What is Business Process Automation?
Business process automation (BPA), is also known as business automation or digital transformation. This technology allows the automation of complex business processes. It is a strategy where businesses use technology to organize their personnel and systems through workflows. It is the automation of business processes through technology, due to which cost of businesses decreases and productivity increases.
Simply BPA eliminates manual, time consuming and costly tasks in organization. BPA processes the task with automated processes that works faster with reduction in time and operating costs. It works beyond traditional data management and records to advanced software systems and programs that integrate all applications.
Examples of business processes are receiving orders, invoicing, shipping products, updating employee information or setting up a marketing budget, email marketing, analytics etc.
What actually BPA does?
BPA allows company to control various problems for eg. Analytics, customer relationships, planning, sales, standardization and development. It not only targets complicated information technology tasks, such as managing system users and troubleshooting network issues but also programs like email marketing. BPA is designed not only to provide advantage of efficient services but also for reducing order errors, payment issues, fixing billing.
Examples of business processes are receiving orders, invoicing, shipping products, updating employee information or setting up a marketing budget. Furthermore, it can standardize a business for simplicity, achieve digital transformation, increase service quality, improve service delivery or contain costs.
Types of BPA-
1. Basic Automation-
This type of automation does not only simple tasks of organizations and stores but also keep all related information at a centralized place. Such simple tasks includes a centralized messaging tool for a topic or group which gives transparency in communication instead of hiding information in various email accounts.
2. Process Automation-
It documents and deals with your business processes for consistency of task and clarity. It is more advanced than basic automation and controlled by dedicated software and apps.
3. Integration Automation-
It is more complex than process automation, and it allows machines to observe the way that humans perform tasks and rehash those actions. Humans must describe the rules. However. For instance, you could combine your BPM software and customer support software. This could give you results from a customer support checklist processed for each customer complaint and assign personnel when needed.
4. Artificial Intelligence(AI) automation-
Adding AI to integration, software empowers decision-making where your technological support is humanlike. The system would make decisions on what actions to perform with the data, based on what it has learned and its constant analysis.
Elements of Business Process Automation-
1. Business rules and logic-
It includes precondition, reasons, data and documents that are the main part of your business process. Some of this logic may be fully automated, while other portions may need to be reviewed by someone involved in the process.
2. Structured data-
This information is exceptionally composed and effectively distinguishable via by search engine algorithms, because it appears in fixed fields within your records or files. Machines can generate structured data (such as manufacturing sensors that produce the temperature of rotation count), and so can humans (for eg., filling out the age, gender, or ZIP code fields of a form).
3. Unstructured data-
While unstructured data is more subjective and most part very content overwhelming, it is extremely important, as most information used to make business decisions is unstructured. This information can emerge out of numerous sources (for instance, social media) and is tough to organize in a structured format of columns and rows for easy extraction and analysis. BPA platforms aim to seamlessly integrate these three elements.
Steps of Business Process Automation-
1. Identify Repetitive Tasks-
Distinguishing the territory that has tedious assignments ought to be the initial step when a business about moving to automation. To identify the issue, a complete understanding of business is necessary. The most ideal way is to make a visual representation of your workflow by using flow diagrams and identify repetitive tasks. Due to this, you can improve existing workflow and simplify the process by automation repetitive tasks.
2. Define Business Goals-
When you distinguish the issue, the next step will be to characterize your business objectives utilizing your present manual work process as the standard. Your objective could be identified with improving the throughput or decreasing process duration on a single process or optimizing resources for increasingly profitable tasks. You may need your workforce to manage less data entry and focus more on production tasks. It could be anything but you need to be able to justify to how your business objectives will be accomplished via automation and how you will quantify them.
3. Select the Right Workflow Automation Solution-
To achieve a solution your next step will be to select the right workflow automation solution. There are various options available for an automation tool. Hence it is important to choose the ideal one for your business. Based on your basic requirements you should shortlist 3 to 5 and then go deeply with advantages and disadvantages. Focusing on the objectives you have set in previous step choose your software for automating a business process.
4. Train the users-
Giving a clear transition path from the current manual process to the new automated system and providing them necessary training to help them get up to speed would go a long way in making this challenge successful.
5. Measure Key Performance Indicators and Improve Your Workflow-
Now the next step is to run your new automated workflow system. Consistent observing and assessment of your automated workflow will help to identify problems and suggest for improvement. Continuous assessment of your newly upgraded workflow will help your team become more efficient.
Benefits of BPA-
1. Quality and Consistency-
Automation guarantees that every action is performed identically which results in high quality, reliable results.
Consistency- If, for example, you have automated your customer service follow-up process, your customers will consistently experience the same level of service from your business.
2. Time Saving-
Manual tasks take time to complete. They must be performed continuously by people who are inclined to errors and who are unable to reliably perform to the highest standards. Automation reduces the number of tasks you and your employees would otherwise need to do manually. As a result, this saves up your time to work on items that are important to the business. This allows you to be more innovative and also increases your employees’ levels of motivation.
3. Metric Visibility-
Defined workflow controls automated processes which consistently operate precisely and also within your defined timeline. Automation provides successful measurement.
4. Improved Operational Efficiency-
Process automation reduces the time, effort and also cost required to complete the task successfully.
5. Governance and reliability-
The consistency of automated processes implies you can depend on
(a) your business processes to operate and
(b) you can offer reliable processes to your customers, maintaining competitive advantage.
The reliability of workflow automation guarantees that processes required for corporate governance are executed 100% of the time as per execution.
6. Reduced Turnaround time-
Workflow automation enables companies to define and also to regulate their business processes. Removing unnecessary tasks and reorganize process steps to optimize the flow of information throughout your production, service, billing and collection departments. This adjustment of processes infuse your operational performance and decreases the turnaround times for both staff and external customers.
7. Reduced Costs-
Manual tasks requires more time to perform, so it will cost more. Also it performs slowly. Automation allows you to not only complete but also achieve more by using fewer resources.
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