Automation isn’t a mystery anymore. This advanced technological solution has brought a revolutionary change in how businesses work. And the best part is that its implementation is cost-effective. Automation can be referred to as a predefined set of actions formulated to perform specific mechanisms. The entire process takes place through particular software.
Automation allows individuals to absolve themselves from performing various monotonous and routine tasks. They are then redirected to tasks requiring absolute human control, like coming up with new products, ideas, etc.
This article covers every important aspect of business process automation, including steps to its implementation, so read until the end.
What Is Business Process Automation?
Business process automation, popularly known as BPA, refers to using technology to automate an organization’s day-to-day manual processes. This technology automates follow-up email responses and other complex processes to smoothen workflows at multiple levels of an organization.
Automation is an ideal solution for eliminating or reducing the frequency of repeated tasks. Business automation software increases consistency, speed, and accuracy to improve operational efficiency.
This solution can be applied to almost any process within an organization. Let’s have a look at some of the business areas where business process automation can be deployed:
- Onboarding and human resources
- Product development
- Delivery and logistics
- Inventory tracking
- Training and education
Types of Business Process Automation
Here are the four most common automation types used by businesses:
1. Robotic Automation
The word “robot” might make you think of mechanical arms, machine-operated beings, etc. Well, you could say that robots take care of a business under robotic automation. A subtle difference is that software – and not robots – manage things.
They are capable of automating interactions with Graphic User Interface by repeating the demonstration actions performed by the user.
2. Database Automation
Database automation allows companies to automate time-consuming and tedious tasks. Such tasks will now be performed easily and quickly, thanks to automation. Besides, it also enables DBAs to save time for works that need manual input, such as provisioning and performance tuning.
Database automation covers system monitoring, performance testing, etc. Additionally, it is an ideal option to automate programs prone to human errors. This automation option ensures correct settings and versioning of new databases added to the system.
3. Department Specialized Automation
Department Specialized Automation is ideal for businesses that fail to find the right software to perform their processes. While you can find several software options catering to particular business requirements, a department sometimes calls for something specific that can efficiently meet its needs.
This automation can be deployed in various departments, including sales, marketing, warehousing, H.R., and accounting. Businesses can cut down on both cost and speed with the help of tailored automation solutions.
4. Server Automation
Server automation is similar to database automation. It’s no mystery that the server is one of the most important aspects of the applications used by any organization.
Server automation facilitates the users with easy and quick deployment of advanced server software, inventory management, provisioning, compliance, and patching operations. Plus, it also removes any possibilities of human errors.
8 Steps To Implementing Business Process Automation
Follow the eight steps mentioned below to automate one or more of your business processes swiftly:
Step 1: Identify The Problem
Identify the problem and comprehend it. You should have a good idea of what needs to be done in a particular department. Analyze the problem before building your automation strategies.
Generally, businesses face the following issues:
- Customers abandoning the brand
- Lack of a systematic approach or little to no control over the ongoing projects
- Loss of work information
- Difficulty in analyzing department efficiency
- Employees waste a lot of time performing routine tasks
All of the above-listed issues can be resolved with the help of customized automation tools. But to find the right solution, it is important to have a clear understanding of the problems.
We recommend determining your company’s objectives first and then creating the plans accordingly.
Step 2: Set Realistic Goals
After identifying the problem, the next step is to set goals for solving the problem. Here you need to decide how and when to start the automation process. Also, comprehend the expected results. Goal setting is important to ensure a speedy transition process that will help you achieve the goals quickly and easily.
Analyze the areas that need to be automated. Also, find out about the technical requirements you would need for your future projects. You can either do this task independently or outsource it to a professional.
Step 3: Establish Standard Operating Procedures
SOPs or Standard Operating Procedures are essential for documenting all the necessary steps required for completing a particular role. After all, an automation process can only be completed if defined clearly.
You should know the actions and steps required for achieving the business goals through automation. Create “SOP time” and implement it on every level of your organization so that all employees know exactly how they can complete their jobs more efficiently and productively.
Step 4: Identify The Required Resources
To get the best out of the available resources, you need to ensure that the automation solution you choose is ideal for solving a particular issue.
Before zeroing in on what’s supposed to be the best automation software for your business, determine what kind of team is required to implement a particular project. Find out employees in your company who are capable of it. Alternatively, you can outsource your requirements to an I.T. company.
Find answers to questions like: Would you need to train your employee to use the automation software? How much time will be required for integrating it into your existing business process? Additionally, calculate the amount of money needed for accumulating the resources.
Step 5: Prioritize The Automation Areas of Your Business
A business leader needs to have in-depth knowledge of the company’s areas that need improvement. Prepare a priority list to channelize the progress and automation of the processes.
List down the factors that need to be prioritized when deciding the areas for automation and then focus on the operational improvements which will affect the customer’s business and the employees. Business automation integration is highly beneficial only if implemented the right way.
Step 6: Identify The Functional Areas Where Repetitive Tasks Exist
After identifying the functional areas of your business that need automation, the next thing is to learn about the repetitive tasks existing within various roles of every department. For this, the operations manager or the business owner needs to take themselves down to the position of employees. It helps learn about their pain areas while offering them in-depth knowledge of the repetitive tasks.
Furthermore, discover the areas exposed to high operational deficiencies and risks. One of the best ways for identifying repetitive tasks is by reviewing the SOPs created by employees.
Additionally, interview your employees to get details of their SOPs and confirm the process. Don’t forget to talk about the repetitive tasks existing at various levels in the organization.
Step 7: Describe Automation Processes To Your Employees
This is one of the most crucial steps to automating a business process. Your employees should know about the automation plans of the company and the procedures it entails. It will give you an opportunity to address their grievances and doubts, and you can then optimize things accordingly.
Both third-party contractors and the company’s employees can consider conducting an audit of the business processes. The results can be documented and analyzed for optimization. You may connect with third-party contractors to leverage their technical knowledge and expertise when listing technical specifications.
Step 8: Make A Team For Implementing Automation Program
Not every company has employees who can adequately develop and implement automation in business processes. If you aren’t willing to integrate ready-made automation tools into the system, you need to find a team to develop the product per your business’s needs and current condition.
You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to get customized coding software to leverage the benefits of automating business processes. Fortunately, a variety of automation and workflow software’s are available that can help your organization automate and design business processes efficiently.
Automating your business processes isn’t a tough task. Still, you need to put in the necessary efforts and time and keep the important considerations in mind to get the desired results. Even after implementing the automation process, you need to monitor their performance from time to time.
It’s also crucial that you get your hands on software that automates the work and optimizes processes while reducing cost and improving communication.
Follow the guide above to implement automation and rake in increased revenues. All you need to do is find the core areas of operations, build SOPs, look for areas with repetitive tasks, and build and execute the right plans for automation. All the best!