- August 11, 2017
By Joanna Sommer, InformedMag
Leveraging technology to automate workflows is what Business Process Automation (BPA) is all about. The objective of BPA is to reduce human intervention as much as possible to save time and money. ‚ÄúSide effects‚Äù such as improved service levels and cost savings help build loyalty through customer satisfaction.
By Joanna Sommer, Senior Editor, InformedMag
Leveraging technology to automate workflows is what Business Process Automation (BPA) is all about. The objective of BPA is to reduce human intervention as much as possible to save time and money. “Side effects” such as improved service levels and cost savings help build loyalty through customer satisfaction.
However, not all processes are susceptible to automation. Implementing BPA for the sake of it can actually work negatively for your business, costing you a lot in the long-run. In today’s context, getting to market quickly, while driving down price is a key competitive advantage. As a result, you’ll see companies that have correctly identified which processes to automate have enjoyed immense success.
7 ways how Business Process Automation (BPA) can help your business
1. Automate repetitive tasks to better utilize your human capital
Security monitoring, stock control, assembly lines, time tracking and random quality checks are some areas where you can successfully implement a BPA. This will help you free up manpower to be used in more creative endeavors. Also, highly monotonous tasks tend to demotivate employees, resulting in high turnover for your business. Using your staff in productive work, where they are constantly challenged will help retain them, while ensuring the work at hand gets done.
2. Uniformity of work
Automating certain manufacturing processes and assembly lines will ensure your output is uniform. With human intervention, this is not possible. Uniformity of your output will ensure fewer quality defects, reduced waste and accurate predictions of raw material needs. BPA also ensures that your output remains fairly stable, allowing you to make more accurate production forecasts and related planning.
3. Reduced time, increased output, or both
Manual tasks take time as they are performed by humans with varying skill levels. No two employees are going to be equal, thus there is no way you can accurately forecast the time needed for specific jobs. BPA brings in uniformity (discussed above) and reduces errors, thereby speeding up the entire process. In short, the right BPA technique will get the job done faster, or get more done in the same time.
4. Difficult, fact-based decisions can be made with ease
Decisions relating to granting of loans are highly dependent on many financial numbers. And analyzing these numbers is a time-consuming task. Entering the right parameters into a computer system will help automate the entire process. As a result, the employee has to simply enter the loan applicant’s details and the system will run a complete financial analysis and help the employee make a decision.
5. Risky activities can be handled with ease
Some job roles carry a sense of uncertainty and risk, which, under worst case scenarios can result in injury, legal issues and sometimes, death. Jobs that involve high risk photography, working with chemicals or explosives can easily be automated, thus minimizing risk to your employees and business.
6. IT Process automation
The IT department plays a crucial role in your business and it needs to be monitored continuously. Some of the routine activities relating to your IT department are backing up data, virus and malware checks and routine software updates. And most of these tasks need to be conducted outside of office hours, when the computers are not being used. This leads to additional costs involved with allocating IT professionals for the said jobs. BPA helps automate many of these tasks, allowing you to save money in the long-run and also have clear reports on what tasks were done and when. There is almost no room for error.
7. Reduced errors
When planning the output of a certain process, be it manufacturing or service, one must always account for human error. However, BPA, has proven to be much more dependable after extensive review, where once the parameters are keyed in, you can pretty much expect the planned output (unless in rare cases of a system breakdown). However, in the case of humans, their skill levels, and physical and mental health vary, thereby having direct impact on output. E.g. a customer service rep, on a good day may be able to handle X number of calls effectively. However, if he is unwell or having a bad day, his output will see a dramatic drop.
As much as BPA can bring many benefits to your business, you must keep in mind that every process cannot be automated. BPA is a strategic decision and must be taken following careful study of your process and manpower, and if done right, will become a competitive advantage.
What process have you automated within your business and how has it helped you?
About the Author
Joanna is the Senior Editor for InformedMag and is passionate about security and tech. She has been working in the home safety and security field for 5 years. Joanna loves to travel and enjoys going to hot yoga and Barre classes. She is dedicated to creating articles that both educate and help people make an informed purchasing decision.
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