can see where an item is in the workflow. That can be particularly useful for capacity planning and deadline management. Need to know if your team is on track to deliver on-time? Check your workflow software.
With visibility comes greater accountability. There’s less opportunity for mix-ups, lost files, and finger pointing. By automating your business processes, managers can see who’s responsible for what and where processes are getting stuck. Managers can even get alerts when a certain step in the process hasn’t occurred according to schedule.
3. Document Management
Skip the paper chase. When combined with a document management system, BPA reduces the time employees spend filing and retrieving documents. Cut down on lost documents and search time. Plus, customers enjoy better service when employees have immediate access to information and process status from any location.
Business process automation helps your employees do more with less. Processes can move ahead faster because no one is waiting for files to be transported from desk to desk and no one has to remember to notify the next person in line. Alerts and task reminders can be generated automatically. On a management level, team leaders can get a macro-view of the process, allowing them to be more proactive about addressing and correcting potential bottlenecks. That high-level visibility means teams can reduce the time they spent in update and review meetings.
5. Business Insight
A good business process automation tool will include analytics capabilities. That allows managers to analyze business trends, identify repeat bottlenecks, and track response times. Which processes trigged the most missed deadline alerts? When are new process requests most likely to initiate? When processes terminate without completion, what’s the most common failure point? Check your workflow software
6. Time Savings
Manual tasks take time. They have to be performed linearly by humans who are prone to errors and who are unable to consistently perform to the highest standards.
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.
Automation also allows you to get more done in the same amount of time, greatly increasing productivity.
7. Quality and Consistency
Delivering consistently high quality products and customer service results in happier, long-term customers.
Quality: Automation ensures that every action is performed identically – resulting in high quality, reliable results
Consistency: If, for example, you have automated your customer service follow-up process, your customers will consistently experience the same level of service from your business
This guarantee of quality and consistency coupled with time and efficiency savings means that you can start developing higher quality and more feature-filled products with little or no increase in production time and costs.
It is evident that business process automation offers immense benefits and there’s really no excuse for not automating your business. Look to Quadrant Softwares to provide a solution that does’nt change the way you do business, but improves efficiency and productivity to your business processes.