Business Process Automation (BPA)

What is Business Process Automation?

Business process automation (BPA) is a vital component in the future of enterprise business. Industries across the globe are adopting various automation platforms to streamline processes and simplify systems.

You could argue that the cycle of automation is no longer a corporate luxury and is now more accessible than ever. It’s an essential component in businesses of every size and helps to ensure consistency and success. 

Let’s explore the different benefits of business process automation, show you some of the best solutions, and prove how it’s already on its way to changing the entire business landscape. 

First, Let’s Define Automation

Automation is essentially a technique, method, or system of operating a process by mechanized means. It serves to reduce human intervention and streamline operations, which in turn increases productivity. Software applications can be used to automate tedious technical processes, freeing up employees to focus on other areas of the business.

Types of Business Process Automation

Business Process Automation 

Business process automation involves the use of software applications to implement a recurring task. Rather than focusing on individual tasks, BPA often streamlines entire professional workflows. 

Intelligent Process Automation 

Intelligence process automation uses AI to simulate human activity. This automation method implements machine learning to improve its output and is at the forefront of innovation.

Robotic Process Automation 

In this process, software robots are used to automate manual human activities that are often repetitive and rule-based. Robotic process automation maximizes the use of available technology by enabling flexibility and responsiveness that us humans could not necessarily manage ourselves.

Studies have shown that it also increases overall employee satisfaction, productivity, and engagement through the enablement of greater autonomy. 

Where Is Robotic Automation Used? 

Robotic process automation is used in almost every industry that has repetitive tasks. Banks, healthcare providers, insurance firms, and telecommunications companies all use robotic process automation to automate governance, reconcile accounts, and process invoices. 

Supply chain processes such as data entry, after-sales service support, and predictive maintenance all use RPA to automate their internal systems. 

BPA vs. RPA 

Business process automation and robotic process automation work together to minimize human error and are leading tools of digital transformation initiatives. RPA uses robotics and software to streamline individual tasks whilst BPA takes an entire business process and automates it to completion. 

3 Examples of Business Process Automation

1. Report generation and distribution

Having a form of BPA sit atop your organization’s data and analytics systems offers you the ability to produce and share reports about the status of key metrics. This includes reports such as quarterly revenue statistics for sales and marketing, financial statements, and inventory updates.

2. Onboarding new employees 

Hiring and onboarding new employees is a complicated and time-consuming process. Resources are dedicated to filling out forms, acquiring documentation, and teaching employees about your company and its processes. Business process automation allows you to deliver forms automatically, provide self-paced training, and streamline the employee onboarding experience. 

3. Operations management 

Business process automation is the single biggest solution to tracking, storing, and recording the vital steps in any given project. Digital adoption platforms can follow the operational progress and challenges of employees within their software to standardize, and often automate, entire workflows. It’s an important step that allows workers to simplify their daily routines whilst increasing engagement and productivity.  

Business Process Automation Tools

Business process automation tools are technologies that are used to analyze and enhance particular business processes. Distinct goals and objectives are used to test business process efficiency. 

Business process modeling can also be used to provide businesses with scalability data, automation, and operations improvement. Visual models are used to help employees understand business processes and recognize areas of improvement.

Business Process Automation Companies

HighRadius

HighRadius is an enterprise fintech SaaS company. Their platform optimizes cash flow through automation of receivables and payments including order-to-cash, treasury, and record-to-report processes.

Workbot 

Workato’s Workbot was founded in 2013 and provides cloud-based, code-free automation and platform integration with enterprise-grade capabilities. 

HyperScience 

HyperScience uses machine learning to differentiate itself from its competitors. It’s unique software learns new ways of performing mundane tasks such as data entry.

What Are the Benefits of Implementing Business Process Automation?

1. Vastly improved operational efficiency

Human error is certainly one of the biggest problems that businesses face today. A lot of money is lost accounting for and rectifying mistakes. BPA software bridges the gap by providing workforce solutions that relinquish the possibility for employees to fail. 

Automated processes require little to no oversight or supervision. This leaves workers more time to focus on useful and creative solutions to the problems they face on the job. Automation ensures that micromanagement is minimized, which in turn creates streamlined processes that work autonomously. 

2. Greatly reduces costs 

Resources are generally wasted or mismanaged when processes are implemented manually. Business process automation reduces operation costs and increases vital profit margins. When resources are correctly optimized it has a significant effect on the reduction of waste and forces businesses to reevaluate their sustainable practices and strategies. 

Vendor contracts can also be managed effectively by streamlining your business processes with automation. Terms can be renegotiated with favorable arrangements in place for both parties who organically benefit from BPA. 

3. Superior document management 

Managing documents effectively takes a lot of time, effort, and patience. It’s easy to make mistakes which can cause businesses to leak money and lose precious capital. Migrating data manually is often strenuous, time-consuming, and can lead to many errors. 

When business process automation is correctly implemented, it completely revolutionizes document management, making it effortless. The retrieval and organization of data are particularly simplified and confidential data can easily be secured with role-based access. Because valid information can easily pass between processes, it naturally increases productivity. 

4. Superior customer service 

Automatic business processes uniquely boost and stimulate customer experiences. BPA software enables businesses to satisfy service level agreements (SLA’s) with relative ease. It allows for products, services, and experiences to be made available to customers effectively and punctually. 

Quality control can also be effectively measured thanks to standardization and greater efficiency. Additionally, AI can be implemented with the use of chatbots to quickly resolve customer queries. 

5. Transparency and visibility 

The visibility of processes is also improved through automation. Customizable dashboards can be used along with key performance indicators (KPI’s) to track and trace multiple processes. This is useful for businesses who can use this information to extract in-depth process performance reports which provide them valuable insights. This data can then be used to identify and improve performance in areas that need development. 

6. Better compliance 

If businesses don’t properly comply with industry regulations and requirements it can prove costly. Process automation software has been specifically formulated to help businesses stay compliant with minimal effort.

When an automated process is running, it autonomously logs information associated with the task. Names, task details, and timelines are all recorded with little to no effort by the user. 

These logs are crucial in demonstrating compliance to industry regulators and local authorities. They can prove useful in audit trials and reduce the need for expensive outsourcing.

7. Heightened employee morale 

Employees are the cornerstone of any business, and keeping them motivated is an ongoing plight. Having streamlined processes that make your employees’ jobs easier is a win-win situation. Workers benefit from a congenial workplace while the business benefits from the increased productivity that is associated with higher levels of motivation. 

The transparent nature of automated internal processes means high-performing employees can be identified and rewarded for their hard work and commitment to your organization. In such situations, employees will often innovate their working habits and produce higher quality work of which they can be proud. 

Conclusion

Automation is undoubtedly hardwired into the future of all business practices. When processes are streamlined, it means that business owners and employees have more time to focus on other important areas. 

The benefits are enormous and with new technological innovations every day, it definitely makes sense to invest in business process automation software to streamline your business operations.

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