Manual and repetitive tasks, human error, inefficient business systems, inconsistent and low-quality processes are costing businesses time, money and causing unnecessary headaches. You know it, we know it. Have you ever thought how easier your job would have been if you could automatically process documents like policies and contracts? Or if you didn't have to enter thousands of pieces of data manually? Business Process Automation (BPA) enables you to minimise mistakes, become more efficient and lower costs by reducing human intervention in every aspect of your processes.
💡 Research shows that automation can save employees six weeks of time annually and nine weeks of time annually for business leaders. Automation can also help organisations generate up to 200% ROI in the first year.
But what is business process automation, and how can it benefit your business?
Business process automation uses technology to automate repetitive, day-to-day tasks with minimal human intervention. It helps businesses to streamline manual and time-consuming processes such as employee onboarding, contract management, document processing, data management, risk assessment and more.
Here is how to identify which processes can benefit from automation:
If your process has one or more of these characteristics, you should consider transforming it into a more efficient and cost-effective automated solution.
By automating the onboarding process, organisations can generate standardised onboarding procedures such as creating and e-signing employee contracts, collecting personal information once, and using this information to automatically activate employee accounts on several different platforms (e.g. company email, ERP platform, Slack). You can also send surveys and assessments to your new hires and automatically get the results of each member. This means that you only spend time creating an assessment once and can then use it repeatedly. Automating these time-consuming processes can reduce mistakes, save time, and deliver a high-quality employee onboarding experience.
Automation can help you streamline creating, editing and signing documents such as vendor contracts, employment contracts, customer quotes and proposals. If it's a document that needs signing, there's a strong chance business process automation can help you by allowing you to generate standard templates and collaborate with your team in real-time to edit and improve them.
It also makes negotiations with third parties easier and more transparent as you work on the document together in real-time. Documents are then sent to the relevant third parties to e-sign or submit questions and comments. This can help avoid the back and forth with email we've all become too accustomed to.
As we'll discuss later, you can also embed your document automation into a wider automated workflow. For example, upon signing a contract, your finance system automatically sends out the appropriate invoice. By chaining automations together like this, you can achieve great improvements in efficiency.
Save time and money by automating the customer support process of your organisation to solve customer inquiries and effectively manage customer relationships with minimum human involvement. Automation allows you to create self-service resources, send proactive messaging or simulated chat conversations. Customers can then receive the answers they need, 24/7, by simply searching your knowledge hub themselves or by receiving automated suggestions to their inquires. You can also increase customer satisfaction by never missing a support ticket. Automated customer support systems can flag tickets to your team regularly and send notifications when the status changes.
Automation can also help you improve how you re-engage with your customers. You can automatically identify customers slipping away or remaining inactive for a set period of time and proactively reach out to re-engage with them. For instance, if some of your customers haven't interacted with you or used your services for a long time, they will automatically receive a message like "We've not seen you for a while is everything ok?" or a special offer for your product or service. This not only increases customer engagement but also fosters stronger relationships and boosts customer retention.
Key transaction monitoring and testing makes sure that your critical processes run smoothly and effectively. For example, key transaction monitoring can ensure the checkout on an e-commerce website is always available by testing it with real data every 10 minutes. If any issues are discovered, you can be notified and promptly minimise any service interruption for your customers.
You can also build a dashboard that shows an overview of your key transactions and their current real-time status. This can be shared with your team members, making it quick and easy to spot any issues throughout your business.
Instead of manually copying and pasting information from excel files, databases and separate systems, you can use automated data analysis and reporting to send you scheduled reports. You can also set up trigger events which result in reports being sent to you automatically.
For example, you can schedule a report with your department's operational performance to be generated and sent automatically to your Board of Directions before the board meeting.
You can also automatically combine data from multiple sources (e.g. Google Analytics, your CRM, your ERP system, your intranet etc.) to build aggregated reports. This enables you to make better decisions by having a real-time view of your businesses data.
Once you've developed several separate automations you can chain them together to create an entirely automated workflow.
In relation to onboarding employees, this could mean:
An example of customer support workflow can be:
And, here is an example of how a data analysis and reporting workflow could be: