Co-Founder & Chief Executive at ChristianSteven Software, a report automation and business intelligence software company.
Business process automation should be considered by every business — not only because it’s the trendy way to run operations in the 21st century, but also because properly formed and managed business process automation can deliver improvements across the board, including crucial aspects of an enterprise, such as accountability, accuracy, audibility, efficiency, productivity and worker satisfaction.
Consider business process automation as the opportunity to pull back your corporate lens for a macro overview of operations and assets, represented visually. This creates the opportunity to simulate current work models as well as testing out suggested improvements and modifications, which can then be implemented. Perhaps the three most inspiring facets of business process automation are these features:
• Intelligent Rules-Driven Automation. Make automatic decisions predicated upon preset rules, such as assigning tasks or saving files.
• Just-in-Time Analytics. Having real-time statistics at the touch of a button, or scheduled for distribution, keeps your team ahead of the game.
• Open Collaboration. There are exceptions to every automation rule, and this allows humans to maintain oversight when automatic processes fail.
Why Automate Business Processes
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Why should organizations go through the disruption of investing in BPA? Some reasons are timely communication across all channels, automated access to feedback, transaction status and experience-driven insight improves efficiency.
BPA is designed to shorten learning curves when companies battle obstacles due to remote work mandates, automated reports, workflows and transaction processing. It can enhance the potential customer engagement and process efficiency. Data does not lie, so it makes sense to disseminate it automatically.
What steps can an organization take to determine if BPA is the right solution?
1. Identify what business processes you can automate.
2. Collaborate with stakeholders to predetermine the prototypes of data reports.
3. Integrate the legacy data and systems. Some may require manual restructuring to integrate into a unified system. Ask your BPA provider if there is a workaround solution for this step. BPA integrates disparate business applications and updates for output in deliverables like file transfers, spreadsheets and order entries.
4. Apply rules for the business to determine the form, time and location data will take. Dashboards and reports provide opportunities to analyze actionable KPIs.
5. Go live and run beta reports for a time to see areas for improvement.
Solutions Offered Business Process Automation
The payoffs of a successfully developed and launched business process automation are potentially large. Certain payoffs, such as increased profits and reduced operating costs, are easily measured. Others, like consumer satisfaction and worker gratification, are not as easily metered, but they carry a powerful impact by inspiring and influencing the minds and hearts of people connected to the enterprise, both inside and outside.
Following are the most notable and valuable solutions you can reap through an effective business process automation.
Adapt to Change More Effectively
Admittedly, it is easier for machines to change their behavior than their human counterparts, but with an elegant business process automation in operation, even stubborn humans find change easier to adapt and accept. More significant than the ability to adapt is the power of business process automation to continue scanning, evaluating and determining best practices and paths for efficient operations and functions.
Deepen Customer Understanding Via Data Insights
With proper data collection and subsequent analysis and assessment, you can dive deeper within the psyche of your customers and prospects, at times gaining a greater understanding of their motivations and desires. Of course, once you know what makes their hearts beat stronger and their minds race faster in anticipation, the better you are able to satisfy their underlying needs while serving their immediate demands.
Improved Consistency and Sustainability
Because we humans find routines useful and efficient, once a new path of success has been forged and mapped out, and once we learn the ins and outs of a new and improved system, the better we can maintain consistency. This in turn leads to a sustainable practice. While there is no such thing as a perpetual motion machine, the concept of establishing practices that are easy to learn and easier to implement makes those actions and tasks seem effortless.
Increased Customer Satisfaction
You may not be able to directly and accurately measure the increased satisfaction of your buying public, but your bottom line will surely see the results of increased customer satisfaction. However, and this is more significant, satisfaction is a quality, not a quantity; your workers, especially those on the front lines who regularly interact with your prospects and customers can not help but notice an improved spirit and energy among them. This kind of ambiance in the work environment also does wonders for your employees, creating a positive flow of good energy; honestly, everyone thrives in and wants to be part of such surroundings.
In this era of instant gratification, the faster you can deliver the goods and services, the more business you will generate. It is in this area where business process automation can truly shine and boost performance and satisfaction levels simultaneously. By eliminating delays, you also eliminate frustrations and dissatisfied customers that take their business elsewhere.
How To Decide On A BPA Solution
With these solutions in mind, here are four things to consider when choosing a BPA provider:
1. Look for a provider with the data integration capabilities to get you up and running quickly.
2. Find a solution that is simple to use. It must serve a wide pool of end-users at differing levels of technical expertise.
3. Choose a solution that can adapt as your business evolves. Recent remote work due to the shutdown illustrates this point.
4. Finally, staff training requirements should be minimal. The idea is to get BPA into the hands of those needing it easily with plenty of resources for self-learning later.