Selecting the Right Business Processes for Automation: A Strategic Approach

BPA Services - Vertexplus
img February 23, 2024 | img BPA Services - Vertexplus | img Business Process Automation

Business process automation has emerged as a strategic lever to drive operational excellence in modern organizations. By leveraging automation solutions, companies can streamline workflows, reduce errors and improve both productivity and customer experiences. However, selectively identifying the right processes for upgrading with automation tools is crucial to maximizing value. This blog aims to provide a framework for organizations to methodically evaluate and select high-impact business processes that are ripe for automation using business process automation services and technologies. It discusses key factors to examine processes, along with clear signs that indicate a process is a good automation candidate. The advantages of adopting a strategic approach to process prioritization and automation are also highlighted.

What is Business Process Automation?

Business process automation refers to the application of technology to manage and execute repetitive tasks, workflows, and decisions. It aims to mimic how employees have traditionally accomplished these tasks but with minimal human involvement or intervention. Typical business processes that are automated include procurement, order management, billing and accounting, supply chain activities, inventory management and customer service requests. By leveraging tools like robotic process automation, process mining, optical character recognition and AI-powered chatbots, more knowledge-based and complex tasks can now be automated as well. This helps streamline operations, enhance productivity, reduce errors and costs while improving consistency, compliance and data-driven decision making. Automating the right business processes is about identifying opportunities to replace human labor with technology for repetitive, rule-based tasks to refocus employees on more strategic work.

When Should You Automate Your Business Processes?

Here are some suggestions for when should you automate your business processes:

You want to embrace digital transformation

Many companies are automating processes to transform digitally and keep up with customers' increasing demands for online and mobile services. Automation can help businesses better integrate digital tools and technologies across their operations.

You are tired of manual errors

Repetitive manual tasks are prone to human mistakes which can damage productivity and customer satisfaction. Automating error-prone processes reduces inaccuracies and frees up staff to focus on more strategic work.

You want to establish transparency and accountability

Automation provides audit trails and data that make processes more transparent and measurable. This accountability helps optimize processes over time based on performance metrics.

You want to improve your processes

Reviewing metrics from automated workflows easily pinpoints areas for improvement. Automation helps standardize best practices and innovations across global operations at scale.

You want happy customers and happier employees

Speed, convenience and proactive responses increasingly define positive customer experiences. Automation delivers faster processing and responses, improving satisfaction. Employees also appreciate relief from mundane tasks.



How To Identify Business Processes for Automation?

Here are some points on how to identify business processes for automation:

Time spent by employees on process tasks

One of the most important criteria to consider when identifying processes for automation is the amount of time employees spend on manual, repetitive tasks. Business process automation services allow organizations to analyze workflows and gain insights into how staff allocate their working hours. Processes that involve activities consuming significant portions of employee workdays, such as data entry, form filling, inventory management and basic transactions, indicate opportunities to deploy automation solutions. This frees up employees to focus on more engaging responsibilities that require human judgment and interactions. By offloading paper-pushing routine tasks to digital solutions, organizations can streamline operations and boost employee productivity. The time savings achieved also enable organizations to improve response times on customer requests and queries. A time analysis of process tasks thus provides valuable guidance towards prioritizing the right automation projects.

High level of complexity

Another factor to assess is the complexity level of business processes when considering automation through business process automation services. Processes that involve multiple conditional steps, approvals, handoffs between teams and exceptions to standard workflows indicate a high degree of complexity. Manually executing such complicated procedures stretches employee bandwidth and is prone to errors. Automation can help simplify convoluted processes by integrating different systems, enforcing standardized rules and conditions, and tracking processes end-to-end. This improves accuracy, visibility and traceability. The conditional logic and branch points can be programmed to direct workflows automatically based on predefined criteria. By eliminating complexities and inconsistencies, automation ensures compliance with process guidelines while improving task outcomes and quality. It allows workforce to focus more on nuanced tasks rather than tangled routine processes.

