Benefits of Business Process Automation (BPA)
Business process automation or BPA is using technology to replace human manpower for high-volume, time-consuming, and repetitive tasks. Relying on automation in business means moving the responsibility for certain activities from humans to machines to minimize manual effort. As a result, business processes are consistent, cost-efficient, and error-proof. The time you save on these repetitive tasks can then be diverted to more valuable activities.
Business Process Automation vs. Business Process Management
BPA is a type of business process management (BPM), but not all business process management is business process automation. BPM aims to streamline workflow and improve the efficiency of each activity, whether manual or automated. Companies can use one or both Concepts to increase their revenue potential, find and reduce and efficiencies, and ultimately grow their business.
Unlike business process automation, business process management doesn’t identify specific systems, fools, or software used to improve workplace processes. Instead, it outlines strategies that businesses can use for specific tasks and policies.
BPA vs. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Both BPA and RPA are meant to execute business functions with automation. RPA is meant to replace human tasks with software, like robots that use rules-based tasks. RPA can be implemented as part of BPA – since the key difference between the two is that BPA addresses the end-to-end process with a more holistic approach. BPA aims to streamline all work processes within an organization for faster and more accurate decision-making. RPA is meant to help, but not disrupt existing business processes.
Benefits of BPA
Once you see the benefits of automation, you’ll want to use it wherever possible in your business. Take a look at what it has to offer.
Automation in business saves a lot of time. One study found that office workers spend an average of 2.12 hours a day on administrative tasks like approving paperwork, processing documents, and searching for information. BPA solutions help complete these tasks without errors and faster. Relying on BPA means that employees can use those 2.12 hours every day on other more important and more valuable tasks.
Did you know that organizations lose up to 30% of the revenue every year as a result of inefficient processes? that lost profits can make a huge difference in your overall bottom line. Changing to Automated Business processes where possible allows you to minimize errors so you don’t have to spend any time or money on fixing issues.
How do you know it works? businesses that have an automated process is reduced overall costs by 10 percent while also increasing their overall profits by 8% which demonstrates that BPA can effectively reduce operational costs.
Reduces Human Error with Standardized Processes
Manual processes involving multiple people can become complex quickly. Everyone has their own method, habits, and things to keep up with. If a process is to be effective, it needs to be designed correctly in the beginning.
With automated processes, everything is performed in a consistent workflow with steps that follow each other systematically until you achieve a standard outcome every time. If your business needs standardization, automation can help.=
That said, you can make changes for each individual business workflow. It ensures that no critical steps can be missed and no documents are lost. With standardization, you can reduce human error and avoid costly mistakes.
Your processes are efficient when you achieve the best possible outcome with minimal effort. Using a series of predefined steps that are consistently performed, you have no room for deviation. Automation improved quality, communication, then visibility for more efficient task management.
You won’t have to rely on notes, emails, and calls, to share information as you can replace them with more modern solutions found in business process automation software. When your team has a dashboard that allows them to check all of the progress of their tasks, it becomes easier to manage deadlines and streamline collaboration. As a result, no details are lost in translation.
As your business grows, and you hire more employees to accommodate the workload, the scope of work also grows. Manually sending 10 invoices isn’t the same as sending a thousand. The same applies to all other business processes from onboarding new customers to hiring new team members and so on.
As your business needs shift and regulatory requirements change, you can address them effortlessly with automation. This makes it easier to grow and scale your business without sacrificing quality and performance.
Creates Auditable Records
Every phase of an automated process is recorded with an audit trail. This makes it possible to keep track of who is doing what, monitor the document involved, check the time and date of when each action happened, and so on. This level of control and proves reliability and accuracy and also ensures the organization has auditable records of all business workflows. If the need ever arises, these records are easily accessible for replying to customer inquiries and demonstrating regulatory compliance.
Promotes and Ensures Compliance
Automation is about more than creating rules for document routing. It also involves setting up the appropriate security measures to protect and retain personal data and protecting confidential information.
With automation, everything operates under controls and all activity is traceable. This ensures your organization remains compliant with all relevant regulations.
Cultivates a Better Customer Experience
Your customers want convenience and quick access to what they’re looking for. With automation, you get better quality, faster, and more accurate services for clients. It’s also easier to help customers when you can easily access their information instead of chasing down paper records. Automation makes it easier to under-promise and over-deliver to improve customer satisfaction. When you have higher customer satisfaction rates, you build loyalty, trust, and ultimately give yourself a competitive advantage.
Process automation tools can take care of many daily tasks for small business. If the artificial intelligence comes across something that’s not right, it will flag it for human intervention.
Examples of BPA
To better understand how BPA can help improve business operations and operational efficiency, let’s take a look at some examples of manual tasks BPA can simplify.
Purchase Order Approval Workflows
When it comes to purchase order approval, manual processes and paper document can spell disaster. When your business is small and only has a handful of purchase orders, this approach may not seem like a bad idea. However, when you’re dealing with high volume, things will inevitably slip through the cracks and paper will get lost.
BPA steps into automatically route purchase orders to the necessary people for approval, based on the pre-established workflows. For example, if your business allows employees to request items as long as the total is under $100, the purchase requisition can automatically be approved and sent directly to the vendor. But, if a purchase order over $100 must be approved by the department head, that purchase requisition is automatically routed to the appropriate approver once submitted.
If higher PO amounts required multiple approvals, those get routed to the necessary People based on the workflow. You can also set rules so that if someone is out of the office, it goes to another person to handle approvals temporarily until the original employee returns.
With Planergy, You can build workflow automation according to exactly what your business needs with a variety of steps, dollar amount thresholds, departmental spending budgets, and so on.
It’s easy to pay a single invoice, or maybe even 10. But when you’re dealing with thousands of invoices every month, manual processes just won’t cut it. You could cost yourself money in duplicate payments, late fees for missed payments, etc.
BPA solutions like PLANGERY helps in optimizing payment processing with technology like three-way matching. It will match your original purchase order against the goods received document, and against the invoice. This way, you’re only paying for what you ordered and received. If there are any discrepancies, an employee can look at them and take the appropriate action.
Employee Leave Requests
When you have a large number of employees, processing vacation and leave requests can become quite time-consuming and repetitive. With an automated system, employees can easily submit an electronic request via a web portal, which is then automatically routed to their supervisor for approval. It also makes it easy for the employee to see their current requests and available leave allowance.
You can also use business process automation solutions to take care of things like employee onboarding, client onboarding, customer support, and more.
BPA is part of the digital transformation and can help you get rid of a lot of bottlenecks in your business for improved productivity across the board. If you add cross-functional collaboration to the equation you can reach for hyperautomation as a goal.