There are numerous industry-specific challenges that most companies face on a daily basis:
- heavy document flow,
- too many manual tasks,
- human errors,
- lack of efficient inventory tracking or equipment monitoring,
- time-consuming communications,
- lengthy employee onboarding process…
In most cases, things like revenue, net income, overall performance, customer loyalty, and task completion can be significantly improved with steamlined business processes. By optimizing business processes and cutting down expenses, business automation software addresses all of these challenges.
According to the McKinsey Global Institute’s latest report, 50% of current work activities are technically automatable by adapting currently demonstrated technologies. It also revealed that 6 out of 10 occupations have over 30% of activities that can be accelerated.
Through implementing automated business system, you’ll take care of automating tasks and will have numerous operations done much faster, boost employees’ productivity, improve customer service, increase conversion rates, and reduce costs. Process and data automation done with a help of BPA principles and automation software can be implemented in almost any sector regardless of the company's specialization.
In this article, we’ve described the key benefits of BPA software. Find out what business process automation is, check our automation examples and see what business challenges it can solve!
What is Business process automation?
Business process automation: BPA is a set of planning and executing measures aimed towards business automation by utilizing business automation software which in its turn reduces the time required for completing manual, repetitive, time-consuming, data-intense, rule-based, and many other types of tasks.
An automated business system can include one or a combination of these innovative technologies:
- RPA (robotic process automation),
- Machine Learning,
- Artificial Intelligence,
- Internet of Things infrastructure, and other.
By integrating business process automation software, companies relieve employees from doing regular operations. As a consequence, they focus on more important things that require a higher degree of creativity and human engagement.
Automated business system software allows to achieve various goals, for instance:
- to process data,
- generate automated reports,
- manage enterprise resources,
- keep records of equipment and inventory,
- optimize warehousing,
- analyze and improve production life-cycle,
- eliminate human errors in supply chains,
- ensure a thorough data-driven budgeting,
- increase customer loyalty with betterr communication, and more.
Business Process Automation Example
Let’s consider customer service in a banking organization.
For example, bank #1 offers consultancy on credits, loans, deposits, and other banking services. Customers can either come to the bank physically or receive service via phone.
A competing bank #2 develops an automation software product, which allows consumers to carry out transactions, pay bills, set up an account, exchange currencies with a few clicks from any device or location in the world.
Using Artificial Intelligence as a core technology in their business automation software, bank #2 provides users with personalized advice and financial plans, while an RPA bot undertakes data search, filling forms, making calculations, and other manual tasks. As a result, the bank dramatically streamlines customer service processes, increases user satisfaction, and earns a profit.
As a consequence, bank #1 loses clients. Potential customers choose its rival and some of existing customers leave bank #1.
The necessity to maintain a competitive edge is one of the main reasons why you should enhance workflow and improve your overall company’s performance.
IT-based operations comprise either automation of work activities or management of residual manual tasks (e.g., software employment for enterprise resource planning). By following this approach, banks can increase productivity and improve customer service by over 50% (“Automating the bank’s back office” McKinsey research).
Top 10 Business Process Automation Benefits
1. BPA Reduced costs
Reduced costs are one of the main advantages of BPA software. Through workflow optimization, a firm can significantly increase the overall efficiency and enhance employee performance. There are many automation examples implemented as tech solutions that you can integrate into your business processes to obtain these results.
For instance, you can employ
- a CRM system to automate sales processes and marketing,
- ERP—to improve resource management,
- LIMS—to streamline workflow, and
- an IoT-based platform — to provide remote equipment/environment monitoring.
Or you can turn to a robotic process automation.
Using an RPA bot, you can accelerate a variety of routine and data-intense operations such as manual data entry, search, sorting, email/call center communications such as NICE inContact, client support, customer verification, invoice generation, and request processing. The Deloitte Global RPA Survey found that RPA contributes to boosted productivity (86%) and cost reduction (59%).
According to Deloitte’s report, a $20 million investment in RPA can result in $100 million in revenue. It also revealed that with RPA technology, businesses can achieve up to a 50% reduction in costs while cutting processing time down from many minutes to just a few seconds. The Business Insider Intelligence’s AI in Banking survey found that AI integration could account for $416 billion of the total potential AI-enabled cost cuts across industries.
2. Business Process Automation Software: driver of innovative business approach and solutions
BPA software allows enterprises to significantly reduce the time for completing various job aspects. Hours turn into minutes, minutes turn into seconds, and in some cases, hours are reduced to seconds as well! Workers are relieved from performing mundane, repetitive, rule-based tasks and devote themselves to more important and revenue-generating activities.
Virgin Trains, a train operating company located in the UK, adopted an robotic process automation solution to return people their money in case of late-running trains. Supporting NLP (natural language processing), the service recognizes the key message in the customer’s text. With this solution, Virgin Trains reduced their time on email processing and communications by 85%.
3. Minimization of human errors with automating tasks by business process automation
Leveraging business process automation technology, you can minimize and even remove human errors altogether. Business automation software never gets tired and doesn’t make mistakes. Just imagine: machinery/equipment is remotely monitored, inventory is tracked to prevent losses and shortage, cargo is traced across the entire supply chain to ensure on-time delivery, lab samples are efficiently managed, calculations are instantly made, documents are carefully verified… Sounds great, doesn’t it?
