Business Process Automation

Business Process Automation

Technologies like presentation-layer automation software

A technology that mimics the steps of a rules-
based, non-subjective process without compromising the existing IT architecture – are able to consistently carry out prescribed functions and easily scale up or down to meet demand.
Process automation can expedite back-office tasks in insurance, finance, procurement, supply chain management, accounting, customer service, and human resources.
It could also perform duties including data entry, placing purchase orders, creating online access credentials, and completing business processes that require “swivel-chair” access to multiple existing systems.
Business Process Automation Benefits
Business Process Automation Benefits
Business process automation can help improve customer relationships, create reporting dashboards, and standardize your processes. But, how does this help you? Below, let’s discuss the top benefits of business process automation:
    1. Saves time At the end of the day, grunt work takes more time than you think. While these tasks are important and cannot be skipped, they don’t necessarily need to be done by a human. Business process automation will save your employees time by completing the menial tasks, such as paperwork. Automation will instantly execute tasks that normally take time to complete. Additionally, this saved time will give your employees more time to complete higher-level tasks, such as building relationships and research. This means they can create more value and make more money for your business.
 
    1. Reduces human error I don’t know about you, but I’ve been known to mix up my words and numbers from time to time. That’s just human. But, if an invoice number is mixed up, that can cause a major fiasco for your company. With automation, you won’t have to worry about human errors like that. You can process paperwork, transfer documents, and gather signatures instantly. Additionally, automated tools can send reminders in case your human employees forget to complete a task.
 
    1. Results in happier employees Menial tasks are usually the most hated. People don’t like doing grunt work, no matter how necessary it is. With automation, your employees won’t have to do that anymore. This will result in happier employees who are empowered to do their job.
 
    1. Streamlines information Business process automation will streamline all your data and tasks. For example, a business process automation software will have an entire process documented. The information for all the steps in a project are accessible to your entire team. This will make reporting and decision making easier for your team. Automated processes lead to clear accountability, valuable insights, and possibly faster turnaround times. Additionally, information and notifications can be customized. This allows your team to have customized notifications on when to send a certain email or when a task is due on a project.
 
    1. Improves customer satisfaction. When your processes are streamlined, you’re typically running more successful marketing campaigns and responding to your customers quickly. All of this leads to happier customers. Business process automation tools can help you consistently meet the high standards of your customers.
 
  1. Promotes complianceMany processes in a marketing campaign need to be compliant. For example, with emails, you need to follow GDPR and CAN-SPAM laws. With business process automation tools, you can ensure your campaigns are compliant. You can set up systems that check for this compliance, so you only have to implement the information once. Now that you understand the benefits, you might be wondering “How can I use business process automation in my business?” Below, let’s review some examples.

Business Process Automation Examples

Business process automation can be used in several departments, including marketing, customer service, human resources, and sales. Below, we’ll dive into some examples in each category.

  1. Project Management
  2. Customer Service
  3. Social Media
  4. Approvals
  5. Onboarding
  6. Customer Relationship Management
  7. Sales
Project Management
As a marketer, you’re often managing several campaigns and projects. With business process automation, you can digitize your workflows and automate the entire logistical part of a campaign. For example, task management tools can tell you who’s doing what and when it’s due. When an employee finishes a task, the system can automatically notify the next person within the workflow. Additionally, managers can see dashboards for which employees are doing what and how they’re doing. If someone’s late with a deadline, managers are instantly notified.
Customer Service
Customer service is one of the best departments to automate. With business process automation, your customer service team can automate replies if certain keywords show up in an email or chat. Additionally, if you have a list of FAQs, you can create automated responses on social media chatbots, or chatbots on your site. Other business process automation tools can analyze, classify, and assign support tickets to the right department and team member.
Business Process Automation Examples
Social Media
Posting on several social media platforms every day can be exhausting. And it takes more time than you think. With social media automation tools, you can schedule posts in advance, so you don’t have to manually upload your posts every day. Additionally, other social media tools help with content curation. These tools are a great place to streamline your idea process.
Approvals
If your business requires ordering of any kind (most businesses do), business process automation software can streamline the approval process. Sometimes just managing requests can be a full-time job. With automation tools, you don’t have to track down five team members to get approval. You can just send approval notifications to your team and have them do it online.
Onboarding
Onboarding is a menial process. There’s documentation that needs to be signed, tax documents to fill out, and signatures to gather. With business process automation tools, your recruiting and human resources team doesn’t need to manage that manually. They can send these requests online and look at the software to see what’s been completed and what hasn’t.
Customer Relationship Management
As a marketer, customer relationship management is important. You don’t want to send the same email to a lead twice. With all in one software, like HubSpot, you can see your contact’s engagement with your company in one place. Additionally, customer relationship management programs help you nurture leads and workflows. Plus, it helps identify when a lead moves from an MQL to an SQL through automated lead scoring.
Sales
A menial task for sales reps is creating and tracking invoices. With business process automation software, this can all be set up with your software, saving your sales time valuable time. Additionally, software like HubSpot’s Sales Hub can help manage contracts, create email sequences, and automate the day-to-day tasks of a sales rep. Once you’ve decided what you want to use business process automation for, you can begin to look at the best tools. Below, let’s review some of the tools you can use

Business Process Automation Tools

Deciding what automation tools you want depends on what process you want to automate. Before you purchase new automation software, you should have an understanding of the tasks involved in the process you want to automate, have a clear goal, and make sure you have the time to train employees in new software.

