Business Process Automation - A Complete Guide

July 25, 2022
Vinay Agrawwal
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67% of enterprises in a survey saw automation as one of the top qualities that come with no-code and low-code platforms.

Showcasing a wider panorama of the business process automation sphere, 66% of businesses globally had assimilated the automation of at least one of their business functions during the year 2020, according to McKinsey.

The need for operating at higher efficiencies and throughputs is fuelling the modern endeavors to automate as many and as many of the existing business processes as possible.

Needless to say, the advantages of business process automation have tangible results in the form of cost and time savings. Perhaps this is the reason that drives the adoption of business process automation software like no other – according to Gartner, the year 2022 will value the market at nearly $600 billion.

Things being so, it makes sense to understand what business process automation is and why your business should consider it for driving growth and expanding opportunities. Let’s dive in.

Note: Want to automate your processes? Try a demo and see how you can do it. Or explore all the solutions and see what fits your need. 

What is Business Process Automation?

Business process automation is the activity of deploying software to automate the tasks of your business that are repeatable, mundane, and require little to no critical thinking.

In short, business process automation helps your business redirect your human resources away from the day-to-day routine tasks and has software programmed to execute these tasks instead.

A good example of business process automation is sending routine emails to clients and customers (like newsletters, marketing pamphlets, etc.).

Here are some business processes that can be automated by using dedicated or comprehensive software:

  • Support centers of businesses, including self-support, customer call-backs, conversational AIs, and more
  • Accounting operations like reconciliation, accounts payable and receivable, invoicing and reminders, etc.
  • Human resource tasks like employee leave management, payroll, timestamps, attendance, etc.
  • Marketing and sales operations like lead discovery, nurturing and conversions, email, social media, mobile marketing, and much more.
  • Data-related activities like organization, migration, recall, recovery, backups, and more
  • Supply-side operations like supply chain management, inventory and intelligent warehousing, etc.

Many other arms of your business can be automated, depending on the industry you belong to and the workflows you desire to establish.

Business process automation software helps your organization become more efficient by optimizing human resource use through automating repeatable tasks.

Why Do You Need Business Process Automation?

Automation may seem like a complicated and expensive goal to achieve. However, the need to make business processes efficient justifies the means.

With that said, the list of compelling reasons summarized below outlines just how necessary it is for businesses to scrape out every last percentage of efficiency they can to stay ahead of the competition.

In addition to making everyday tasks simpler, a few other reasons orchestrate the importance of business process automation in the repeatable tasks of an organization:

Easing Into the Digital Wave

97% of organizations believe that BPA is necessary for digital transformation.

The digital revolution has been big and impactful in transforming the way businesses work today. It can be overwhelming to imagine your organization operating at that level from the get-go.

In such situations, business process automation can help your company ease into the culture by taking it one step at a time.

By automating one task after another, you can gradually elevate your organization to the digital natives of the industry and compete at the same level. By selecting software that is scalable on a needs-basis, this stepwise automation can be seamlessly achieved without much hassle.

Establishing Clear SOPs

Standard Operating Procedures are a necessity for an organization to run properly. They help in preventing unauthorized tasking and decision-making that could impact the bottom line.

Automation can actually help your organization establish crystal-clear protocols about every single process deployed for every operation.

Automation requires objective-based, instructional direction that can guide the algorithm to perform tasks and yield desired results. Unless there is clarity in the process, automation can’t work the way it should.

With that said, the necessity to automate also brings about clarity in defining a process and the corresponding workflows that emerge from it.

Process Optimization

The biggest reason for automating your business processes is to streamline them. Better clarity in the process flows ultimately generates better visibility into the results it generates.

Several other aspects of process streamlining include better accountability, reduction in the turnaround times, generation of valuable insights, and eliminating wasteful practices that consume more resources than they produce output.

Indirectly, all the cascading operational improvements that result from automating even a single business process contribute to a well-oiled functioning of your organization. The best part is that at each stage, you get access to insights to improve that process further.

Standardization

Automation is, in the end, a computerized algorithm that runs a task in place of a human. It needs to be fed a consistent input to generate outputs in the desired likeness.

At the end of the line, automating a business process generates a standardized set of protocols and workflows that induce predictability into the system.

Predictability, in turn, fosters familiarity with how things run and helps reduce the time that the process needs to run.

Compliance

Business process automation makes compliance simpler by automating digital recordkeeping of each process along with all of its execution attributes.

In case your organization encounters an audit, it would be easier to recall the records of any isolated process from the centralized repositories to display compliance with regulations.

Speedy audits garner favor and transparency with the auditing agency when the records from automation are easily accessible.

Business Process Automation Benefits

Here are a few other major benefits that come with business process automation:

Transparency

Automation runs on mathematical algorithms; it cannot conceal anything from the viewer.

What is in the logs is an official record of the activity that happened while performing a task. This transparency is the biggest benefit of automation. It makes it easier to identify the fault line and work on improving the process and troubleshooting the errors that have occurred.

Pro Tip: You can design your own BPA software using no-code solutions (like Hubbler) that have special features for reporting deviations from standards.

Productivity Boost

Business process automation helps your workforce get access to the same source of truth, no matter where they are operating from.

Collaboration with the same set of data becomes simpler. It helps the entire workforce stay on the same page, helping them quickly complete the tasks at hand with minimal loss of time/focus in fumbling and confusion.

Insight-Backed Operations

Automation isn’t purely automation – it encompasses report generation and deriving insights from the tasks and the way they are happening.

The access to performance KPIs and other valuable insights empowers you to take action and preventive measures to steer your processes away from inefficient practices.

Pro Tip: No-code platforms like Hubbler allow you the flexibility of building your own automation software and incorporating the KPI reporting that is relevant for your business specifically.

Resource Optimization

Time, effort, and money are the most important resources of an organization. Process automation optimizes the allocation of these resources in the best way possible by eliminating wasteful use.

All the repeatable tasks are executed on a timely basis, not taking away from the reservations of the human resources or their time.

Business Process Automation Examples

Listed below are a few great business process automation examples that you can glean from.

Purchase Order Automation

Your organization needs certain materials on a periodic basis to run smoothly. This could be stationery, raw material, or supplies for the cafeteria.

If there's a repeatable process, there's automation to smoothen it down and make it run efficiently. Automation can automate purchase orders to:

  • Shorten the time taken to approve purchase requests
  • Ascertain the completeness of purchase request forms
  • Automate the back-and-forth communications between the purchasing teams and approval teams
  • Autofill certain fields in the purchase forms based on historical data

Also read: How this leading farm-to-fork company streamlined its Procurement using Hubbler

Invoice Automation

Much like purchase orders, certain invoices are recurring – for all the items that your organization purchases repeatedly. Automation of invoicing removes human resources from executing the repeatable processes such as:

  • Creating invoice templates every time for different classes of purchases and sales
  • Initiating reminders to vendors to furnish invoices
  • Sending the accounting department timely notifications to approve pending invoices

Also read: How this food delivery giant used Hubbler to optimize their Lease management system

Wrapping Up

Business process automation is the first step your business can take towards becoming a digitally aware and prepared organization.

While off-the-shelf BPA software does provide a good avenue to begin automating, it is also a great idea to build your automation solution using no-code platforms like Hubbler. You can ingrain scalability into your custom solution to help you grow into digitally at your own pace.

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