Business Process Automation (BPA) means using modern-age technology to automate time and resource-draining, repetitive tasks. Such tasks (data entry, onboarding employees, accounts receivables/payable, and many more) don’t require intense human attention. They can be efficiently replaced with machines to eliminate business process bottlenecks and boost productivity.
Business Process Automation leverages hyper-automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and software robots to automate your business workflow processes. Besides, the BPA leverages the Internet of Things (IoT) to fetch data for swiftly automating equipment processes and predictive maintenance.
As the name says, it simply takes on monotonous tasks and digitally transforms them to eliminate human intervention using almost null coding. This involves essential automation tools to remove human errors and fasten the productive part of your business.
This type of business automation involves automating time-draining business processes. The automation takes place using dedicated software, saving time and boosting productivity. Besides, process automation also helps in offering valuable insights through which you can make some strategic decisions.
Advanced automation is the rescue when integrating multiple systems across organizations since it brings machines and humans together. The integration supports complex processes and highly relies on unstructured data combined with machine learning, natural language processing, and analysis. As a result, the knowledge transfer and decision-making for specialized work becomes swift.
Intelligent automation is one of the types of business process automation that enables machines to learn and make decisions, considering their past events and analysis.
When choosing process automation, you must know how much it will benefit you and your business. Let’s look at all possible business benefits.
Firstly, operational efficiency will be enhanced due to the implementation of business process automation. Since no human intervention will be required and every process will be automated, you don’t need to worry about which task is following the next one. Besides, you don’t need to worry about errors since this will be automatically rectified. All this results in greater operational efficiency since it eliminates dependency on employees, allowing them to contribute more to the strategic part of the business.
Companies experiencing operational efficiency enhancement after implementing BPA:
The second benefit of business process automation on the list is a gradual profit increase. A proper resource allocation always delivers fruitful results. When talking about your business, allow automation to take over your mundane tasks and let your employees deliver personalized experiences to your customers. Witnessing a massive increase in the bottom line is one of the amazing business process automation benefits you can enjoy.
Companies experiencing a spike in bottom line after implementing BPA:
As discussed above, employees will be freed from monotonous and mundane tasks and double productivity with new-age solutions. Using digital processes, tasks involving paperwork will be a thing of the past. Digital forms ensure the automation of record requests and record retrieval processes, shifting to an agile list of work from time-consuming ones. A massive productivity boost is one of the greatest benefits of intelligent business process automation.
More than 50% of organizations are ready to automate business processes to boost their employee's productivity & performance.
Companies experiencing a boost in productivity after implementing BPA:
One of the greatest benefits of automating business processes is a layer of security to your business than the vulnerability it used to face all these years. Previously, everything was paper documented, vulnerable to natural calamities, theft, loss, and manipulation, but with automation, all your confidential information will be secured. With digital process automation, your data and confidential information will be stored securely, far from the vulnerabilities, under several layers of security.
Companies experienced a secure environment after implementing BPA:
From better operational efficiency to productivity boost, everything remains worth it if your business delivers the highest customer satisfaction. Business process automation focuses on quicker customer query resolutions, data-driven customization, and maintaining the same level of service delivery across channels.
Companies delivered memorable customer experiences after implementing BPA:
Manual business processes hinder business growth, which even restricts the scalability of the business. For instance, if your business hasn’t implemented BPA, there will be more manpower requirements for business processes. If we take the example of invoicing, then it would be resource-demanding had your business not opted for automation. But with automation in business processes, you can simply expect scalability because machines would perform all the invoicing tasks at lightning speed.
Companies massively scaled after implementing BPA:
Manual business processes often need to be clearer due to the involvement of people (employees & stakeholders). And this also happens because everyone has their perspectives and ample other tasks to execute. Considering all these manual interventions and the pressure of executing all the tasks, they will commit errors. On the other hand, automation in the business process ensures swift implementation of time-consuming tasks without delay.
Companies witnessed streamlined business processes after implementing BPA:
No matter how detailed attention your employee provides to every task, there remains a chance of error. Manual intervention is prone to errors and can only bypass business process automation. Digital business automation and its tools can potentially eliminate the chances of errors and make the process flawless.
