Business process automation has become a bit of a buzzword in the past few years.
If you’re here, it means you’re already curious about what business process automation is, and what it has to offer for your company.
It entails workflows and processes, that were previously dealt with in excel sheets and through paper forms, being moved onto an online platform which integrates all activities into the one space.
This means that the process can move on by itself with less employee input, time, or human error.
Why Is Business Process Automation a Good Thing?
Automating your business processes can be a scary time.
You might worry that your staff won’t adapt to an online format, that the time it saves will lead you to replace good, hard-working staff members, or that you just don’t have the time to overhaul your business process system.
However, your competitors are more than likely beginning to automate their systems.
It’s becoming more and more common, and if your competitors are able to streamline their processes and save time and money then they could offer more competitive prices or provide a better quality product and steal your customers.
Business process automation will give you at least an even playing field, if not the upper hand when it comes to your competitors.
Which business processes can be automated?
Most processes can benefit from automation, but not all can be fully automated.
During automation, some sort of technology e.g. automation software is used to replace the manual effort of a worker.
Generally, a process will be automated at certain steps, where a person may take over the process for one step.
Automation software will connect automatable steps to person-led steps.
Certain processes can be fully automated such as over-the-phone call management and website chatbots, which can solve problems and carry out tasks and solutions without human input.
Internal business processes tend to be more connected – for example social media management.
Your business process may be automated in part by scheduling software, but this will only connect to production and review of the content.
You can also automate the steps in between, such as idea generation, sending for approval, and creative requests being sent to the design team.
Advantages of Business Process Automation
Business process automation can benefit you in a number of ways:
- Save employee time – when tasks have been automated, the staff member carrying out that task is now free to do other more important tasks, and can help to develop and grow the business when not laden down with unimportant things like data entry or scheduling.
- Save costs on salaries – when your employee time reduces, you are spending less on carrying out that task. The automated task therefore becomes more streamlined and cost-effective, improving your bottom-line.
- Reliability – business process automation takes away the risk for human error. Unlike staff, process automation software doesn’t get sick or take holidays. There is a level of reliability in business process automation that you can’t get with human staff.
- Improved reporting – business process automation software will generally have report generation options which will make it easier for you to see the results of these steps. Only having to click a button to generate these reports also further reduces staff time in creating them.
Disadvantages of Business Process Automation
Business process automation can be hard in a number of ways:
- The time taken to onboard your systems onto the software – sometimes it’s hard to take that step where you need to put in a bit of time to implement the software despite knowing that it will reduce time spent on tasks over a longer period of time.
- Costs – the costs of software can be expensive depending on what you want to automate, or how much. Some softwares also require payment up front annually or for lifetime as opposed to more affordable monthly fees.
- Never full automation – automation is able to do more and more, and intuitive engines are in existence, but there will always be computational error and the need for human checking to ensure the reliability of the system.
Business Process Automation in Different Industries
Process automation has been used for a significant amount of time now in a range of industries.
It is most useful for businesses with a lot of customer-facing work, as it has been shown to significantly reduce the workload in terms of customer support management.
In terms of specific industries, this has helped companies in industries such as communications, insurance, and utility.
Any company with a large customer network which requires lots of support would benefit through the automation of customer support.
Banking and finance firms also benefit a lot from business process automation through ensuring compliance and confidentiality with rigorous process documentation.
This would be so much more time-consuming for staff to carry out manually rather than with specialised business automation software systems.
This also helps public sector industries such as government, education, or health who also have to adhere to strict red-tape and data privacy.
Choosing Business Process Management Automation Software
When considering software choices for automating some of your key business processes, there are several key considerations.
- What do you want to automate? Certain automation softwares offer packages to cover general business processes and aren’t specified to a particular department. If you know you only want to automate HR, Marketing, or Compliance and Quality Control for example, then you would be better off finding a business automation software which is designed specifically for these processes.
- What is their onboarding process like? Some automation softwares offer more hand-holding and implementation options than others. You might not want the extra admin time or hassle involved with getting the automation system up and running, so a software with a full implementation and training package would reduce staff time in getting your processes automated. Or, you might want to implement them yourselves to ensure a full understanding of the system as well as have full control over process personalisation.
- What is the software operated on? There are both cloud-based and on-premise choices, which each have pros and cons. Cloud-based options tend to be lower up-front cost and offer more flexibility in terms of scaling. On-premise options offer lower risk in terms of storing data within your company and lifetime license pay structures which protect you against price increases.
- What is the cost? Automation software needs to make financial business sense. When looking at costings, think about the amount of staff time using the product will save, and work out its cost-effectiveness over time.
Business Process Management Automation for Compliance Management
The automation of compliance processes previously completed manually can be done through a number of compliance management software solutions.
Certain compliance business processes can be automated from start to finish, and the compliance or quality management can oversee this and review the results, leaving them with extra free time to focus on continual improvement of these processes.
The jobs compliance officers and quality managers carry out involve a high number of tedious manual tasks that could quite easily be managed by a computer.
With compliance process automation, their jobs become more important to the organisation as they are free to work more with management and focus on improving systems and help to grow the organisation.
Examples of compliance processes that can be automated:
- Customer Feedback
- Customer Onboarding
- Document Approval Process
- Internal Audit Process
- Employee Onboarding Process
- Employee Training
- Change Management Process
- Risk Assessment Process
- Asset Management System Repair
- Unplanned Deviation Process
Improve your Business Process Automation with Jomo247 Compliance Management Software
Our business process automation software is specifically designed to assist with compliance management and quality control.
Jomo247 allows you to automate all of the above processes and more.
You can manage your process pipelines, analyse progress, and report on what you need.
With a forever free tier and staggered rolling monthly subscriptions, you only pay for what you need.
Everything is secure on the cloud in AWS servers, and with a browser-based interface anyone can work with you on the device that works for them.
You can track any evidence or documents against internal and external standards of your choice e.g. ISO 9001.
Document versioning and commenting is available, as well as forms for you to design and input onto process steps of your choice.
Unlimited users on any plan means that you can invite external users, such as your customers and suppliers, to join your account and complete steps in your process.