Business Process Automation is more than just the enhancement of workflow by machination and automatization of certain aspects of a business. In fact, it is the orchestration, integration and dynamic process automation of various business processes, as stated by Sanjay Mohapatra in his book.
While working professionals know only of the tip of the iceberg with products such as Zapier which pick up workflow status from apps and completes automated notifications & actions, there is more to the process.
As Laserfiche indicates, people take the following systems for granted:
However, until we speak about the particularities we benefit from the automation transition, we cannot fully grasp the tools which have been put in place that make life easier and cost-efficient.
We will dive straight into it focusing on the processes of a business which have been subjected to automation:
1. Manual and mechanical work
Not all avenues of work welcome constant addition of new methods and approaches. Some tasks remain repetitive and time consuming for us.
Additionally, the human element in these processes risk causing error and effects the entire line of work inevitably. The types of processes where automation can bring about efficiency, cost & time management range from manufacturing assembly line, production updates, security, order filling, shipping, archiving, cataloguing, billing and so forth.
Check out the short video where bots are proving to be an irreplaceable tool at the workplace.
2. Automated status report and assistance
This applies to anything where a present status check is required in order to make a new transaction or update. Consider the long line at an iPhone launch.
You have come to purchase a phone on a lease. In order to check if you qualify, the salesman needs to quickly input your details into their app. The computer systems between the store and your bank interact at digital light speed, informs if you are credible and qualify to move onto to the next step of the transaction.
Understand the time management constraints and the rush to meet demands of the customers in waiting.
Time is actually money.
3. Tracking and notification procedures
We have seen the footage of cargo being stored and moved by these automated, sensor-based robots which carry all kinds of loads.
There they are:
Besides the kinetics of it all, tracking allows for companies to know the present condition of their product, its destination and movement history. Each item is treated as unique, like citizens in their own universe.
4. One-on-one user interaction
Now, with the help of digital databases where real-time business is carried out, an employee can engage in their profile with optimum convenience.
From checking in on when you entered work, how many paid leave days remain to the data logs consisting of all work done and other such tasks, automation replaces this chore where we previously needed a supervisor or HR Officer to help us out.
5. Replace dangerous manual jobs
We have come a long way. Human innovation not only makes life easier but makes it safer for those innovating it. Dangerous and hazardous work determined there is no value to risking the good health of the employees.
This kind of gritty work has been replaced by driverless cars, military & personal drones, space & sea exploration, farming, nuclear experimentation and warfare are just basic examples.
The whiteboard animation by Schneider Electric Software definitely addresses a lot of ways to reduce dangerous and often times time-consuming tasks.
6. Data entry & management
Consider the repetitive, and often times boring work, that involved accumulated data entry in one-go. This bulk level data entry job of batch processing no longer needs time-consuming manual entry anymore.
Moreover, the data is then processed and catalogued accordingly, whether it be electronic signatures, archiving or even budget analysis. Automation handles that at fixed intervals.
7. Research oriented processes
Coupled with handmade and digital data records, automation can now combine to provide us with virtual, interactive system. These systems are put in place to extract, analyze, and perform various research heavy tasks.
Examples range from scientific, legal, transactional, weather & climate, geographical to cosmological and many distinct research specializations.
8. Customer support
Thus far, we mostly discussed the automated convenience of one end of the transaction: the businesses and suppliers. This leaves us to speak about the customer interaction with your system. Previously, they would send handwritten letters, and then emails for queries and requests and all manners of transaction.
Imagine a customer complaint system. Now, it is difficult to respond to all complains, let alone catalogue them correctly so it reaches the right department. With automation, businesses can filter customer input and respond with already established replies and solutions.
These solutions would be based on customer research, frequently asked questions, keywords pertaining to the scenario and a unique message offering a solution to it. Check out Leankit, Perfect Coffee and Baremetrics in this regard.
9. Social media incorporation
We began to reach customers directly & virtually instead of the old days of the door-to-door in-person culture. Right now, we think of regular social media promotion and outreach as advanced steps.
However, when taken into account the human hours it goes regularly posting, updating and informing, it seems as though we have not come far enough.
10. Communication management
Businesses need to collaborate in order to grow as one instead of cutting each other down and the overall quality in that certain industry.
11. Lead management
As we know, sales leads are imperative for the survival of any business. It refers to a potential customer who has shown interest in your enterprise by providing their contact information.
Companies are constantly putting out eye-catching adverts out there as well as cold calls to make themselves known to a customer.
Instead of making your sales team put unending hours into reaching out to these leads in the hope of making a sale, automation has made it possible for software systems to find out as much information as possible before an actual direct is made to them.
12. All-in-one features
Certain elements discussed above have evolved into swiss knife computer systems which carry out several functions of a business under one roof.
Sales, social media content and alerts are done automatically by-products such as Thoughtbot. Others help save money by carrying out all back-office tasks by combining your Quote Roller, Google Docs and Mail, among others, together through systems such as Great Black Speakers.
Let’s go over a quick recap but this time include all these applications in a practical case study.
Yield and productivity will never go out of demand. The assurance of its superior quality relies upon the removal of human error and the freeing up of tasks which can easily be done by the machine.
This leaves the real work with the more important elements to be dealt with by a human and essentially give an input which no machine can ever match.