Though the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to be eradicated for good, businesses of all sizes and their teams are rethinking and recalibrating their strategies to face new challenges for what seems to be the “new normal.”
From a business standpoint, priorities in 2022 are shifting from sporadic adoption of business automation technologies, while others are actually making their deployment a success.
Be that as it may, there is still a vagueness that surrounds the steps to be taken and which factors that may influence the successful implementation of business automation processes.
Let us explore how to survive these changes and learn a thing or two about what business automation can do for you. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Just what is business automation?
Putting it plainly, it refers to processes that employ the use of technology to execute recurring or repetitive tasks/processes in any organisation where any human effort can be replaced. This is done to bring down costs, increase efficiency, and streamline processes.
Also referred to interchangeably as “business process automation” (BPA) and “digital transformation” it continues to be one of the dominating tech trends in 2022 that drives digital transformation across various industries.
Automation is nothing new in the marketplace, but as industries are still reeling from the effects of the pandemic, process automation has become a focal point of many businesses.
The use of digital technology in business process automation made routine or repetitive tasks more efficient by eliminating human intervention. A plus factor is that it also increases transparency and reporting capabilities and streamlines document workflows.
We have to stress that it is important to distinguish between a business process automation (BPA) and business process management (BPM). BPA solely focuses on digitising and automating workflows, whereas BPM is about managing those workflows from end to end.
As we are on slowly progressing past COVID-19, experts are taking note of intelligent automation, hyper automation, no-code automation bots, cloud automation, and more. But we digress.
What we are here for is to discuss how utilising automation processes can help you.
Why automate business processes?
1. Improved operational efficiency.
Business process automation (BPA) software can bring about a host of operational benefits to businesses. This is due to the fact that automated processes are, to a large degree, hands-off, which means that you won’t have to personally ensure that a task in process is progressing to the next.
To add, BPA also facilitates in identification, error correction, and bottlenecks in workflows. This contributes to an overall process efficiency.
2. Reduced operational cost.
When processes are done manually, there is almost always a significant waste of resources. With BPA, the cost of operations is reduced, which contributes to increased profit margins.
With resources utilised optimally, wastage is eliminated. Automation also helps you in efficiently managing vendor contracts and renegotiate terms favourably.
3. Document management.
Maintaining data and documents can be a nightmare, as it is time-consuming and prone to errors when done manually. Automation completely streamlines document management, making it effortless.
Additionally, data organisation and retrieval is simplified. Any confidential data can be secured with role-based access. Information moves accurately and smoothly between processes. This helps in increasing employee productivity by leaps and bounds.
4. Boosts customer service.
Automated business process are in a unique position in boosting customer experiences. It aids in meeting service legal agreements (SLAs) consistently. Quality levels are maintained through standardisation and greater efficiency.
The deployment of chatbots allows companies to harness the power of artificial intelligence to address and resolve customer cases swiftly and with accuracy. This in turn heightens customer experiences.
5. Visibility and transparency.
Automation improves the visibility of processes with the help of customisable dashboards. Established key performance indicators (KPIs) can be easily tracked for multiple running processes. Additionally, in-depth reports of processes provide valuable insights into areas that might need improvement.
Automation also facilitates transparency into running processes, helping teams stay informed about their task assignments and encourages accountability.
6. Improved compliance.
The lack of compliance with industry and legal regulations is a pain that can prove costly for businesses everywhere. With the deployment of process automation software helps in keeping your business in staying compliant with ease.
When an automated process runs, it logs a record of task performers, the details of their task, and the timeline which they were completed. These logs help during audit trails and demonstrate compliance.
7. Boosts employee morale.
One significant advantage of BPA is improving employee morale. With automation, it provides a friction-free environment for employees to get work done efficiently.
Your team won’t need to spend hours waiting and reminding managers, as approvals are done faster with automation. Transparency in processes helps in getting high performers the recognition they deserve.
Additionally, the freed up bandwidth by automation motivate employees to innovate and improve the way work is done.
Areas where automation processes deliver great results.
First off, can all business processes be automated? When it comes to leveraging automation in a given organisation, there is still that vagueness as to what processes can and cannot be automated.
Here are five key areas that are typical for most organisations where automation can be of great benefit:
1. Routine or repetitive work.
By implementing automation, it should increase the accuracy and speed at which these tasks are performed by leveraging rule-based automation and integration bots.
2. Administrative work.
Despite being high-stakes work, it usually requires a modicum of skill to complete. By leveraging automation, it should relieve the burden of regulatory compliance and paperwork, as well as introducing proper management of various documentation types.
3. Departmental work.
Expense tracking and approval ensures that a department is running, but it does not influence the core business product. Automation should help in reducing departmental work with lo-code and no-code apps to handle processes that would otherwise involve hard-to-manage documents and spreadsheets sent over email.
4. Cross-enterprise work.
Involves multiple departments working together on tasks. With automation, it can help deliver end-to-end customer experiences with straightforward processing. It will enable the integration of individual business operations from across an enterprise into a single process aligned to meet customers’ needs.
5. Expert work.
We’re still not in the Star Trek age where personalised consultation is a reality. We still require human interaction at this point. But, with automation, we can eliminate routine work by keeping track of important details and providing experts deeper insights and efficient recommendation for action.
COVID-19 accelerated business automation.
Perhaps one good thing that COVID-19 has brought to the business community is the acceleration of digital adoption at both industry and enterprise levels by at least three years.
According to McKinsey and Co., the pandemic also accelerated the amount of digital product and service offerings by an average of seven years. This giant leap would not have been possible without the fast-paced digitisation of businesses.
Early adopters who invested in the digitisation of their most critical business processes garnered faster recovery among 55% of business owners. To top it off, 54% of companies implemented the use of eSignature at the height of the pandemic. They note that its efficiency and productivity benefited their businesses.
Though DocuSign retains the lion’s share of the market with around 70%, eSignature companies like signNow and other competitors have plenty of opportunities to gain market share in foreign markets.
Business need to use resources wisely and streamline their operations for efficiency to aid in broadening their profit margins. This is why many businesses have turned to business process automation to help improve specific areas of their businesses, focus on innovation and continue moving forward.
For any aspect regarding your business, developing or improving your online marketing strategies, get in touch with us at Accentuate Web Design and Marketing, we’d love to hear from you.