Often, there can be overwhelming tasks in a business, some which can distract you from the things that matter most and the things that drive profits and business growth. In such instances, automation is the answer. Repetitive business tasks can be put on autopilot, enabling one to shift their emphasis on more productive tasks. With the technological advancements available today, there are multiple high tech business automation solutions available. It is possible to automate everything from payroll to marketing, client support, and ensure that these tasks and other related ones are streamlined. This article looks at business automation and seeks to help the reader understand more about business automation.
What exactly is business process automation?
Also referred to as process automation, or workflow automation, business process automation refers to using technology to execute recurrent processes and tasks in a business. The main aim of implementing business process automation is to streamline processes, minimise costs and increase efficiency. Business process automation is frequently confused with business process management; this should not be the case. The two are related but different;
While business process automation mainly concentrates on using technology to automate the processes in a business. Business process management is about managing business processes with or without automation and technology.
Examples of business process automation
Below are examples of business process automation to understand it better.
1. Purchase orders
In a majority of organisations, purchase order requests are recurrent. Typically forms are filled by the requesting team who send the forms to the buying team. The forms are then looked at by the approving authority who either approves or reject them based on their status. If the purchase order is declined, it is sent back to the requesting team. When accepted, a purchase order is produced, and the inventory team and the supplier are served with copies. If the purchase order process is automated, transparency, accountability and accurate recording of data are achieved. Other issues that automation help solve in these processes include;
- Eliminates errors in the purchase orders
- Eliminates delays in approval of purchase orders
- Eliminates errors while taking supplies delivery
- Eliminates the possibility of incomplete records
2. Employee on boarding
Though hiring employees may appear like a hassle-free process, it encompasses many tasks. From arranging induction sessions, assigning employees with mentors, filling out employee forms, setting up bank accounts for the employees, organising training sessions, and collecting relevant documents from the employees. By automating employee on boarding, this will help change from one task to another smoothly. In employee on boarding automation helps;
- Reduce the paperwork involved
- Increase employee satisfaction on how the tasks are conducted
- Increase productivity
- Eliminate omitting some tasks
Reasons for automating business processes
Helps streamline processes
One of the most significant advantage that business process automation comes with is ensuring that operations are streamlined. From faster turnaround times, customisable notifications, valuable insights and clear accountability business process automation helps eliminate inefficient activities, and instead, the emphasis is placed in encouraging tasks that add value.
Can help in digital transformation
An organisation could have lagged in its digital transformation journey. However, with business process automation, a company moves a step closer towards adopting a culture that encourages continuous transformation. You can begin with just some few processes that obviously need to be automated and continue progressively.
Increases client satisfaction
For any company, client satisfaction is a crucial differentiator. By concentrating on operational excellence, customer expectations are easily exceeded. A company that steadily meets the promised standards attracts lots of clients. Automation helps achieve promised standards.
Help demonstrate compliance
Business process automation ensures each specific detail of a certain process is recorded. This recorded information is helpful as it can be presented, for example, during audits and helps prove compliance.
Help standardise operations
By automating business processes, steady outcome standards can be expected each time. Standardisation is key when it comes to positioning a company as trustworthy, which increases a client base.
Which business processes need to be automated?
Essential factors that indicate that a particular process needs automation in an organisation include
- A task that needs a variety of people to accomplish them.
- Tasks that are available in high-volumes
- Tasks that take lots of time
- The necessity for audit trails and compliance
If you find that an activity in your organisation meets these criteria, then there is a need to automate it
In conclusion, this article offers the fundamentals of business automation, enabling one to understand it well and know which processes need automation in a company. One can also understand that companies operating in various niches can be automated from office services companies to companies such as parcelcompare.