Business process automation (BPA) has the potential to transform your operations rapidly. Fundamentally, BPA involves managing data, processes, and information to reduce investment, costs, and resources. Implementing BPA can enhance your workflow’s efficiency, optimize it, and eventually result in higher profits.
BPA has managed to impact a significant number of industries. In fact, the biggest effect is on the healthcare and pharmaceuticals industry, where by the end of 2026 automation is expected to generate revenue of more than $900 million. It results in various benefits, including increased productivity, improved quality, greater visibility, and better operational stability.
So if you’re a business considering BPA, it’s no longer a question of why, but when you’re going to implement it. The world has never been as competitive as it is today; with blurred boundaries, a firm now competes at an international level. Due to this, firms must apply BPA to every area of their organization to ensure they remain relevant and retain their competitive advantage.
What is BPA?
Fundamentally, BPA is a technology that allows firms to save time and devote it to more critical tasks. It automates day-to-day, repetitive functions by shifting the responsibility of completing the job from a person to a machine.
Simply put, BPA could be as technical as automating multi-level approval workflows or as basic as an automated email response. Regardless of the area, BPA can help improve your tasks’ accuracy, consistency, and speed to increase operational efficiency. It can affect and enhance a wide range of departments in your organization, including:
- Inventory tracking
- Product development
- Human resources (HR)
- Delivery and logistics
Benefits of BPA
Process automation doesn’t come cheap; it’s a hefty investment, but the long-term benefits it results in offset the initial costs. Here are some ways your business can benefit from automating its business processes:
- Improved productivity: 40% of total productivity is lost to task switching. Automation reduces the time required to complete a task and switch to a different one, thereby boosting your productivity since your employees will not be able to focus on more complex and revenue-generating tasks.
- Better communication: An automated workflow can organize your communication by centralizing tasks. This workflow ensures all information and updates are recorded, and places control to prevent unauthorized personnel from accessing it.
- Reduce costs: Performing tasks manually could result in errors and inefficiencies, increasing your business costs. Automation can reduce costs linked to errors related to late approvals and payments, for instance, and also lead to lower administrative costs.
- Increased operational stability: BPA lays down strict guidelines regarding process actions and the control document. This eliminates any room for processes and tasks being missed. Since everything is ingrained in the system, it removes any issues requiring verification, thereby resulting in greater reliability and dependability.
- Enhanced quality: Automated processes leave minimal room for error since every product is manufactured, and each service is performed with consistency without any deviations. This greater consistency leads to better reliability of your delivered products and services.
- Higher customer satisfaction: Since you’re delivering high-quality products and services more consistently, ultimately, your customers will be more satisfied with your performance. This satisfaction will result in greater dependency, improving your relationship with your customers, and boosting your business in the process.
Strategic Ways To Automate Your Business Processes
It is safe to say that BPA is a vital technology that businesses today must not skimp out on. Here are nine strategic ways your organization can automate its business processes:
Perform process mining
It’s essential to perform process mining, which can help you quickly identify inefficiencies, areas of improvement, and suggest ways you can achieve your desired business outcomes based on your business data. It gives you the opportunity to view your business processes from every angle, find out what exactly is happening in your business, and identify areas that need changing in order to yield better outcomes.
Many processes also involve critical thinking and complex decision-making, which demand input from an actual person. When applied at an organizational level, process mining can help you discover automation opportunities for operational excellence, create a case for process monitoring, and support your digital transformation strategy.
Gradually automate manual processes
While the idea of automating every process instantly may seem tempting, it’s essential to do it slowly, especially where manual tasks are concerned. You can opt for an end-to-end solution that will automate your entire business, but this will be time-consuming and costly.
Instead, it’s better to opt for a step-by-step approach where you’re automating one task at a time, ensuring you’re able to go live more quickly, too. Later on, you can include more automation techniques to transition your organization towards BPA.
Automate repetitive tasks
One area that will significantly improve through automation is the performance of repetitive tasks. Automation allows your organization to execute time-consuming tasks much more quickly. It is ideal for areas that don’t involve decision-making and are repetitive, like inputting into multiple systems.
Fully understand any potential areas of improvement
While it’s essential to know how to automate your business, you must also know your business inside out. By having a comprehensive understanding of how the process currently works, you can determine how you can automate the entire system.
For this, it’s better to break down a process into simpler steps to ensure you’re double-checking every step and refining it during the automation process. Every step must fall in line with the others and ensure it’s performing to boost the others rather than hinder their performance.
Automate the connection between different software
Creating an automated connection between the different software your business regularly uses can boost operations significantly. Creating automated links between, for instance, your project management and task assignment tools can save your team hours and help improve the performance quality too.
Additionally, it can help increase accountability and transferability since task completion in one area will automatically be updated on all systems, notifying the person responsible for completing the next step of the process.
Automate smaller tasks for a significant impact
Similar to automating repetitive tasks, focusing on automating smaller tasks instead can result in a massive difference. For starters, the automation process is much easier to implement compared to more complex workflows. Additionally, the testing process to verify whether the automation is actually working is easier to execute.
Automating numerous smaller tasks can instantly boost your business’s productivity levels. It doesn’t need to be complicated at all; even something as simple as sending automated email replies can result in greater productivity and better time management.
Start with core areas
While you can perform a complete business overhaul and start with automating everything, it’s better to start with core tasks first. Core processes, such as data-driven marketing automation, sales processes, and lead qualification, may demand greater attention and result in more benefits when automated.
Automating these areas enhances your core competencies, giving your organization the capabilities it needs to grow. BPA can multiply your profits and boost your business’s overall productivity by helping you take advantage of your core competencies.
Establish automation targets
There’s no point investing time and money into automating your business processes if it’s not going to result in greater profitability. Before you overhaul your existing processes, it’s essential to have specific targets in place to gauge how well your improvements are doing.
For instance, some automation processes may automate tasks, so your team has more free time on their hands such as scheduling social media posts and linking different channels so one post goes up everywhere. The question you need to be asking yourself is whether this free time will be utilized in an area that could add value to your business.
This goal needs to be measurable and defined so you can determine the impact of even minor adjustments. In other areas, automating a workflow will automatically result in goals such as a higher number of leads. Having goals in place helps you stay on track and set benchmarks to gauge your success.
Encourage automation in your culture
When you start automating your processes, you’ll begin seeing it for what it is – ways to improve your business. It would be best if you inculcated this culture in your organization to ensure your employees aren’t resistant to change and start noticing repetitive and mundane tasks that could be improved through automation.
It’s essential to reward team members for automating tasks and generating better results to encourage this behavior. Automation benefits the entire organization by boosting efficiency and utilizing resources in the best way possible, and the sooner your employees embrace this, the better.
Every business today must consider how they can simplify tasks, and one way to do this is through business process automation. It results in a wide range of benefits for any organization and helps your human resources department focus on areas that demand greater attention.
BPA isn’t something that can be executed overnight and requires a gradual approach to ensure any loopholes aren’t present. Once implemented, though, it can yield long-term benefits for your business.