03 Aug Business Process Automation and its Importance to Businesses
Time is of the essence for businesses seeking to sharpen their competitive edge. What if you could automate parts of your business to free up your team to drive more profitable value and growth? Business Process Automation (BPA) presents a great opportunity to do just this! BPA in a nutshell enables businesses to automate repetitive and routine tasks, enabling more efficiency while also minimising the potential for human error.
In this first piece of two on BPA, we will explore its importance, when and where you can use it, as well as survey its great benefits. In our next piece, we will give you a step-by-step guide to implementing BPA in your business.
What is Business Process Automation?
Business process automation is the process of finding repetitive and routine processes in your company that take a lot of time. These lower-value activities, while necessary to do, waste the potential value that your team can offer elsewhere in your business. By automating processes, you can empower your team to perform higher-value tasks that help your business to focus on its core-value activities and scale more seamlessly.
The benefits of automating your company’s processes are hefty in their scope:
- Firstly, you can free up competent resources so that they can spend their time on jobs that are more creative or specialised, rather than administrative or mundane tasks. In the context of a competitive market, businesses that do not use BPA will be less efficient in the areas that it can be applied in, compared to competitors that do apply it.
- Secondly, it can eliminate any human error from activities while speeding up processes beyond the capabilities of people. Human error can happen for many reasons, but machines do not get tired or distracted! Alongside the accuracy, comes great efficiency; BPA can help to eliminate backlogs that are building up and complete processes at great speed.
- Thirdly, you can save on costs and scale more profitably. Insofar as people need to be hired to undertake repetitive tasks (after all, someone or something needs to do them), your business can save on staffing costs and boost its bottom line with BPA.
- Fourthly, BPA automations do not clock out at 5pm, they can work around the clock in your business, which is another great added benefit.
When and Where Should you use Business Process Automation?
There are many kinds of processes that can be automated. On the other hand, there are some processes that are still hard to automate for now; these kinds of tasks require creativity, adaptability, and highly tailored approaches. For these higher value tasks, with BPA you can achieve a win-win; the routine tasks can still be completed to a fast and accurate standard, while you can allocate more human resources to the more specialised and creative tasks.
Below are some examples of cases where BPA can be applied. As a rule of thumb, you can apply BPA to processes and tasks that are repetitive and concrete. Where there are explicit rules for processing inputs (e.g types of data) into outputs, based on a defined process or workflow.
Here are some examples of contexts where you can apply BPA:
- HR Onboarding: Automating the employee onboarding process, including document verification, background checks, and sending welcome emails, can save time and ensure a smooth experience for new hires.
- Invoice Processing: BPA can be used to automatically process and route invoices, perform data entry, and trigger payment approvals, reducing the time and effort required for accounts payable tasks.
- Customer Support: Implementing BPA in customer support can automate ticket routing, issue escalation, and response generation, improving response times and enhancing customer satisfaction.
- Data Entry and Validation: Automating data entry tasks and validation processes can reduce errors and improve data accuracy in various workflows for processing data.
- Expense Management: BPA can automate expense reporting and approval processes and can simplify expense reimbursement while ensuring compliance with company policies.
- Supply Chain Management: BPA can optimise inventory management, order processing, and shipment tracking, improving supply chain efficiency and reducing delays.
We hope this can inspire you with just some of the many use cases that are possible with BPA. Here are some key points of value that BPA can drive within your business.
Three Key Drivers of Value From Business Process Automation
Automating business operations can help your company grow while also making life easier for you and any staff you may have.
Creates better Customer Experiences
Whether it’s more speed and accuracy in helping with customer queries and service delivery, or the enhanced value that can arise from freeing up your people’s time to serve your customers better, BPA can explicitly and implicitly drive value for your customers.
Your company operations can be significantly accelerated by automation. Business process automation (BPA) can finish tasks that would otherwise take minutes or hours, within a fraction of the time. You can save hours of time each week, month and year, by automating processes.
The Automation is Scalable
The fact that in most cases, BPA driven processes can be scaled seamlessly with your business, is a massive benefit. This can drive profitable growth for your business, enabling you to have more resources to invest into delivering for your customers.
By taking the routine tasks from the plate of your people, this frees up mental space and time for reimagining how things can be done throughout your company. By applying BPA, this also implicitly contributes to a culture that scans for opportunities for efficiency through leveraging technology, while also contributing to more of creative focus on delivering for customers.
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