Companies eliminated manual errors through business process automation:
Businesses that shift to automation are more collaborative than ever. This even fosters interpersonal relationships and ensures harmony amongst everyone. With automation, organizing tasks for the team can also be much easier and swifter. Besides, you can even update your team about the present-day to-dos and ensure the task gets completed within the time frame.
Companies effectively collaborated through business process automation:
A governing body always sets rules and regulations for your business. The rules include abiding by security measures, quality control, waste management, documentation, etc. You might face severe consequences if your business fails to comply with the governing body’s standards. But with process automation, the repercussions are a thing of the past. The new-age technology simplifies regulatory compliance and ensures meeting GDPR’s requirements. Moreover, if there is a policy for data retention, then BPA has a data deletion feature, which ensures timely data removal from the database.
Companies maintained compliance through business process automation:
With the onset of digital transformation, the service's quality also increases since your target audiences are your most valuable assets. Ensuring they receive the best of your services is mandatory, and business process automation does that task quite effectively. The prime objective of process automation is to eliminate mundane tasks and help employees to concentrate on business-promoting tasks.
Companies maintained to deliver the best service through business process automation:
One of the serious benefits of digital process automation (DPA) is cost-saving compared to the traditional method. The old-age method demands more resources, such as manpower, paperwork, and investments. DPA has removed dependency on manpower, leading to lesser requirements, resulting in less investment and a high bottom line. In a nutshell, DPA limits human personnel requirements and ensures most tasks are automated.
Companies maintained cost through business process automation:
You know how much business process automation benefits, but how will you reap those benefits? Do you know what processes of your business can actually be automated? Don’t worry; even if you don’t know, here is the list of all possible business process automation use cases that can be automated.
Salespersons excel at closing deals, which is your business objective, right? Now diverting their attention by involving them in the hectic and time-consuming paperwork or updating CRM manually will disallow them from communicating with one less potential customer.
We suggest letting your salespersons bring businesses for you against which you automate call logging, filing, and handoffs for them. This is one of the best business process automation examples since it automates most of the unwanted tasks of salespersons.
Another business process automation example that needs serious attention is support, especially for small businesses in their formative years. A proactive support system is essential since answering customer queries on time is crucial for any business.
Besides, you can even automate and streamline the ticket support process, handle and resolve the query. Challenges will be overcome only if you automate your ticketing process.
Third on the list of automated business process examples that require a sure-shot solution is leave approval. Human resources have ample attention-worthy tasks, but this leave approval can sometimes take a major toll.
You can automate the leave approval task to save your HRs time and let them focus on adding valuable resources to your company. Build a business process automation software that takes leave approval burden from your HR and does it automatically. For more personalization, you can ask software developers to add rules, set limits, and identify the hard-working resource (one hasn’t taken a single day's leave).
Another business process automation workflow significantly impacts the company’s bottom line is expense approval. Several factors are considered, such as approval conditions, multiple expense approval exceeding the limit, pre-set budget, and the existing expense approval level.
Now recording all the expenses in the spreadsheet will take a lot of time and consume more resources. That’s where business process automation software comes into the picture; just add it to your business and witness this particular BPA example as a not-so-manually intervened task.
Invoice processing is a major task that needs automation, from three-way matching to coding to routing and, most importantly, cross-verifying the numbers. If the invoice processing is done manually, there can be chances of errors in numbers or under/over-crediting of the actual amount; such challenges can be overcome using digital process automation.
Automated invoice processing can be executed in a single day, and you can actually free up the manpower that was assigned with the invoicing processing duties. Get in touch with the software development company to build business process automation software for your invoicing process and see a massive improvement.
Another major challenge for the Human Resources department is the onboarding & offboarding process of new employees. And since this is a monotonous and continuous process, there should be automation to the process by integrating HRIS and Active Directory platform. The faster onboarding & offboarding, the more time to increase productivity and efficiency.
Customer support is one of the areas for business process automation, which needs to be streamlined since it consumes more manpower than most other processes in the business.
What you can do is ensure a proactive resolution of customer queries and bring a sense of satisfaction to your customer’s mind. With more relief and a secure feeling, a customer will have better chances to retain your business. You can build chatbots, help centers, and artificial intelligence systems for agile responses to your customers.
All these process automation tools will speed up the resolution process, ensuring your business thrives and customers remain satisfied.
Social media management is also a business process that needs automation. Though it is an integral part of your business since it promotes and builds goodwill online across the globe, it still needs no manual attention.
Besides, managing multiple social media accounts and ensuring all talk highly about your business surely demands time. You can leverage process automation tools or software to ease your process and ensure everyone knows about your business.
Financial statements require human inputs at the level, but several tasks are a good fit for machines. Several paper-based works involving spreadsheets can be accomplished through process automation, ensuring what previously took hours or days is done within minutes.
Inventory fulfillment is a set of processes ranging from handling customer requests to invoicing, updating compliance documents and shipping orders, and sending payment receipts. All or some of these processes can be automated to ease the workload. Moreover, you can monitor the process without switching to different spreadsheets or emails.
Automating inventory fulfillment can quickly process orders, enhance customer experience, and ensure swift cash flow. You can opt for Salesforce integration to automate cash flow. Besides, you can even record invoices, check account details, and fetch revenue collection.
Lead sharing and managing amongst departments is considered time-consuming. Bringing automation in lead management allows businesses to sync their CRM systems with their partners’ or vendors’ CRM. Doing so will enhance the lead management process. Besides, you can even seamlessly collaborate sales processes between departments.
There is business process automation that ensures swift lead sharing and managing. Also, you can track leads right through your CRM, creating new leads in your partner’s CRM.
Just like accounts receivables, accounts payable also has a lot of paperwork and manual work. And similar to AR, there are several challenges with AP, such as losing papers and delays in clearance, resulting in uncleared invoices and unhappy vendors. This would even lead to answering vendors’ phone calls and spending time conveying them about the problems.
But with automation, you can swiftly monitor all the invoices and their final payment. Ultimately, you will notice fewer errors and satisfied vendors/customers.
When a single-day task takes more than two days, and the time mostly invests in repetitive tasks, it needs serious attention. Besides, when you want to scale your business, you must automate mundane tasks and let your smart brains be highly productive.
Now, it raises the question; which process needs to be automated, and how to automate processes of your business? Let’s discuss.
You cannot simply replace AI with humans and automate all business processes; you will always require human brains to make strategic decisions. But to ease human efforts and let them dive into the strategic part of business, you must identify a few efficient processes that need the least human attention, such as sales, accounts payable, customer service, and inventory management.
Standard operating procedures define the responsibilities needed to execute a particular task. For automation, there should be clear and defined steps to transform the process from the age-old concept digitally.
Now that you are ready with the list of operational areas within your business, it’s time to note the repetitive tasks that make the process sluggish. Preparing a list will even help you with the highly vulnerable business areas. For easy identification of repetitive tasks, you can review the SOPs created by your employees. Investing maximum time in completing the tasks listed in the SOPs is advisable. Also, ensure you validate the repetitive tasks from the employees who used to execute them daily.
Once you’re ready with the areas of improvement, it’s time to prioritize the tasks, depending on their importance and contribution to making the further process productive.
You must also think of the list of factors when prioritizing automation tasks. For this, you can consider which process could massively improve the business operations, enhance the customer experience, or quickly cater to your customers’ requirements. You know how much automating business processes benefit from killing tedious tasks, eliminating human errors, and reducing overhead costs to swift service delivery to customers. Consider all these factors to prepare the list of mundane tasks that need business process automation.
Most business people or CTOs think leveraging modern technologies will require a hefty investment. Well, let us break the myth. A minor percentage of your revenue investment in custom coding software to not only automate mundane business processes but also half the manpower and double your revenue.
When your maximum time drains away in repetitive tasks, automation becomes the need of the hour. Not only you but various small-scale to large enterprises have already automated their monotonous tasks using the best business process automation tools. Using these BPA tools, you can streamline workflows and ensure maximum productivity.
Asana is a project management software built with manager- and worker-centric features. The software is entirely interactive and ensures users remain hooked to it. And if you consider this PMS for your business, let us tell you the software is highly secured, including granular permission, SSO, and 2FA. Since Asana is into PMA, it has inbuilt templates, team calendars, a scheduler, task prioritization, and automation solutions for repetitive tasks. The features of Asana include:
This low-code platform ensures swift automation of workflows. The platform supports an event-driven architecture that supports message queues, tweets, FTP file events, emails, and many more. You can even seamlessly schedule tasks on any day or time. Besides, connecting to any apps, devices, or servers is also possible by leveraging APIs. ActiveBatch allows bi-directional integrations for automating tickets with System Center Service Manager and ServiceNow. The features of ActiveBatch include:
A lightweight approach to automating business processes is what you can expect from Kissflow. A comprehensive software that has 50 applications under its orbit ranging from payment to vendors to filing purchase orders and ensuring swift onboarding of new employees to reimbursements and a lot more. Also, there is a possibility for personalization. You can even leverage the forms to gather data. And remember its activity report and system sequences to get all detailed insights into your business. Integrated with Zapier makes collaboration across departments smoother and swifter.
Basecamp is another business process automation tool for collaboration that allows effective integration of different BPA software. The feature list of Basecamp includes file, task, deadline, and discussion tracking. Basecamp is also wonderful for remote working since it has the potential to become a virtual hub for your business. Basecamp helps expedite project development since all your team members will be in the loop.
Like Kissflow, TrackVia is another low-code development platform for managing workflows. A simple BPA software that allows dragging and dropping functionalities to build applications. What once used to take days to build happens in hours; isn’t that time-saving?
You choose the business processes to automate, but does that suffice? How about adding a layer of surety to implement business process automation successfully? Here is the list of business process automation best practices you must go through to make your investment worthy:
Defining Goals & Expectations
Firstly, setting up objectives ensures and justifies your investment in business process automation. Once you define the goal, you can create a successful roadmap for your business and make it effective for process automation. Lastly, you can monitor the BPA performance and ROI generated through it.
Keeping Track of Results
Another business process best practice on the list is monitoring the outcomes of your automated processes. Here, you must define which key performance indicators you plan to leverage for measuring process automation performance and results.
Ensuring Compliance Requirements
You must follow compliance requirements even if you are not automating business processes to ensure the requirements, limitations, and restrictions.
One of the best practices of business process automation is to document every single step in digitally transforming the manual workflow. From the list of processes to how to automate, every aspect should be documented and shared with concerned stakeholders.
This includes thorough training of the employees and making them familiar with the new automated processes. Plus, you should also introduce them to newer responsibilities. Besides, you must make your employees understand the importance and the dire need for process automation. Tell them the benefits of automating mundane tasks and their newer roles to increase their engagement.
Don’t automate all the business processes simultaneously; start with three to five processes and wait for the results. If the results are favorable, you can automate other processes as well. Considering the results of already automated processes before digitally transforming others is always important. And if, in case, your automated processes don’t deliver the expected results, you can simply list down the points of failure and improve them accordingly.
Allow Only Integration-Friendly BPA Solutions
Business process automation best practices also include selecting the BPA solutions that easily integrate into existing business processes. Whatever BPA solution you intend to build, you must ensure it easily integrates into your existing systems.
Join Hands With BPA Experts
Lastly, you must partner with a software development company to build a BPA solution for your paper-trailed, manual processes. Though you can automate manual business processes on your own, we would still advise you to hire software developers.
The benefit is they help you sort out the time-consuming process that you must automate, so you don’t have to invest much time in it. Secondly, they can immediately diagnose the failure of BPA if it happens accidentally.
In the technological-advanced world, you must cope with the competition to safeguard your position in the market. Because if you do not adopt technology, your competitors will surely do. And automating sluggish business processes takes you far ahead of your competitors. Due to Business Process Automation, you can shift your manpower’s skills and intelligence into business-driven processes. Those processes that achieve your business objectives.
Why automate business processes?
Automating business processes is important because, if not done can introduce serious repercussions to your business. A sluggish business process not only slower down the growth but also the production capacity of your business, resulting in zero innovation and unnecessary resource investment.
Which of these business processes can be automated with RPA?
Robotic Process Automation ensures the automation of the following processes:
What are trends in business process automation?
The business process automation trends include utilizing AI and ML to the fullest, adopting robotic process automation, process mining, process simulation, and optimum use of low-code platforms.
What is low-code business process automation?
Low-code business process automation is a method to automate business processes with little to no coding. Adding to this, there are pre-made components that users can easily leverage to add functionalities.