Office Automation Definition: Replacing manual, off-system office processes and workflows with automated systems that orchestrate tasks and use business logic to make previously human decisions.
Office Automation Efforts Deliver Efficiency
Automation efforts are intended to reduce manual processes and provide a consistent framework for getting work done accurately. Tasks are defined and connected into a series of actionable, automated steps that are carried out consistently every time through office automation software.
Some back-office areas that can leverage an office automation system include:
- Human Resources
- Product Development
In many cases, even for large organizations, systems and processes routinely amount to no more than people emailing spreadsheets and documents around for review. Obviously, these are not best-in-class ways to handle the flow of information between people and systems. In fact, all these manual methods are more likely to frustrate and impede business goals rather than accomplish them.
Manual office processes ensure
- Information is lost
- Stakeholders experience frequent interruptions
- Mistakes and misunderstandings occur regularly
- Deadlines are missed
- Communication is difficult
- Data is re-entered multiple times
- Reporting and monitoring the process is impossible
- There is no audit trail
- Systems designed to automate back-office processes can handle all of these issues and much more.
- Information stays within the system at all times. Requests, approvals and all related documents and communication are forever retained within the system.
- Stakeholders are only alerted when there is an action for them to take (no more "Reply All" emails) and taking an action like approving a request requires a few clicks.
- Mistakes and misunderstandings are greatly reduced because there is only one information source of record. Activities and communications are all visible.
- Deadlines are much more likely to be met thanks to alerts, reminders, and infinitely less time spent searching for people and information.
- Communication is streamlined and tied closely to the process itself. Comment right within the system and alert only those who need to see it.
- Data is re-entered multiple times. Enter information once, pass it through the process and then push it into another system if needed.
- Reporting and monitoring tools are built into the system and allow complete visibility into performance and all activity through dashboards.
- Audit trails are also built into the system, allowing a permanent, shareable record of all transactions and activities.
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