According to Deloitte Analysis, banks that participated in the study saw accuracy rates of 96% with RPA solutions. One provider of financial services integrated cognitive technologies to fight off competition.
A proof-of-concept was developed for a cognitive platform created to analyze thousands of regulatory documents using technologies like NLP. With a self-learning capability under the hood, the solution aimed to increase accuracy and recorded a rate as high as 72%.
4. Predictive analytics and automated communication using business process automation
Depending on business-specific needs, predictive analytics has many use cases across a variety of industries:
- financial risk management,
- equipment/object/machinery maintenance,
- production flow/supply chain monitoring,
- process/inventory tracking, etc.
With big data analytics, you can prevent failures and reduce costs.
Furthermore, a business automation software can ensure automated communication ( including automated alerts) for employees when signs of a threat of defects, inventory shortage, possible risks, sample expiration, depleting resources, and abnormal energy consumption take place.
The Accenture’s Big Data Analytics in Supply Chain survey found that businesses that use advanced analytics in their daily supply chain processes achieve more significant benefits. They reduced the order-to-delivery cycle time by over 51%, enhanced demand-driven operations by 43%, and improved customer and supplier relationships by 33%.
5. Increased productivity by business process automation
Smartsheet report Automation in the Workplace revealed that about 60% of the surveyed workers could potentially save 6 or more hours a week if repetitive tasks were automated. 72% of respondents claim they would spend these saved hours to perform more valuable tasks, while 78% would dedicate themselves to more interesting and revenue-generating activities.
Automation software can replace humans in a wide range of work aspects or at least provide assistance to complete tasks faster. For example, with data visualization solutions and CRM applications, automated decisions will be more rapid and better supported with quality information.
A data analytics system can automatically create necessary reports according to the set parameters.
Many companies have already adopted AI-based chatbots to instantly answer customers’ frequently asked questions.
6. Improved business communications
Business process automation software is widely used to improve collaboration between workers, departments, and organizations.
Report generation, fast data exchange, data export/import in any format, integrated calls, incoming push notifications, and company news are examples of features that can be provided by mobile and web automated business products.
By implementing such an enterprise tool, you’ll achieve results such as
1) improved employee productivity,
2) enhanced team cohesion, and
3) quicker response to organizational changes.
7. Improving customer service with business process automation benefits
By simplifying and automating interactions with customers, your business can significantly increase the quality of services. Medical centers, banks, travel agencies, catering, retail, insurance, and other organizations will improve user engagement thanks to BPA software.
Let’s consider the case of a web automation software for hospitals (this type of a solution can be used across different industries). It allows patients to view doctors’ schedules, check test results, make payments, receive reminders, get online consultations, register for an appointment with a few clicks, participate in forums, and more.
The integration of such a useful system will allow you to not only help more people but increase revenue as well thanks to smoother processes.
… and increasing customer loyalty with automating processes
According to the report “The truth about customer loyalty, KPMG International, 2019”, 86% of consumers would recommend a service if they are loyal to the brand and 43% of buyers will remain loyal even after receiving bad experience.
When the quality of client service increases (as it does with business process automation), customer loyalty improves with it. Users enjoy receiving what they need—products, goods, answers, consultation, and information—faster than anywhere else.
By quickly and efficiently solving their issues, you increase their engagement, which makes consumers return to you again and again, spend more money, and recommend your goods/products to their friends.
Needed processes automation can be achieved with chatbots, CRM systems, RPA bots, web portals, or online delivery service, you can significantly improve customer loyalty and boost sales.
9. An efficient automated reporting system (part of business process automation software)
One way to improve a reporting system is to adopt a BPA methodology that will ensure automated calculation of key performance indicators (KPI), operating performance ratios, project success criteria, marketing performance indicators, and more. All the reports will be displayed on your screen using various graphs and tables with the option to download in the desired format. All of this data can be available in real-time.
In laboratories, for instance, reports accompany all ongoing processes enabling lab researchers to record and track important information, samples, inventory, finance, and resources. Find out how efficient reporting helps labs streamline internal activities and shorten costs.
10. Faster decisions gives you business process automation software
In accordance with “The evolution of process automation” report by IBM Institute, software automation systems can analyze data up to 25 times faster than the human brain. AI solutions are perfectly suited for accelerating data-based tasks such as decision making.
When different types of reports are quickly generated, real-time data analytics is enabled, leads are scored with specific scoring algorithms, and calculations are instantly performed, you can make informed decisions much faster.
In addition, you can centralize data within your enterprise so that employees don’t have to spend excessive time searching for information.
This is especially important for areas like
- strategic planning,
- financial risk management,
- negotiations, and
- customer relationship management.
Closing thoughts about importance of business process automation software
To sum up, there are many benefits of business process automation.
- Simultaneous review of multiple requests,
- efficient workflow management,
- online delivery/booking service,
- task/object/location tracking,
- instant data search,
- correct calculations,
- transparent document management, and more.
If you decide to created an automated company and leverage the power of business process automation software, first you need to consult with professional and make these important steps
- Define your key objectives,
- Analyze your current operations, and
- Decide which of them can be fully or partially automated.
This will help you identifying and implementing the ideal automation solution based on your business needs.
YSBM Group will help you realize your ideas for business process automation. To do this, we use a proof of concept (PoC) approach.
With it, you can test your chosen automation scenarios and gain a solid foundation both for implementing your own automation solutions and for developing a customized automation strategy.