High volume of processing

Another indicator for prioritizing automation is a high volume of similar processing tasks done repeatedly on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Business processes that are performed routinely in large volumes drained significant workforce resources and represent opportunities for efficiency gains through automation. Business process Automation Company can help organizations identify such processes consuming excess man hours in handling high transaction loads. Automating qualifying high-volume workflows helps optimize resources by distributing workloads evenly. It allows processes to be handled 24/7 without interrupting or creating backlogs. This ensures consistent service levels are maintained even during peak periods. Automation powered by process automation solutions seamlessly scales to handle fluctuations in work volumes while freeing up staff to focus on other important tasks beyond repetitive high-volume jobs.

Redundant Processes

Evaluating redundant processes is another area where business process automation services can help optimize operations. Often organizations end up duplicating efforts across departments due to lack of standardized workflows. Identifying such intra-organizational redundancy helps rationalize processes for one-time handling through automation. This includes tasks performed repetitively by different teams with similar methodologies. Automating redundant processes eliminates wastage of resources on duplicated activities. It helps adopt uniform best practices across channels through centralized process definitions. Business process automation tools allow migrating disparate redundant workflows onto a single digital platform. This fosters collaboration, streamlines approvals, and ensures real-time visibility. It minimizes errors and inconsistencies arising from manual duplications. Overall, automation drives significant efficiency by removing unrewarded redundant process layers.

Advantages of Automating Business Processes

Here are some advantages of automating business processes:

Increase in process efficiency

One of the major advantages of leveraging business process automation services is the improvement in overall process efficiency. When manual workflows are automated, redundant and unnecessary steps in the process are eliminated. This streamlining cuts down cycle times and allows tasks to be completed faster. Automation tools seamlessly interconnect all the applications and systems involved in a process, removing friction in data handoffs. With business rules and conditional logic programmed into the automation solutions, processes follow an optimized single digital path. Proper exception management ensures adherence to compliance norms. This empowered execution boosts throughput andallows real-time monitoring of process performance. Higher efficiency further translates to better resource optimization and cost-savings. Automation services are thus integral in right-sizing processes by removing inefficiencies to enhance productivity.

Boost in employee productivity

When repetitive manual tasks like data entry, billing, inventory management etc. are automated, employees are freed from such routine work. They can then focus their time and skills on more strategic functions like customer relationship management, product development, quality analysis and research & development. This enables employees to becomeForceful in value-added activities and boosts their overall productivity. For example, a leading BPA company ABC automated several of its back-office operations such as invoice processing, purchase order management and report generation. This allowed its accountants, purchase managers and analysts to reduce time spent on clerical tasks by almost 30%. The employees could instead spend this time on analyzing key metrics, finding new cost savings opportunities and strengthening supplier partnerships through more meaningful engagements. Ultimately, ABC witnessed a nearly 20% increase in overall employee productivity levels within a year of deploying automation solutions across departments.

Enhanced customer experience

Automating mundane processes through business process automation services allows organisations to significantly enhance their customer experience. When repetitive tasks like data entry, verification, transaction processing are automated, customers can be served much faster without long wait times. Automated workflows ensure orders, requests and inquiries are handled seamlessly without manual errors. This improves accuracy and consistency in customer service. Customers receive real-time status updates on where their request is in the fulfilment process, building trust and transparency. The self-service capabilities that many automation tools provide give customers control and flexibility to manage their requests according to their convenience. This creates a personalized experience. With automation freeing up resources, companies can focus on value-added customer interactions through multiple channels. Overall, streamlining processes behind-the-scenes through business process automation lays the foundation for delivering superior, frictionless experiences that keep customers happy and engaged.

Improved business operations

Implementing the right business process automation services can significantly improve various aspects of business operations. When manual, repetitive tasks are automated, employees can shift their focus to more strategic work that drives growth. This improves overall productivity. Simultaneously, automation brings more consistency and accuracy to operations by removing human errors. With automated workflows and approvals, compliance is ensured according to established best practices. Data generated from automated processes provides valuable insights into what's working and what needs improvement. This helps optimize processes continuously. Streamlined, well-optimized processes translate directly into improved efficiency. With automation handling the predictable, routine work behind-the-scenes, the business can scale and adapt operations seamlessly according to changing market needs. Automation also lowers operational costs over time by reducing resources spent on manual work. Savings created can be invested in innovation. All these benefits collectively help enhance business performance.

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