Automating Processes and Workflows: What You Need to Know

Productivity Technology

Companies that want to achieve long-term growth must regularly review the processes they rely on to do business. Most organizations have similar types of needs with respect to processing orders, performing financial functions, managing human resources and controlling assets. Most of these workflows require the creation, processing and filing of paper documents. 

If the underlying processes continue to be inefficient, the organization will never reach its full potential. That’s why business process automation is so important.

Developing a business process can bring together several different tasks within your business and creating one cohesive method for managing jobs and clients. Without a business process, it can be challenging to guarantee timelines, set expectations, and maintain consistency throughout your business. 

If you want to learn how your business can improve its bottom line by automating repetitive or paper-intensive workflows and processes, keep reading or check out our full case study on how we automated our own A/P process.  

Download the PDF Case

How to Implement Business Process Optimization

Business process optimization has a lot of potential for growing a company. Fortunately, implementing optimization with your business only requires four steps to be successful.

1. Identify the Process That Needs Improvement

The first step companies must take when optimizing a process is picking the process to address. Even when the goal is something like better visibility and, thus, represents a process that may have become tough to follow, it’s vital that this first step includes defining what constitutes success.

So, in the case of better visibility, the goal might be to be able to track the production of one unit through an entire supply chain.  

2. Analyze the Current Process

Again, if a company were looking at its supply chain, the next step would be to analyze the process as it currently stands. 

  • