Recently, a field service enterprise was working with a transportation business whose goal was to grow from 500 to 1500 drivers without an increase in their back-end staff along with a boost in productivity.
Their biggest obstacle towards achieving this goal was that all back-end work was still being completed manually. Drivers were supposed to collect customer information, payment details, and manually track their own hours. The information was sent back to the head office through calls to have it manually entered into their accounting books. Clearly, this was time-consuming and inefficient.
A simple business process automation overhauled this workflow. The field service company gave drivers tablets pre-loaded with custom software that:
- captured customer info
- tracked drivers’ hours on the road
This information was then sent to the accounting team and automatically synced with their system. This simple yet intuitive automation project helped the company meet its business objective of increased productivity, while giving the company insight into data at the frontline, opening avenues for further optimizations.
Despite automation showing remarkable commercial benefits in different business domains, there remains countless instances where organizations are running operations managed by loosely coupled processes and systems resulting in unorganized transactions.
A survey says that the decision-makers in the U.S. and U.K. believe that by 2022 most of the business processes would be automated. The study revealed that, on average, a business process is subject to 59% of automation.
That said, let us understand how business process automation applications can meet the modern business needs and streamline processes from months to even hours!
What is Business Process Automation?
Business automation, better known as business process automation (BPA), refers to the automation of intensive manual business operations by deploying Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, Software, cloud computing, etc., that allows completion of business tasks without the need of big teams. The critical factor is to increase efficiency and reduce human errors. The business automation can even support or replace relatively sophisticated tasks, such as automatic I.T. help desk support or streamline and fully automate less complex tasks, e.g., collating information to simplify employee onboarding.
Why Is Business Process Automation Important?
No matter what the scale or how complex your business needs are, by employing business process management through automation, you can significantly transform your business operations. The ultimate aim is to lessen the burden of your valuable human resources and focus on key business areas requiring a high degree of human commitment.
This means you must develop a customized business process management strategy, also known as workflow solutions strategy, for your business. It means all your data, tasks, and documents get automatically stored or assigned to the right people at the right time. When you successfully implement a business process automation strategy, you can effectively avoid passive process cycles, rework communication gaps, and much more.
Benefits of Business Process Automation
Business process automation signifies efficiency and standardization. It offers many business benefits, like higher productivity, low operation costs, increased revenues, and more reliable customer service.
You can increase customer satisfaction and evolve better business relationships with your suppliers and partners because you have a better and improved business process taking care of your day-to-day operations. Business automation ensures that detail, time, and accountability aren’t lost in the translation. Gartner, in one of its reports, has revealed that the RPA market is one of the fastest-growing markets in the global enterprise software market. And large corporate organizations are most likely to deploy them to keep track of their sizeable customer base.
Automation can be highly effective when deployed in addressing interdepartmental coordination and issues. By streamlining different problem areas, you can positively impact the concerned department employees and generate critical business solutions in a short time.
It also provides business users tools to modify business logic and business processes without requiring assistance from I.T. personnel, hence increasing the transparency and ability to quickly adapt to changes in the market.
Business operations cost is rising, and it is becoming tough to remain profitable yet competitive. With automation, you can quickly reduce costs and increase your profit margins. All you have to do is identify the processes that doesn’t require human intervention and are just a series of straightforward procedures with predictable outcomes. This strategy is universal, be it a small start-up or a large organization. Forrester predicts that in 2020 3.9% of cubicle jobs will be delegated to automation, and the jobs with a human touch will grow by 0.62%.
In 2020, around 3.9% of cubicle jobs will be delegated to automation and jobs with a human touch will grow only by 0.62%. Click To Tweet
One of the most significant benefits of BPA is you can leverage it with both legacy systems (e.g., ERP) and newer applications under one single interface of the enterprise. This can be done between different businesses with minimal use of coding, through a centralized command console supervising the whole workflow. To reap maximum benefits from process automation, you must deploy them in your business’s cross-functional environments so that everyone in the organization is enabled to interact with the system.
Big Data Management
It is essential that you are agile in gathering exhaustive Big Data that helps in better management and provides useful insights into a growing business. BPA can enable greater accountability, transparency, and data accuracy that is available to the relevant stakeholders at the time of need. Once the data is captured in the system, it is integrated with a digital database for accurate data management and indexing purpose. All this data gathering might be overwhelming if handled manually.
Inventory Management is vital for many businesses, but unfortunately, it is also one of the most undermined business operations riddled with inefficiencies. The small companies especially assume that they can take stock of their inventory with the help of a simple spreadsheet or a notepad. In the absence of a high-fidelity automation system, the inventory manager is likely to commit a significant business oversight, which might dearly cost the company.
Fast and Efficient
This PMI report reveals that for every $1 billion invested in the U.S., $122 million was wasted because of project management inefficiency. With work flow automation solutions of BPA making inroads in the last couple of years, businesses are turning over a new leaf. Gone are the days when you had to wait long enough to process monthly claims and orders despite your team putting in extra working hours. Business automation allows you to work faster without compromising on the efficiency aspect.
Do You Know? For every $1 billion invested in the U.S., $122 million was wasted because of project management inefficiency. Click To Tweet
With the advancements of complex business needs and Big Data, the demand for a reliable and effective tracking mechanism of workflow and responsibilities is strongly felt in many business verticals. Streamlined workflow management allows you to gather information from every operational aspect and helps you make a well-informed decision. It enables you to work with your stakeholders on a clearly defined timeline and ensures your business strategies are executed accordingly.
Book a no-obligation intelligent workflow assessment with us to determine where your business processes stand today and how we can transform your business.
That said, let us also discuss some of the popular examples of BPA in the business world. As mentioned earlier, Business process automation can be deployed in several verticals, like marketing, customer service, human resources, and sales.
All the marketing efforts of your business, e.g., social media, can eat up a lot of your time and resources. Business process automation can help you create standard templates for standard problems that can be delivered to your customers automatically. Web application development can also boost you online presence whether it is a website or a social media page.
BPA can easily streamline workflows and integrate with your ERP and take charge of your essential processes. It can readily address and fetch data and information from your ERP.
Additionally, BPA can be useful in employee engagement and onboarding process. This ensures that your team experiences a smooth transition to the next stage, get a status update of the overall process, and ensure only relevant people are involved in the transition.
Interestingly, with all the tangible benefits and straight forward examples, businesses are struggling with digitizing and automating their business processes. The main reason being that many organizations are still coming shortly when addressing their main operational aspects. And some of those who have been able to do it, are handling their automation processes in a silo or like automation islands within their legacy environments.
It is important to understand that once you’ve decided to automate your business, you should consider every aspect of it under the automation lens. By partnering with a business process automation expert like Radixweb, your business can stay focused on core business aspects. We understand our client’s business needs, study their current environment, and create a roadmap using our software expertise to restructure, automate processes, and workflows with a focus on specific business outcomes.