In simple terms, Business Process Automation is a tool that can reduce time expenditure on tasks and increase overall productivity. It can primarily handle those repetitive daily tasks which can become monotonous to repeat. Such as punching repetitive details into spreadsheets, or sending email reports.
With the use of Business Process Automation, you can handle standard day-to-day business processes automatically. This allows employee time to be freed up so that they can handle more human-specific tasks. These automated tasks can link several departments together as well.
For example, the marketing team may receive emails daily relating to new leads that they wish to enter the details of into a CRM system for the sales team to utilize. However, inputting the contact details for several individuals on a daily basis can be tedious. An automated task could be set up in order to input those details automatically when an email is received.
What are Business Processes?
A business process can be simply defined as a series of actions and/or steps that a business repeatedly undertakes in order to achieve a certain business goal. The important part of that definition is the word ‘repeatedly’. Processes are repeated. Sometimes daily, sometimes weekly, sometimes less frequently. Regardless, anything which is repeated with an element of consistency can be automated in order to increase overall business efficiency.
Some examples of repeatable business processes can be seen below:
- Email reporting
- Employee Onboarding
- Payroll Processing
- Inventory Management
- Billing Processing
- Marketing to Sales Processes
- and more…
What are the Benefits of Business Process Automation?
Increased Operational Efficiency
When a business’ processes are automated, there is a resulting operational efficiency in how those processes are handled. While a human can be inconsistent with the time in which they take to complete a task, an automated process is always consistent. This is due to the fact a human can become distracted, need to go to a meeting, take a call, etc. However, Business Process Automation remains consistent no matter how many processes or tasks need to be handled at any given time.
By automating processes, tasks that would have previously been handled by an employee (or multiple employees) can now be handled automatically. This means that you can effectively increase overall work output, as team members can now free up their time to work on more human-engaging tasks.
There are two ways to look at this. You can either utilize staff time in a more valuable manner, or there is a general reduction in staff requirement. Implementing efficient process automation could mean that a department only requires 9 members of staff, rather than 10.
Improved Analysis and Reporting
You can analyze processes in a simple and efficient manner with process automation. Whether this is the overall performance of processes, tracking successful completion of tasks, or analyzing overall improvement in efficiency when using automated tasks rather than manual tasks.
Reduction/Elimination of Human Errors
Automated processes significantly reduce the potential instances of human errors. These can generally arise within the workplace due to distractions, work fatigue, or general human nature. An automated process will run exactly how it is told to run. There is no potential variance in its actions.
Due to the fact that there are no potential variances in its actions, the speed at which processes are completed is much more consistent. There is also the fact that an automated ‘robot’ can complete actions far quicker than a human can. Whether that be finding files, typing numbers, or clicking buttons. A ‘robot’ can do this almost instantaneously and works immeasurably quicker than the human brain can allow the body to function.
Team Morale Improvements
A topic which we believe isn’t discussed nearly enough when discussing the benefits of business process automation. When you have a member of staff who has to do the same task every single day, without fail. It can eventually lead to an erosion of overall satisfaction in their job. They may love 95% of their role, but that 5% of monotonous work can lead them to really dislike their role.
This is the biggest value in automation to us. The aim isn’t to replace staff, it is to take those ‘boring’ processes away from them so that they can focus on the more interesting variable work which comes on their plate every day. This is when employees thrive, and exceed expectations, by bringing more value to the company over time.