Automation software and AI dominate our world. A business process automation tool will provide you with better insights into your backend, while connecting all components of your organization into a well oiled machine.
In this article:
- What is business process automation?
- What is business process management?
- 3 business process automation solutions for every company
- How to integrate business process automation tools into your company
What Is Business Process Automation?
Business process automation (BPA) is the digitization of complex business systems. It bridges gaps in business departments, improving operations with software tools. By adding automation tools a company can simplify a business, increase service quality, boost output, and reduce the costs associated with manual labor.
Business Process Automation vs Robotic Process Automation
The difference between the business process automation vs robotic process automation is scale. Robotic process automation (RPA) is technology that mimics human repetitive action via coding. Computed tasks are done more accurately, quickly, and for longer periods than a human is capable of.
BPA encompasses an organization as a whole optimizing departments by adding technology, ex: a system that runs inventory and procurement. RPA is software coding that focuses on specific tasks in business process automation, ex: AI data entry for a bill. Most BPA tools are layers of RPA software to create a multifunctional system.
What Is Business Process Management?
Business process management (BPM) isolates flaws in operational design. It combines team oversight, project management, and monitoring of new workflows to upgrade a company. BPM utilizes technology and automation as tools to revise procedures for the labor force. The goal of business process management is to find cost effective and high-yielding paths for growth.
3 Business Process Automation Solutions For Every Company
Automation is not just for big conglomerates, in fact, there are BPA tools specifically for small businesses. These are three areas that can be advanced with business process automation:
1. Bookkeeping And Accounting Automation
Accounting can be a long and arduous task. Using automation tools for interconnection saves a lot of time, money, and effort on bookkeeping. These tools apply core data processes like closing the books, bank account monitoring, expense filing, general ledger and sales channel management. BPA does this using numerous references to generate a more accurate analysis versus a manual survey.
Business process management alleviates accounting headaches in overbuilt companies. When an organization is overbuilt there is a lot of waiting for upper level approval. Business process automation tools revamp the approval process, to reduce stopgaps and keep up project momentum. Instead of siphoning power to one or two people, tech settings take over with parameters for “if” or “when” scenarios.
You can see business process automation at work in these accounting operations:
- Invoicing for orders
- Bill processing
- Batch transaction reconciliations
- File transference
- Report calculations and documentation
2. HR Automation
Onboarding new employees and maintaining employee files is a necessary part of business. A human resources management system (HRMS) makes this department more accessible for management and employees. This tool takes on the minutiae of your workers, from employee payroll to interpretative data of your labor costs. Sparing your HR personnel of office work so they are readily available for face-to-face interactions with staff.
An HR business process automation tool can help you manage:
- Retention and retrieval of employee records
- Management of employee tax forms
- Calculate and administer benefits
- Time tracking
- Reviews of online job applications
3. Marketing Automation
Marketing is essential and something that few companies can survive without. Unfortunately, digital marketing is chalk full of work about work; switching between a variety of platforms to communicate and update. These tasks are averted with a business process automation tool with a single framework for marketers to communicate internally and externally. Allowing C-level execs, developers, the production line, etc, to work hand-in-hand with the sales team for optimal performance.
Integrating Business Process Automation Tools Into Your Company
Many businesses add tech as a magic fix for complex operational problems. However, installing new tech tools in your workflow doesn’t happen overnight. You should have a game plan otherwise you could stall production. Utilize these business process management techniques to ease integration:
1. Identify How Operations Can Be Automated
Utilize a process map to diagram your workflows, showing all components of your company. The first pain points to address are the areas costing you extra time. Keep in mind this step also considers how employees will interact with tech, since staff is needed to manage business process automation tools.
2. Identify Business Goals
How would a BPA tool help you? Integrating any new technology into your business will require time, training, and a testing window to measure efficacy. To ensure it is a good fit, establish metrics that will mark achievement and set a time frame to gauge success.
3. Select The Most Accurate Tool
Selecting something that it is simple to use and that workers can quickly adapt for better results. It should work with pre existing tools that the company is using versus requiring a complete upheaval of all current operations for functionality.
4. Manage Changes
Tech comes with updates. Set-up exercises and tutorials for employees, particularly those that have daily tasks dependent on the system. Deliver continued instruction with regular training sessions so the entire organization is on the same page.
5. Measure Progress
Business process automation tools aren’t static; they should be developed with the company. Revisit your original objectives and identify whether it has advanced your goals. Re-evaluate whether it is still a viable solution, after all, it could be technology that is the thorn in your side.
Top 5 Business Process Automation Tools
Now that you’ve been briefed on business process management, here are 5 automation tools that can be molded for your business:
Kissflow: Automates business processes and track performance. You can integrate a wide variety of the organizational applications you already use. Plus create simple workflows for employees, with consideration of all performance obligations, while operating in a centralized location.
Nintex: Automate simple and critical business wide systems. Get assistance in developing and deploying processes with in-house software for visualizing the input/output of your company. Nintex is like a master copy, for a CEO looking to strengthen production and eliminate siphoning.
Zoho is an all encompassing automation tool that brings together a variety of work functions. It brings together accounting, HR, IT, sales, marketing, and customer service in an intuitive and complete package. Virtual accountants, AI sales assistants, and subscription pricing make this an approachable tech tool for small businesses.
Hubspot is an inbound marketing communication software. SaaS and e-commerce ventures get easy communication with up to 1 million contacts. This automation service manages sales campaigns, in one system, to increase lead conversion. They are evolving new task and project management features for larger teams.
Zapier is a middleman that links automation tools. If something doesn’t integrate with a tool you have chosen for your company this is the first place you should check for a quick fix. It requires no custom coding, but you are limited to processes designed by Zapier.
All Systems Go: Business Process Automation
Business process automation puts the company power back in your hands. It allows you to take a birds eye view of your operations, to address any number of production issues. It is not the end all be all, but it can give you a leading edge, acting as a virtual employee to serve your needs.