Business Automation Transforms Your Business and Customer Experience
Business Automation (also known as "Business Process Automation" or "BPA") systematically replaces manual processes with intelligent rules-driven automation, just-in-time analytics, and open collaboration. Often this is achieved with business automation tools.
By automating manual business processes, significant benefits can be realized:
A workflow engine (sometimes called a "business rules engine") is an application that runs with a business automation system and makes decisions automatically based on preset rules. These decisions usually involve transitioning to a specific path, task or action in a workflow definition, for instance assigning a task to someone or saving a document to a particular folder in a document management system.
Business metrics related to automated processes are stored in a relational database. Reports and information can be displayed in real time and scheduled for distribution when users need them. Use visual reports and dashboards to paint a complete picture that can easily be shared around your organization. With dashboards and reports, a business can follow team progress against Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and use business scoreboards to track the overall efficiency of business processes to drive improvements.
Even the most automated business processes require human involvement and collaboration at some point in the process. While smart rules, bots, and similar intelligent tools can help make business workflows more efficient, a process that runs entirely on auto-pilot can eventually generate unexpected outcomes. When people are involved in a process, they need tools that allow them to collaborate and answer questions. For instance, someone might provide insufficient information to request an expense and wonder why their request was returned. Including discussion tools as part of the process allows stakeholders to communicate directly, whether it's before, during or at the end of a process.
Once business processes are built out and tested, it's time to roll them out to the relevant users. In some cases this could be the entire employee population, in other cases, it could be a single department, outside vendors or customers. Access to processes is provided through a Web portal where users can submit requests, check statuses or complete tasks depending on their role. This self-service portal houses all processes and forms but many employees will also interact through email alerts. For instance, a manager may receive an email alert indicating approval is needed for a new hire. The manager clicks "Approve" in the email and the process automation system updates the task and moves forward with the next step.
Here are some manual processes that can benefit from business process automation solutions:
Currently, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is getting a lot of headlines as a replacement for manual, screen-based work performed by employees, typically in service agent roles. RPA automatically analyzes everyday tasks and movements performed during an employee's regular work day and then determines how to automate the screen movements, keystrokes, logins, etc. RPA can drastically reduce the rote work done by employees and free up there time to focus on more strategic and customer-facing interaction.
We've produced a variety of eBooks and tools that show the return on investment you'll gain when applying business automation across the company. Check out our ROI Calculator and download our Workflow ROI Guide.
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