Additionally, you’ll want to assign a team leader who’s responsible for helping your team during this adjustment period.
It’s important that you don’t just purchase new software and leave it to your team to figure out how to implement it. There needs to be a plan for how it’s going to be used and who’s responsible for assigning certain tasks.

With that said, below are some business process automation tools you can use for your team:

Business Process Automation Tools

Ultimately, business process automation will make your life easier. It can complete recurring tasks that need to be free from human error. Plus, it’ll free up your time for important, high-level tasks and help your company grow better.

Business Process Automation
    1. Gateway Automation Grows Not every small business is going to invest tens of thousands of dollars into highly advanced BPA solutions and systems. In most cases, smaller companies are going to begin with “gateway” automation – i.e. solutions that are simple and cost-effective. For example, many businesses use finance and accounting solutions that either automate invoicing or make invoicing easier. And once they become familiar with how these platforms work, they become more willing to invest in a larger scale.
    2. Accessible Data Drives BPA Innovation
      More and more data is being collected by the day. Ultimately, this data will lead to greater innovation in the BPA space. For example, SAP Business Process Automation by Redwood has taken off in recent months. Customers have greater access to data, which increases efficiency, enhances reliability, and significantly lowers costs.

3. Employee Involvement Becomes Crucial
BPA technology doesn’t exist in a silo. In order for it to work effectively within a business environment, companies will have to think about the people that will be using the solutions.
As entrepreneur Leah Allen writes, “Perfectly designed automation will only work as well as it is adopted by the people who use it. Change is hard; most people don’t like change, even if it will make their jobs and lives easier. So to make sure it’s successful, remember to build in change management and training to any workflow automation you introduce.”

4. Measurement and Analysis Take Center Stage

As more businesses adopt BPA technology and integrate it into their companies, it’ll become increasingly evident that the key to maximizing success and potential is to carefully measure and analyze results. As such, much of the emphasis moving forward will be on establishing the right key performance indicators (KPIs) and optimizing accordingly.

The Future of Automation
It’s impossible to accurately predict what the future of automation in business will look like, but it’s clear that BPA will hold a significant place in the discussion. Business leaders would do well to keep an eye on the latest innovation and track with the progress so that they can stay informed and ready to move when the timing is right.

Key elements/characteristics/concerns to identify a process for automation:
  • The process requires consistency across the organization
  • The process is repeatable
  • The process needs to be free from error, every time
    1. Operational efficiency
      Many employees get hired for jobs requiring specialized skill sets and discover that most of their day gets taken up by paperwork and other administrative tasks. Business process automation eliminates the need for skilled workers to have these time-consuming tasks in their workload. This is because most or all of the workflow gets automated, which frees up their time for other duties.
      For example, when your sales team doesn’t have to track their follow-ups on a spreadsheet, they can spend their time talking with their prospects and closing more deals.

 

    1. AccuracyBad data can cause a lot of expensive or annoying problems, with an estimated cost of $3 trillion to US businesses. Unfortunately, when you rely on manual processes, the human element can introduce a lot of errors. Business process automation reduces the opportunities for bad data to enter your systems.
      Your solution may verify customer data with multiple data sources, such as a business database or social media channels. It could also deduplicate repeat entries in your databases and centralize the information. This method works well for those who have a lot of notes spread across multiple customer relationship management software records.

 

    1. Visibility

      Business process automation gives you a better view of what’s going on with your projects and staff at any given time. You can track whether a team meets milestones or if they’re going to miss an upcoming deadline. The improved visibility also shows you whether you are over or underutilizing your human resources. You can optimize the teams over time so everyone works at peak efficiency. Automate key parts of all of your workflows when possible, so you can track this information accurately.

 

    1. Shorter turnaround times
      The improved visibility also gives you better problem-solving opportunities. You can identify issues before they happen, such as missing a critical deadline. Since you know about the situation in advance, you can address it by allocating more resources or bringing in additional team members. The faster turnaround times will help you go to market faster, fulfill larger orders, build better client relationships, and grow your company’s overall capacity.

 

    1. Employee satisfaction
      Few people want to spend their days on manual tasks that have nothing to do with their background or career goals. When you eliminate these tasks with business process automation, you give your employees a more fulfilling experience. They become more engaged with their jobs and their satisfaction increases. You may be able to attract and retain high-quality talent easier than you were able to before implementing these improvements. Plus, companies with highly engaged employees have revenue increases up to three times greater than other organizations.

 

  1. Better customer experience
    Your customers also benefit from business process automation. The changes on the employee-facing systems can spill over to the customer-facing experience. They don’t have to repeat themselves when they call in for support. They can easily find answers to their questions without waiting a long time.Plus, they encounter happier employees who are more motivated to help them.


Business process automation is a must
No matter what type of business or process, whether it be referral program automation or scheduling automation. Your business can’t afford to do without business process automation. You end up freeing time and making many processes easier. Thus meaning, that these changes pay for themselves. Start improving all areas of your operation by identifying opportunities to make changes and incorporate automation.

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