Business process automation (BPA) has been a corporate buzzword for a long time. Why? Well, the organizational flow of your business is the deciding factor in whether you continue to grow or become stagnant. It’s as simple as that. Owners, CEOs and Managers like the idea of streamlining workflow and the ROI that comes with it. But beyond workflow management, business process automation promises benefits from reduced manual labor to decreased data entry errors. There’s no question as to whether you should automate business processes – for a more successful business, you absolutely need to.
Today, there are even more content management solutions on the market to help you automate processes where applicable for your business. There are a lot of tedious and repetitive everyday business tasks that can be handled more efficiently with process automation. There are also many areas in which communication can be simplified across departments to avoid costly mistakes. Luckily, these are all areas where a solid, digital business process could help you improve productivity.
Key Ways Business Process Automation Benefits Your Bottom Line
There are many areas in which business process automation is effective in streamlining your workflow. It might be as simple as adopting an automated approach to email campaigns, or as widespread as launching a new ECM Software system to overhaul your paper-based document management processes. Your solutions will depend entirely on where you find the need for improvement in your own business.
In general terms, here are some of the ways that you’ll benefit from business process automation:
- Clarified Processes. BPA allows you to define your business processes. Each of the members of your team will follow the same protocol set in the ECM system. This makes training new staff members easier, because every employee will have the same steps to follow. It also allows for better cross training between departments. For employees, process automation is hugely beneficial because it streamlines daily job requirements, and they have easy access to coworkers for collaboration. This way, if they can’t remember a step when learning a new process or launching a task, they have the resources they need right in front of them.
- Real Time Communication. One major area that BPA improves is internal and external communication. With employees constantly in contact with clients and each other on various platforms, it’s common that information from hard copy exchanges, emails, even memos and post it notes, will get lost in the shuffle. There may even be instances in which staff members aren’t informed of new developments to a procedure, causing them to easily make a mistake. But with ECM software’s ability to offer visibility into real time communication, each employee has up-to-date information on every project, so mistakes are eliminated and customer service is improved. This is especially beneficial when information moves between departments and face to face communication is limited.
- Decreased Human Error. Business process automation allows you to include customizable web forms into a document workflow to manage tedious tasks with ease, such as data capture and entry. While some of these documents may need to be proofread, there are often options to double check conflicting information in the database to verify that the fields are accurate. Simple errors, like a mistyped number, can result in delays and lost revenue. This simple web form solution saves employee’s time – allowing them to focus on more important tasks.
- Improved Security. BPA offers improved security methods for your sensitive information. The digital organization of data alone gives you better oversight to where information is located and when it’s accessed, which can be greatly beneficial in the event of an audit. Many ECM Software options also include enhanced security to keep your business within the regulatory compliance threshold for your industry.
- Accountability and Transparency. Your BPA software offers advanced accountability. Every member of your staff who works on a file will be recorded, whether they simply view the information or make changes. You’ll also be able to monitor the productivity of the whole company and break that information down into departments. This allows you to easily see where improvements need to be made and to pinpoint issues, whether they’re employee-based, or process-based.
- Defined Hierarchy and Access Control. A good business process automation solution allows you to define hierarchy in your company and to limit access depending on employee position. This allows information to be stored and maintained in a more secure environment in which only certain people are allowed access.
- Improves Regulatory Compliance. Regulatory compliance is a top concern for many industries and it’s often a tedious part of the administrative process. Fortunately, these regulations follow a very precise regimen and they fit well with the automated workflow solution, so you’ll never be left vulnerable to fines or down time due to missed steps in the process.
- Increases Employee Satisfaction. BPA does one thing exceptionally well – it streamlines workflow for your employees. This allows them to contribute more effectively and to build confidence in their abilities. It takes some of the pressure off of employees who routinely handle an abundance of work, allowing for improved employee satisfaction and a less stressful work day.
- AP Automation Solution. Revenue cycle management is one area where BPA is vastly superior to outdated manual methods, especially in larger companies or those with many accounts. The use of automation here can help your company eliminate fees from missed payments, decrease the amount of time for outstanding client payments, and manage record keeping in a more efficient manner to meet all compliance and oversight goals.
How to Determine the Right Solutions for Your Business
There are many excellent business process automation solutions on the market. The key is determining which solution is right for your company’s needs. This process starts with a self-evaluation. Take a good inventory of your business practices from start to finish. Talk to employees to see what their concerns are, and where the pain points in efficiency are most obvious.
Once you’ve completed your assessment of business needs, you should be able to make a concise list of the types of problems you’d like your BPA software to solve. Make certain that your solution will allow those processes to continue to flourish while improving the areas where there are issues in productivity.