Businesses are likely to demand more process automation solutions considering the percentage growth of organizations pursuing automation. In a 2020 survey featuring global business leaders of various industries, 66% piloted automation solutions. At the same time, 31% of companies have fully automated at least one business process.
These figures saw modest growth in the last two years, at 57% and 29% respectively. So, now we wonder why more companies are slowly adopting business process automation. In this post, we explore the different advantages that it brings to an organization and its staff. Here's a closer look at this key solution.
What Is Business Process Automation?
Also known as digital transformation, business process automation revolves around minimizing manual labor by digitizing traditional workflows. This process can involve software integration into a business's systems to eliminate human errors. Accordingly, the business can complete its processes in a faster, more streamlined manner.
Business process automation works by collecting data through connected systems. It needs the data from various systems to understand how they work, thus finding the most appropriate process to achieve end goals. Overall, it targets efficiency, speed, and accuracy in completing business operations.
How Does Business Process Automation Help Businesses and Their Staff?
Business process automation offers several advantages rooted in standardization and process optimization. Here are some of the key benefits that it can bring:
Various business process automation solutions often help reduce operating costs. You don't need to hire a larger workforce or process the same task multiple times. When you automate these repeatable tasks, you can process large amounts of data quickly and with minimal effort. Thus, you save money on labor and the associated process costs.
Automation can also create opportunities for revenue growth. Since you already save costs on extra personnel, you can go about normal processes that will potentially lead to higher sales. For instance, trading businesses can process more transactions and handle higher volumes of customers than with manual solutions.
Minimized Error Rates
When smart software handles menial and repetitive tasks, you no longer need to worry about human errors. Automation solutions process data faster and more accurately than manual workflows, reducing the risk of costly mistakes. Accordingly, reduced errors contribute to the savings and boosted revenue you obtain through automation.
Higher Employee Satisfaction
Business process automation can help improve the work environment. With automated processes, staff members can focus on more important tasks and handle higher-value responsibilities. This system can lead to better job satisfaction, where employees would become more engaged and are likely to remain loyal to the company.
Efficient Customer Service
You can process customer inquiries better with business process automation than with manual solutions. With automatic solutions, you can address a customer's request faster, reducing the time it takes to process their orders and service inquiries. As such, customers enjoy better service, leading to more loyalty and satisfaction.
More Insights Into Processes
When you automate certain processes in your business system, you can browse the collected data for more insights into the successes and failures that you encounter. With this data, you can make more informed process decisions, adjust your approaches, and create better strategies for the future.
Businesses improve their auditing capabilities with process automation. When you implement these solutions in your systems, you can track changes and activities more thoroughly. As such, it becomes easier to monitor the relevant processes involved in handling financial transactions, process changes, and other vital tasks.
Automation also ensures your business remains compliant with the legal entities to which it must adhere. With process automation, you can process data more quickly and efficiently as well as keep records of transactions and other process activities for better compliance. Compliance is especially important in auditing tasks, making automation an all-encompassing solution.
Organizations that invest in process automation can increase their efficiency or the quality of the work they deliver. Automation can process data faster and more accurately than manual solutions, leading to better outcomes and improved customer satisfaction.
Businesses can also increase the bulk output of the quality goods and services they deliver by automating workflows and repeatable tasks. When you process more tasks at once, you gain more productive output in shorter periods, leading to improved process results.
What Processes Can Businesses Automate?
Although automation is an appealing solution for process improvement, knowing which process to automate is essential for businesses. It is also important to understand that not every business process is suited for automation. Here are some of the common processes that you can consider automating to enjoy the benefits we described above:
Employee Onboarding Process
Onboarding new employees can be a complex process that requires human intervention at certain levels. Although some low levels in the overall process exist, they still require meticulous work to maintain efficiency when integrating new members. In particular, the hiring team will need to fill out forms, schedule training sessions, complete tax documents, and set up bank accounts. Businesses can automate these processes to minimize paperwork or eliminate them.
At the same time, they can rest assured that the automated process completes all necessary steps correctly. Automation can also inform relevant parties, such as managers and newly hired employees, in time. Thus, everyone can be on the same page.
Customer Background Checks
Many businesses across different industries may require comprehensive background checks to ensure that they are dealing with reliable entities. Specifically, finance companies must be efficient and productive when checking customer backgrounds.
Whether it is a banking institution or insurance company, they must conduct background checks on all new customers they onboard. Checking backgrounds will also involve communication with local and federal governments. Thus, automation can help streamline these workflows and ensure all relevant parties remain updated.
Meanwhile, customers will become more satisfied when they can immediately obtain the services they attempt to sign up for. So, process automation can ensure businesses easily secure new members without exhausting their staff power.
Helpdesk and IT Support
Process automation is suited for IT service desk support systems. The large IT ticket volumes that companies see daily may overwhelm IT staff members, affecting their performance. Automation will process many of these tasks, thus ensuring that IT staff members can concentrate on the more challenging cases and provide better service.
Organizations that digitally transform these tasks can speed up their ticket analysis and classification. So, incoming customer inquiries will go to the appropriate support personnel instantly. These staff members can then support the customers as soon as they need it, which is ideal, especially during emergencies.
Meanwhile, automation can also help customers with frequently asked questions. For instance, when a customer submits a ticket to a helpdesk, automation software can predict the best solution based on the data that its IT team and customers have shared in the past.
Customer Relationship Management
Customer relationship management (CRM) combines strategies into one practice, which marketing departments utilize to interact with their customers. One segment that they usually use is marketing automation software. This technology helps companies automatically target customers that are most likely to respond to their messages.
Companies share messages across different channels, including their main website, social media platforms, and email. With CRM solutions automating the data from these channels, they can quickly identify the ideal customers and generate sales.
Therefore, process automation can help companies analyze customer data and provide insights that marketers can use for their campaigns. In turn, they can create optimized content that they tailored to their target customers, resulting in increased revenue.
Emerging Fields in Business Process Automation
Technology has evolved throughout time to offer different levels of automation for specific workflows. As digital transformation continues to grow, businesses are only going to have more options to improve their overall productivity. Here are two of the most recognizable pieces of technology that process automation utilizes for businesses seeking faster and more efficient solutions.
Robotic Process Automation
Robotic process automation (RPA) is a technology that enables software robots to perform mundane tasks. With RPA, companies can give a machine a predetermined set of instructions to carry out process-oriented tasks.
This process automation technology eliminates tedious, repetitive tasks while ensuring accuracy and speed. Many companies engaged in production already utilize this process automation practice, giving staff members higher-level responsibilities to ensure the company continues to grow.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence (AI) is gaining traction in the process automation industry. AI-enabled process automation provides employees with the necessary tools to process data faster and make smarter decisions for their companies. With AI process automation, businesses can utilize algorithms to process data instead of relying on human labor.
This process automation technology is beneficial for companies that have to process large amounts of data, such as data collected from customer feedback. Companies can process this data and extract valuable insights to help them adjust their products or services accordingly. The technology will also learn from this data and will likewise adjust its performance.
Final Words: Businesses Stay Prepared by Automating Their Processes
Process automation is the process of eliminating manual workflows, which can save companies time and money. In turn, they can focus on more important tasks that can help them grow in the future. Automation also allows companies to process data faster and more accurately, resulting in better customer service and improved business operations.
Ultimately, process automation is the way of the future and businesses need to embrace it to stay competitive. As the world continues to digitalize, process automation is the key to keeping up with customer demands and staying ahead of the competition.