An Introduction to Business Process Automation

Productivity Technology

Why is business process automation useful?

Developing a business process is, fundamentally, bringing together several different tasks within your business and creating one cohesive method for managing jobs and clients. We have previously discussed how to create a business process and why it’s essential.

Without a business process, it can be challenging to guarantee timelines, set expectations, and maintain consistency throughout your business. This is even truer when multiple teams or departments are involved in a single project.

Another important reason for creating a business process is to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies. Of course, finding problems is a lot easier than creating solutions. Many business owners and managers will look at a business process, know it needs improvement, but be unsure of how to make those improvements.

This is where business process automation, also known as workflow automation, comes into play. Now that your business has created an effective business process it’s time to take mundane, time-consuming tasks and look for automation opportunities.

Why Consider Business Process Automation?

A lot of people look at workflow automation through the lens of, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Successful businesses may wonder if investing time or resources into automation is worth it when their existing process has seemingly worked well enough to this point.

The fantastic thing about workflow automation is that automation doesn’t just improve the areas where it is applied. By automating some tasks, humans can put more time, effort, and focus on other functions that are more valuable.

There is a great, simple chart that shows how much time stands to be gained by automating certain tasks based on the time the task requires and how often it is performed. In some cases, the amount of time saved could amount to entire work days. What could employees do with this additional time?

The possibilities are endless depending on the organization and personnel roles in question. Extra time could be spent building relationships with clients, doing product research, developing stunning proposals, or focusing on difficult and complex tasks. Freeing up people to do their best work is the ultimate goal of business process automation, and it’s made possible because automation allows processes to be streamlined.

Streamline Processes for the Best Results

Imagine for a moment that you run a factory (actual factory owners and managers won’t have to imagine very hard for this exercise). You need a new piece of machinery, and there are two options available that both cost the same amount of money and do the same quality work.

The difference between these two machines is how they are built. One machine has dozens of different parts all working together to get the job done. If one piece fails, the entire machine ceases to function. The second machine only has a few parts. There are fewer areas of the machine that could fail and, if any parts were to fail, they could be identified and replaced quickly. Which one of those machines would you buy?

A business process is similar to the above example. A process without automation has many steps or moving parts. This means more opportunity for delays or errors that could stall the entire job from being completed.

On the other hand, a business process with automated tasks is much more streamlined. Automated tasks are completed consistently and efficiently every single time. Multiple tasks could be automated and grouped to create a more straightforward, effectual business process. There is less opportunity for failure and more time for employees to focus on the tasks that need their attention most.

Workflow Automation Allows Businesses to Expand Rapidly

Before automation, there was only one way for a business working at 100% to grow their operation, and that was to hire more staff. This means additional salaries, time dedicated to training the new team members, and potentially expanding office space to accommodate new hires. That is not a very agile process of growing business operations.

Now, with workflow automation, time-consuming tasks can be automated with the goal of cutting down the time it takes to work through a business process from beginning to end. In some cases, processes that used to take days can be completed in under an hour.

This automation creates additional capacity for a business to take on new clients and bigger jobs without having to invest time, money, and resources in a slow, outdated expansion process. If new staff is acquired, their impact can be amplified by the processes supporting them. Automation allows human employees to spend their time doing tasks that will have the most considerable influence on the success of the business.

Ready to Automate Your Business Process?

Are you excited about workflow automation but still unsure of how to take that first step? At Office Interiors, we use industry-leading technology to automate tasks within your business process.  One of the tools at our disposal are document management systems, which can enable you to collect, catalogue, transfer, and store documents in a seamless, automated manner.

Want to learn more about workflow automation?  Fill out this form, and one of our experts will reach out to answer all your questions!

Cory Porteous
Marketing Manager
Office Interiors

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