Published by Akash Kotadia

May 11, 2020

What is Business Process Automation? Definition and Examples

What is business process automation

Automation has been implemented in almost all industries around the world. So how can it neglect business processes! Processes are the core of any business functionalities and you need to find ways to automate them wherever possible. In this blog, you will learn what is business process automation (BPA), and why do you need to automate your business processes.

Business Processes are often repetitive. When you use technology to minimize the efforts and steps in these repetitive processes, it is called business process automation. 

When you plan to automate your business processes, you need to identify the processes that can be automated. When you are finding these potential automation opportunities, look for repetition. The processes that have a consistent pattern of steps have the highest potential for automation

For example, the process of the IT department of approving requests can be automated easily. All the steps like employees putting in their requirements, checking whether the requirement is available, if not initiating a purchase, and approving the request can be automated.

Why Business Processes Automation is necessary?

Here are some of the many business process automation benefits:

  • Save time and cost 

    When your processes are automated, you can save your time by not doing repetitive processes. You can focus this time on being productive and creatively helping the business. According to a study, sales people just spend 34% of their time selling. All the other time is wasted in the implementation of repetitive processes. Along with this operational cost is reduced as once the tasks are automated, it requires no additional cost.

  • Enhances Efficiency 

    You would be able to increase the efficiency of your business processes with automation as the possibility of human error goes down to zero.

  • Increases consistency  

    Since there is no chance of human error, a certain amount of consistency and standardization will be maintained in your business processes through automation.

  • Measures the performance

    With automation, you would get insights of your business processes. This would enable you to create a quantitative standard for your business processes.

  • Helps in decision making

    When you have data on your business processes, you can pinpoint the gaps in your processes. You would be able to take data-driven and insightful decisions.

Examples of Business process automation

Let’s take examples of the implementation of real-life business process automation.

1. Onboarding a new employee

People get hired all the time. Especially if you are a growing firm, you will have new people joining your company on a monthly basis. The process of onboarding new employees remains the same with a few tweaks depending on the department of the new employee. The tasks included in the onboarding process are:

  1. Opening a new email account 
  2. Collecting documents
  3. Completing paperwork
  4. Generating an ID card for the new employee
  5. Assigning them resources and company policies to read

If a person has to manually do all these tasks all the time, it will not only clutter their calendar and decease their productivity but also decrease their job satisfaction due to such menial work. With BPA in business, you can automate creating an email account, request documents, get paperwork signed, generate a new ID, and send them resources to read.

2. Employee Travel Requests

This falls under the admin department. When an employee has to travel to a destination for business purposes, they have to, again, follow a process.

  1. Asking for leave requests approval
  2. Buying the tickets
  3. Booking the accommodations
  4. Recompensating the bills
  5. Request any additional help required

This puts a lot of burden on both, the employee and the admin department. When you design process automation, you can create these tasks in the process and run it. The solution will take care of the rest while you are busy being productive.

3. Client onboarding

The sales department has to go through the same process after each sale takes place. The process of client onboarding includes:

  1. Creating an invoice
  2. Getting clients written approval
  3. Providing them with the offer/service
  4. Giving them information about after-sales services
  5. Sending them a welcome mail
  6. Asking for a review after a certain period of time

These were just a few common tasks. These tasks increase depending on the industry you are in. Without automation, the sales department has to go through each and every task manually with might lead to discrepancies. That’s why when you design automation, the automation platform will perform all these tasks for you within a click of a button.

Choose your Automation Wisely

What kind of business process automation solution you DON’T need?

1. Over-engineered 

There are hundreds of business process automation software in the market that are over-engineered and code-centric. You do not want such an automation solution to be a part of your business. Instead of automating processes and smoothening your workflow, you will have to train people to understand and run such heavy automation software. No matter how confident you are with your technical skills, do not go for such a tool, as it is not feasible in the long term. It will not benefit your business but will do quite the opposite. It will slow down your processes due to its bureaucracy.

2. Flowchart oriented 

Businesses are changing the way they used to run processes. It is not the same as in the old times. Flowcharts are rigid and academic. It has become a traditional approach to process mapping. You should not rely on a tool that is flowchart oriented as it will increase the rigidity and bureaucracy is your business processes.

This has become the current state of Business Process Management. Most of the BPM solutions available these days are over-engineered and rigid. This makes you think is there a future of BPM in the current market.

What kind of business process automation solution do you need?

Here are the characteristics of the BPM tool that you need in your business.

1. Fast and Dynamic 

Business Processes are large in numbers and you need to find a way to automate all of the processes possible. You can do it if you have a fast process automation platform. You should be allowed to design and run automation within minutes. Dynamic process automation is flexible and user friendly. It won’t make you feel like you are using a heavy supercomputer.

2. People-focused 

Your process automation platform should be such that it connects all the people including Staff, management, and customers. Communicating through the automation platform will allow you to have the context of the whole situation regarding that business process before you start implementing it. Also, people-focused process automation will help employees focus better at an individual level.

3. Easy integration 

The whole world is getting digital and getting connected with each other. Your food delivery app is connected with your bank account to ease your job. This should be the case with your business processes as well. You need to automate in such a way that your messengers, email accounts, and all the technology you use get integrated with each other to help you become more efficient.

We have found out these characteristics of an awesome business process automation platform and are building one. Fasproc is a Fast, people-focused, and dynamic business process automation. We have pledged to change the way processes run and get automated by making it fast and dynamic. You can be the first one to know when we launch Fasproc by joining our beta list.

Conclusion

This was a brief overview of business process automation. The only thing you need to keep in mind is to research well before investing in an automation platform. If it caters to your needs, you would increase your productivity and achieve an organization level growth. But if you mistakenly get the wrong platform, you would be wasting your time for little to no automation.

If you still have any doubts or questions regarding business process automation, let us know in the comments. We would be more than happy to help you.

Category : BPM & Workflow

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