Business Process Automation and Why It’s Important for You
In a nutshell, business process automation allows you to take the tedious tasks in running your company and make them more efficient. There are a plethora of different programs and vendors for business processes. You can find numerous ways to streamline your workflows, either by department or company wide.
Most companies today automate many of their administrative functions, accounting protocols, and even their marketing and sales. Automation allows you to develop better workflows because they conform to a method that’s identical every time it’s used.
Efficiency increases in areas where you can automate the process. For instance, you virtually eliminate keying errors that arise from transferring data manually. If you’re using an automated program to bring the information from one set of documents forward to a different area of the business, the program will automatically compare information. In this way, the user can get a notice when information doesn’t line up – keying in the wrong digit in an address or phone number can be corrected immediately.
Automating the bulk of your business processes has been shown to increase productivity and profit. When used correctly, your business process automation efforts can be measured in ROI. Data can be generated in reports that help your management to pinpoint areas for improvement and note areas where the process works exceptionally well.
How Business Process Automation (BPA) Improves Your Business
Most businesses look for new ways to improve their automation efforts. The reality is that, in today’s fast moving technological world, the competition is already using automation efforts to increase productivity. A business that did everything manually would handicap themselves in a competitive marketplace.
Here are a few ways that successful automation can improve your business workflow:
- Eliminate or Minimize Manual Tasks. business process automation software is all about taking tedious tasks and allowing machine learning to accomplish them. This can run the gamut from making web forms that fill in automatically to initiating email responses based on customer action. These tasks can be accomplished because the workflow is set to respond once a set action is triggered, freeing up employee time to concentrate on tasks that need an individual response and higher level of thought.
- Decrease Costs. While a new system does mean an investment, when implemented correctly it will decrease costs for the company. BPA might make oversight more accurate so that stock is better accounted for or it might improve the revenue cycle management. Whatever the type of automation, one of the main benefits is that it improves organizational flow to decrease wasteful expenditures.
- creased Employee Productivity. Your business process automation system, once fully integrated, streamlines workflow for employees. This increased productivity allows for fewer man hours to complete tasks and often improve employee satisfaction.
- Better Oversight and Robust Reporting Options. Your BPA solution offers better oversight for your business. With the right software or service, you can tailor reports to keep up to date track of different aspects of your business.
- Offers Documentation Accountability. In any business, keeping track of edits on documentation can be integral to determining who last handled a client file or process. A good solution allows you to track which employees accessed and changed documentation.
- Allows for Establishment of Hierarchy. Your BPA should allow for better establishment of hierarchy in your company. You can set documentation and specific areas of your database so that they can only be accessed by set personnel. You can also set workflows so that the proper officials are notified and reminded of processes throughout a client lifecycle.
- Maintain Consistency Throughout Organization. Your business process automation solution will allow you to set a protocol that stands throughout specific departments or throughout the entire company. Making a set workflow for each aspect of your project lifecycles means that mistakes will be caught earlier and training processes are easier to manage because each employee follows the same protocol each time a task is completed.
- Improved Communication Options. Your BPA will allow you to keep real time records of each aspect of your workflow. This means that each member of your staff to access a file will be notified of the latest changes. This limits the potential for mistakes due to a lack of communication. Your business process management solution should also offer robust tools to allow for better internal communication among different departments and colleagues.
Using Document Management Software for Increased Productivity
Document management software, sometimes known as enterprise content management or ECM software, offers a robust solution for your entire organization. This type of solution is one that allows you to integrate the same type of software throughout your company, making training between departments much easier to manage.
Some advantages to using a full document management system include:
Access to Information in Real Time. A full document management system allows each employee to access information in real time. If the sales team makes changes to client information, the marketing team and accounts payable are also notified of these changes. This type of robust feature allows your staff to seamlessly communicate for better customer service and higher profitability.
Digital Conversion. Some companies may not want to go completely away from paper. But your document management software will allow you to integrate all types of records and communication into one system. This means that you’ll be able to gather the data from all of your lines of communication and use it to better market, generate reports, and most importantly, project revenue.
Search and Retrieval Features. With manual records, an employee would need to search through files or email records to find information. With all of your documentation located in one system, searching for a set document or a specific client’s information becomes faster and easier, freeing up employee time and making the process far more customer friendly.
Security Features. Your ECM software includes security features to keep you up to the latest standards and regulatory compliance. This allows for a better oversight of which individuals had access to records or made changes in documentation. It also offers more robust safety features for data security.
Simplified Storage. Paper records take up a great deal of space. In many industries, records cannot be destroyed for a set period of time. Digital records allow you to store massive amounts of data in the cloud or in a server which takes up a very limited amount of space.
Clearly Defined Processes. When you create workflows, they offer you a way to clearly define the protocol for employees to follow every time they complete a task. This system works more efficiently than allowing staff to complete tasks on their own. It allows for better training and the workflow will catch mistakes and missing steps so that the process runs much smoother.
How Document Capture Software Improves Workflow and Intelligence
Document Capture Software offers an excellent solution for companies that manage a great deal of records from various platforms and communication methods. In many companies, employees use text, email, website portals, faxes, paper documents, and phone calls to communicate with clients and each other. When you consider the massive amount of information that your company does not record, it’s obvious that there is a great deal of data that you could be taking advantage of for better productivity.
Document capture software allows you to capture the documentation from every platform and source, including scanners, email servers and watched network directories Once captured, the information contained within the documentation can then be automatically classified and filed within the system. Client files are maintained so that each new contact is recorded and each staff member is apprised of the latest changes in that file lifecycle.
Information can then be extracted from the documentation to work within the system. Documents aren’t simply saved in a digital image, the information within the image can be extracted individually, so that names, dates, integral information is added to the database for easy searchability and verification.
Your document capture system allows you to route documents to the proper channels. You can develop workflows so that each document triggers the next step in the journey.
Developing Your Best Business Process Automation Integration
Business process automation allows you business better access to records and a more efficient way to keep up to date with technology. The question isn’t whether you need to work with BPA, but how you’ll integrate the latest changes into your company. The best method is by getting all staff on the same page and making the change mandatory throughout the organization.
Making a mandatory change means that each employee will work to train on the new system simultaneously. Work with vendors who will help in training staff, provide great materials for self study, and a company that offers robust customer support while you integrate. If you choose a brand new system, it’s important to choose a point person who can work to become proficient with the system and act as a liaison for any technological questions.