Business Process Automation: What It is, Examples and Benefits
Business Process Automation (or BPA) is the use of technology to replace human labor for repetitive, high-volume tasks that are time-consuming and tedious. Automating business activities means that certain tasks are taken over by machines, reducing manual effort and shifting responsibility from humans. Business processes become consistent, efficient, and error-proof. This allows you to save time on repetitive tasks and redirect it to more important activities.
Business Process Automation vs. Business Process Management
BPA can be described as a form of business process management (BPM), however, not all business process management is automation. BPM is a way to improve efficiency and streamline workflows, both manual and automated. One or both Concepts can be used by companies to increase revenue, reduce costs, improve efficiency, and grow their business.
Business process management is not like business process automation. It doesn’t identify specific systems or fools that can be used to improve work processes. It outlines strategies that businesses could use to accomplish specific tasks or policies.
BPA vs. RPA
Both RPA and BPA are designed to automate business processes. RPA is designed to replace manual tasks with automated software. Robots can be programmed to follow rules. RPA can also be used in conjunction with BPA. The key difference is that BPA deals with the entire process from beginning to end and uses a more holistic approach. BPA is designed to simplify all processes within an organization in order to make decisions faster and more accurately. RPA is intended to support existing business processes, but not disrupt them.
Benefits of BPA
Once you understand the benefits of automation, it will be a natural instinct to implement it in your business. Let’s take a look at the benefits it offers.
Automating business can save a lot of time. . According to a study, office workers spend an average of 2.12 hours a day performing administrative tasks like approving paperwork, processing documentation, searching for information, and so on. BPA solutions make it possible to complete these tasks faster and without any errors. BPA solutions allow employees to use the 2.12 hours each day for more important and valuable tasks.
Inefficient processes can cause organizations to lose as much as 30% of their revenue each year. This can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Automated business processes should be changed whenever possible and You can reduce errors and save money by not having to fix them.
How can you be sure it works? Businesses that use an automated process have lower overall costs of 10 percent and higher profits of 8%, which shows that BPA can reduce operational costs.
Also read: List of Top 10 Business Management Software
Reduces Human Error with Standardized Processes
Multiple people may make manual processes more complicated. Everybody has their own way of doing things and habits. A process must be properly designed from the beginning if it is to be successful.
Automated processes ensure that everything happens in a consistent way. Each step is followed systematically until you reach a standard result. Automation can be a great tool for standardizing your business.
You can still make adjustments to each business workflow. Standardization ensures that important steps are not missed or documents are never lost. Standardization can help reduce human error and prevent costly mistakes.
When you can achieve the best outcome possible with minimum effort, your processes will be efficient. You can’t make a mistake if you follow a set of steps that are consistent and predetermined. Automation has improved communication and visibility, which in turn makes it easier to manage tasks more efficiently.
To share information, you don’t need to rely on emails and phone calls. You can replace these with modern business process automation software. It’s easier to keep track of all the progress and collaborate with your team when they have a dashboard. This ensures that no details are lost.
As you expand your business and hire more employees to handle the increased workload, your scope of work will increase. It is not the same thing to manually send 10 invoices as it is to send a thousand. This applies to all business processes, from onboarding new clients to hiring new staff members to manage existing customers.
Automating can help you address your changing business requirements and changing regulatory requirements. Automation makes it possible to scale up your business without sacrificing quality or performance.
Creates Auditable Records
An audit trail is kept track of every step in an automated process. It allows you to track who is doing what, monitor each document, and check the date and time of each action. This level of control proves reliability, and accuracy, and ensures that the company has auditable records for all business workflows. These records can be accessed for customer queries and regulatory compliance.
Encourages and Ensures Compliance
Automation goes beyond creating rules for document routing. Automating means more than just creating rules for document routing. It involves setting up security measures to safeguard personal data and protect confidential information.
Automation automates everything and makes it traceable. This allows your company to comply with all applicable regulations.
Improve Customer Experience
Customers want quick and easy access to the information they need. Automation allows you to provide better, more precise, and faster services to your clients. Customers will appreciate the ease of accessing their data, rather than having to search for paper records. It’s easier to over-promise and under-deliver in order to increase customer satisfaction. You can build trust and loyalty with your customers, which will ultimately lead to a competitive advantage.
Examples of BPA
Let’s look at some manual tasks that BPA can simplify to help you understand how BPA can improve your business operations and operational efficiency.
Also read: What Is Workflow Automation And Why Do You Need it?
Purchase Order Approval Workflows
Manual processes and paper documents can be disastrous when it comes to purchasing order approval. This approach might not be a problem if your business has only a few purchase orders. But if you have to deal with large volumes, it is possible for things to slip through the cracks, and paper may get lost.
BPA uses pre-determined workflows to automatically route purchase orders to the appropriate people for approval. If your company allows employees to request items, as long as it is less than $100, the purchase order can be automatically approved and sent to the vendor. However, any purchase order exceeding $100 must be approved and sent to the department head.
Higher PO amounts may require multiple approvals. These are routed to the appropriate People according to the workflow. It is possible to set up rules that allow for temporary approvals to be handled by another person while an employee is away from the office.
PLANERGY allows you to create workflow automation that meets your specific business requirements. You can use a variety of steps, dollar thresholds, departmental spending limits, and many other options.
It is easy to pay one invoice or even 10. It’s easy to pay a single invoice, or even 10. But when you have thousands of invoices each month, manual processes won’t work. Duplicate payments, late fees, missed payments, and other costs could all cost you money.
BPA solutions such as PLANGERY help in optimizing payment processing using technology like three-way match. It will match your original purchase order with the goods received document and the invoice. You will only pay for the items you have ordered and received. An employee can inspect discrepancies and take appropriate action if they are found.
Employee Leave Requests
Processing vacation and leave requests for employees can be tedious and time-consuming. Employees can submit electronic requests via a web portal and have them automatically routed to their supervisors for approval. The employee can also view their current requests, as well as the available leave allowance.
Business process automation can be used to manage client onboarding, employee onboarding, customer service, and many other tasks. BPA is an integral part of the digital revolution and can be used to eliminate bottlenecks within your business, resulting in improved productivity.