Business Process Automation
Business process automation is very quickly becoming a highly strategic enabler of business control, agility and productivity and management. When taking this into consideration with the fact that the whole world is moving to mobile and web applications the biggest factor comes down to cost and ease of use.
What is BPA?
Business process automation (BPA) is the technology-enabled automation of activities or services that accomplish a specific function or workflow. Business processes can be determined for many different segments of company activities, including sales, management, operations, supply chain, human resources and information technology.
Why should you automate your business processes?
Streamline communication in your business process:
Emails, sticky notes, and water cooler comments are impossible to organize around a single repeated process. An automated workflow means a simple, streamlined communication process with one dashboard to see all of your requests.
When you automate your workflow, you create an owner for each step of the process. Initiations, approvals, rejections, and input are all bound to an individual who performed the action. By enabling that level of information transparency in your business process, you enforce accountability on yourself and your colleagues. A great workflow management system will also give you insight into who gets their job done quickly and who needs help to handle the load.
Minimize costs due to manual errors and inefficiency:
With an automated workflow, you bypass the expensive costs associated with errors and inefficiencies when a person is expected to own a business process. Late payments, slow sales approvals, and payments for goods never received all become very expensive errors. Your automated business process can show you the current state of any item and make sure these careless mistakes don’t take place.
Develop an insight into the evolution and repercussions of your business process:
Since the mode of communication is streamlined and accumulation of data is centralised in an automated workflow tool, you get insights that tell you if your current business process is bottling up at some point – if it’s actually making life easy for your employees or if it’s making things more complicated. This is probably the best input you can have for all your business process management needs.
Establish a clear approval hierarchy:
Organisation hierarchy is seldom the same as the approval hierarchy for a business process. A well-implemented business process workflow tool, will not only have these approval hierarchies codified into itself, but will also ensure that each process has its own specific hierarchy as deemed by it. The boss doesn’t have to be on every step (unless she wants to) and you don’t have to have secret pre-meetings in the bathroom before getting a project approved!
Advantages of automation:
- The Ability to consolidate data in a single, auditable database and manage analysis and reporting effectively letting you focus on your business and not on creating reports.
- It allows a few employees to perform the tasks of many.
- Automation enables people with lower skill levels to perform higher-level tasks. Automating information systems reduces storage space, speeds retrieval and allows several employees to access the same data at the same time.
- Automating processes reduces your involvement in mundane clerical tasks, such as organizing customer data or creating reports, and leaves you to concentrate on the parts of your business that you prefer.