According to Business Wire, the business process automation (BPA) market is increasing at a rate of 10 percent per year, and the reason is clear. Companies rely heavily on their strategic business processes to achieve purposeful goals and maintain a competitive edge. Process automation software is designed to streamline key business processes by replacing manual, mundane and repetitive tasks with intelligent and highly efficient automated workflows.
Learn more about business process automation software, how it works and the benefits of investing in BPA.
What Is Process Automation And How Does It Work?
Business process automation is defined as the automation of complex business processes using technology. This strategy typically involves applying robotic or intelligent automation to help businesses work faster and smarter while keeping operating costs low. Through process automation, employees can better serve customers and drive growth. The organization also becomes better equipped to compete by leveraging new digital capabilities and talent.
A business process can refer to any set of activities performed by an organization to help the company reach a specific goal or objective. When referring to BPA, a business process is often a repeatable transaction that involves a series of steps that utilize multiple IT systems.
Examples of common business processes used by companies include onboarding new employees, fulfilling customer orders, processing expense reports and approving loan applications. Automating these types of processes can increase available time and resources, and enable employees to focus on core activities rather than tedious, repetitive tasks.
Business automation can be applied to nearly any process within an organization. Some areas of business that may have the biggest impact when automated include:
- Product development
- Education and training
- Inventory tracking
- Human resources (HR)
- Logistics and delivery
Many organizations are choosing to save time and money by investing in process automation software. How business automation software is built and architected can drastically alter its effectiveness within a business setting. Ideally, the software should run on different types of infrastructure, as well as in cloud environments where it can scale to meet growing demands. It is important to choose software that is tailored to the organization’s unique needs and budget to ensure a successful outcome.
What Are The Benefits Of Investing In Process Automation Software?
Process automation software can deliver countless benefits to organizations that make the wise decision to invest in this technology. Some of the top benefits of implementing process automation software include the following:
1. Start A Journey To Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is the process of using innovative digital technologies to transform traditional, non-digital business processes to meet growing customer expectations and the evolving market. Digital transformation has completely changed the way in which businesses are operated and managed, as well as how value is delivered to customers. Process automation software is considered a stepping stone towards digital transformation, allowing organizations to adopt the culture of continuous transformation. Start with just a few key processes that require correction and automate more over time.
2. Reduce Operational Costs And Increase Profitability
Most businesses strive to increase their profitability but this can prove difficult when daily processes are outdated and inefficient. One of the best ways to reduce operational costs and increase overall profitability is to invest in process automation software. Process automation software provides an intelligent approach to cost reduction and containment, giving businesses the opportunity to increase and improve services to customers while minimizing costs. According to Forbes, intelligent automation typically results in cost savings of between 40 and 75 percent.
3. Gain Insight From Analyzing Automated Processes
Business leaders are not always aware of the many steps involved in completing a complex process. Process automation can provide clarity by outlining the various stages during the design process. Understanding the tasks involved in a process and the people who are responsible for running these processes is essential for the successful design and execution of an automated workflow. Process mapping can be a useful tool that provides employees with clarity, and serves as a training resource. Analyzing automated processes can effectively help business leaders identify gaps between current processes and how the process should be.
4. Increase Employee Productivity Across Departments
In an automated environment, employees have more time, freedom and resources to focus more on innovation, strategy and technology by the elimination of tedious, manual tasks. This can equate to a much higher rate of productivity among employees. According to McKinsey Institute, automating tasks within a business can raise productivity growth 1.4 percent annually. Automation of tasks can also alleviate the workload on employees, resulting in a higher rate of morale and overall happiness among workers. Process automation software can be useful in departments across a business, especially in HR and office environments.
5. Maintain Compliance And Keep An Audit Trail
Federal and state compliance requirements must be recognized by businesses in all industries. Failure to meet compliance could result in costly repercussions and reputational damage. Through process business automation, each detail of a particular process is accurately recorded. Organizations can then use these detailed records as an audit trail to demonstrate compliance to the appropriate authorities.
6. Achieve High Availability And A Trustworthy Reputation
Modern companies are reliant on their computer systems for their day-to-day operations. Many processes require the use of online systems to complete everything from making reservations to shipping orders; without access to these processes, businesses can suffer. Process automation software provides a high rate of availability to ensure that organizations almost always have access to the information and processes they need to continue undisrupted operations. In turn, high availability results in a more trustworthy business and a better reputation in the industry.
7. Enhance Customer Satisfaction Through Operational Excellence
Businesses everywhere strive to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction. However, failure to automate processes can leave customers frustrated and more likely to choose a competitor for services. Process automation software places a focus on achieving process and operational excellence to ensure that customer expectations are met. Organizations should continue to meet these promised standards to increase the likelihood of customers developing a preference for a particular company.
8. Increase Reliability And Reduce Processing Errors
Reliability is the cornerstone of any great IT operations department and without it, organizations can suffer from confusion and unhappy users. IT operations require access to technical skills, such as the ability to understand complex operating systems. It also requires human input to ensure that processes are achieved quickly and efficiently. Access to process automation software streamlines many repetitive, boring and error-prone tasks to improve reliability within a business and reduce the occurrence of errors and duplicate data.
9. Optimize System Performance For Streamlined Workloads
Many businesses find that their enterprise platforms become overburdened with work as the business grows. While some advancements in technology can help make these systems work faster, these minor updates have their limitations. Automating processes can help take some of the burdens off of computer systems which can directly improve performance. Process automation software allows business leaders to tune a system for a specific workload and continually update these systems as the needs of the business change.
10. Improve Collaboration Between Team Members
Collaboration is essential between team members to ensure a satisfactory outcome regardless of the process or project at hand. Business process automation can aid in collaboration by tracking the progress of projects, sending critical updates to team members, delivering reminders and performing other important functions. Process automation software can help relieve common employee frustrations and free up time that could be better spent on core activities.
What Business Processes Should Be Automated?
While digital transformation can take many months or even years to implement, businesses can get started by automating some existing manual tasks to see the results. Consider automating some of the following business processes:
Invoice processing automation can help businesses streamline accounts payable processes by automatically paying invoices from suppliers as they are received.
The hiring process can be a long and tedious process that consumes considerable time and resources. Many parts of the employee onboarding process can be automated to save time, such as the use of electronic signatures.
While most businesses agree that personal interaction is important when it comes to customer service, there are many areas of customer service that can be automated without negatively impacting the overall customer experience, such as sending automated emails after a purchase.
Sales & CRM Processes
Sales teams possess the experience needed to close deals; however, most loathe the paperwork associated with these transactions. Process automation software allows salespeople to utilize their talents by implementing automated processes such as paperless contracts.
Social Media Management
It can be difficult to keep up with social media management without some automation. The use of automation technologies, including instant replies sent after hours, can help maintain engagement with followers of the brand.
Filling out expense reports manually can be a lengthy process that introduces considerable room for errors. Process automation software can be useful for this type of manual process.
Speak With The Custom Software Development Experts At Orases
The primary goal of implementing process automation software within an organization is to automate business processes from start to finish. Process animation is not a new discipline but has greatly evolved over time in both how it performs and how it interacts with other digital transformation tools.
With assistance from a reputable custom software development team, businesses can start the journey of automating processes and achieving streamlined operations. For more information about the benefits of investing in process automation software, or to schedule a consultation with a custom software expert, contact the software professionals at Orases today.