Achieving Greater Productivity with Business Process Automation
Business process automation can relieve employees of tedious, repetitive tasks, making it possible for them to work more quickly and focus on tasks that require human intelligence.
Robotic process automation (RPA) can play a critical role in your BPA. Keep reading to learn more about BPA, how you can use it to improve productivity, and some challenges you might encounter when adopting BPA technology.
CampTek is here to help you navigate these increasingly essential technologies. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to learn more.
Business Process Automation (BPA)
Business process automation (BPA) is the use of technology to automate manual or repetitive tasks in a business process to increase efficiency, reduce errors, and improve productivity. It uses software applications, tools, and technologies to automate routine, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks that were previously done manually by employees.
BPA can involve automating a single task, such as data entry or invoice processing, or an entire business process, such as supply chain management or customer relationship management. The automation can be simple or complex, depending on the level of sophistication needed to complete the task.
BPA can also involve integrating various systems — such as databases, ERP systems, and customer relationship management systems — to create a seamless workflow that increases efficiency and reduces errors. By automating routine tasks, employees can focus on higher-value activities that require more human skills, such as decision-making, problem-solving, and innovation.
Identifying Business Processes You Could Automate
Software robots can contribute to greater productivity in several types of business processes. Some of the most popular ways organizations use RPA bots include:
Data Entry and Management
Automating data entry and management can significantly reduce errors and increase efficiency. This can include data entry for invoices, customer information, employee documents, and financial information.
Data entry relies on precision. Small mistakes can quickly snowball into big problems. Inputting the wrong data could mean sending invoices to the wrong customers, charging incorrect amounts, or reporting inaccurate sales numbers. As these inaccuracies add up, they can skew all of your data. Eventually, your team will need to address the problem, which forces them to ignore tasks that could contribute to greater productivity.
Automating customer service can help businesses respond to inquiries quickly and efficiently. This can include automated chatbots, email responses, and phone systems that use voice recognition.
Today’s customers want quick services. Business process automation reduces wait times for customers who just need simple services, such as placing orders or checking balances. That means human customer service reps don’t need to handle as many mundane tasks. Instead, they can focus on providing added-value services that turn buyers into repeat customers.
Automating marketing processes can save time and resources. This can include email marketing campaigns, social media scheduling, and automated lead nurturing.
Robotic processes that respond to trigger events can automate many of your marketing tasks. For example, when someone places an order on your website, a business automation bot can record their contact information and send them an email that contains a discount coupon. The bot can then follow a series of timed events to send follow-up messages on pertinent dates, such as one week or one month later.
Automating sales processes can help businesses manage leads, track sales, and automate follow-up processes. This can include lead scoring, automated email follow-up, and CRM automation.
Your sales reps don’t need to spend time updating CRM data after each call. Business process automation can handle that aspect quickly and accurately, making it easier for sales professionals to focus on converting qualified leads into clients.
Automating accounting processes can save time and reduce errors. This can include automated invoicing, expense tracking, and financial reporting.
If you currently have data stored on paper documents, you can use intelligent document processing (IDP) to scan and digitize the information. Today’s IDP technology uses AI and optical character recognition to capture data accurately and recognize mistakes. Instead of having employees sift through reams of paper documents, you can trust software to handle much of the work.
Automating HR processes can reduce administrative tasks and save time. This can include automated recruiting, employee onboarding, and performance reviews.
HR employees and managers don’t need to fill out numerous documents for each new hire. Instead, the data from one form can propagate to others, reducing opportunities for error and giving your HR staff more time to concentrate on.
Automating inventory management can help businesses track inventory levels, reduce waste, and increase efficiency. This can include automated order fulfillment, tracking inventory levels, and forecasting demand.
Manual inventory management can lead to inaccuracies that negatively impact customers and businesses. You need to know precisely how many items you have in stock. Otherwise, you won’t know when to order more or whether you have the right product for a buyer.
With an RPA, your inventory numbers update automatically when items come into or leave a location. You can even rely on a bot to order more products when the inventory reaches a specific number, helping ensure your stock never runs out.
Production and Manufacturing
Automating production and manufacturing processes can improve efficiency and reduce errors. This can include automating quality control, inventory tracking, and supply chain management.
When you use RPA software to automate these tasks, you always have up-to-date, accurate information that leads to further business success. If an unexpected disruption occurs somewhere in your manufacturing process, bots can respond immediately to coordinate an alternative approach that reduces delays.
Important Steps To Implementing Business Process Automation
Business automation can improve productivity significantly once you have the right tools in place. Finding the right solutions, however, can take some time and training.
Define Goals and Objectives
Start by defining the goals and objectives of the automation project. This can include identifying the processes to be automated, the expected outcomes, and the metrics for measuring success.
Identify Processes to Automate
Identify the business processes that are suitable for automation. This can involve analyzing current workflows, identifying bottlenecks, and prioritizing processes that can benefit most from automation.
Evaluate Automation Solutions
Evaluate automation solutions that can address the identified processes. This can involve researching available tools, assessing compatibility with existing systems, and evaluating the cost and potential return on investment.
Develop a Plan
Develop a plan for implementing automation, including timelines, budget, and resource allocation. This can involve identifying the key stakeholders, establishing roles and responsibilities, and creating an implementation plan.
Test and Refine
Before implementing automation, test the solution in a controlled environment to identify and refine any issues or gaps. This can involve testing the automation tool, training employees, and refining the automation workflows.
Implement the automation solution, including setting up the software, training employees, and integrating the solution with existing systems.
Monitor and Measure
Monitor the automation solution’s performance and measure the success against established metrics. This can involve regularly reviewing your metrics, tracking the performance of the automation solution, and identifying areas for improvement.
Make sure you define metrics that matter to your business before you undertake this step. You can’t measure success well until you have a target to hit.
Continuously improve the automation solution to ensure it meets changing business needs. This can involve reviewing the solution’s performance regularly, identifying gaps, and refining the solution to optimize performance.
- Automation roadmap recommendations
- Vendor selection and tool evaluations
- Process evaluations
- Strategic planning
- Operating model design and setup
- Process improvement, standardization, and re-engineering
Get more productivity from your BPAs by contacting CampTek to discuss RPA options that fit your needs.
Measuring the Impact of Automation on Business Processes
How do you know whether your business process automations get the results you expect? Measure the impact of BPAs by looking at the following factors.
Measuring the time saved and productivity improvements resulting from automation is a common way to measure the impact of automation. This can include tracking the number of tasks completed per hour, the number of errors or defects reduced, and the increase in the number of tasks completed.
Measuring the cost savings resulting from automation is another way to assess its impact. This can include tracking the reduction in labor costs, the reduction in material costs, and the reduction in operational costs.
Measuring the quality of work and the reduction in errors resulting from automation is an essential aspect of assessing the impact of automation. This can include tracking the number of defects reduced, the number of customer complaints reduced, and the improvement in customer satisfaction.
Cycle Time Reduction
Measuring the reduction in cycle time or the time taken to complete a process is an effective way to assess the impact of automation. This can include tracking the time taken to complete a process before and after automation implementation.
Measuring the accuracy of work is an important metric to assess the impact of automation. This can include tracking the reduction in errors or defects resulting from automation.
Assessing the impact of automation on employee satisfaction is also essential. This can include measuring the level of employee engagement, motivation, and job satisfaction before and after automation implementation.
For example, see how BPA can help avoid physician burnout in the healthcare sector.
Assessing the impact of automation on customer satisfaction is also important. This can include measuring the level of customer satisfaction before and after automation implementation.
Are There Any Challenges to BPA?
Business process automation can improve productivity and other areas of your organization. It can come with some challenges, though. Make sure you work with a qualified partner to avoid the following:
- Resistance to change: Employees may be resistant to change, especially if it means learning new tools or workflows.
- Lack of skilled resources: Implementing automation often requires specialized skills that may not be available in-house, which means you might need to partner with an expert from CampTek.
- Integration issues: Automation tools may need to integrate with existing systems, which can be complex and time-consuming.
- Security concerns: Automation may involve sensitive data and processes, so security must be a top priority.
- Process complexity: Some processes may be too complex to automate or may require significant customization, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
- Cost: Implementing automation can be expensive, especially if businesses need to purchase new software or hire specialized consultants.
- Maintenance: Automation tools require ongoing maintenance, upgrades, and troubleshooting, which can be time-consuming and costly.
- Training: Employees may need training to use new automation tools effectively, which can take time and resources. CampTek provides onboarding that teaches employees how to use UiPath to build RPAs without learning code.
- Scalability: Automation may work well for small-scale processes, but it may not be scalable for larger operations.
- Process changes: Business processes are dynamic, and changes may be required after automation implementation. Automation may need to be updated to reflect these changes.
Find a Partner To Ensure BPA Success
Finding the right partner is critical to ensuring BPA success. CampTek offers a variety of RPA products to get you on the right path and carefully train your bots to work well.
CampTek develops robotic process automations via UiPath. When you partner with us, we give you access to the StudioX platform and provide an onboarding session that teaches you how to use its low-code and no-code tools. We can also provide one to 10 bots with various levels of complexity.
Learn more about the benefits of partnering with CampTek by requesting a demo today.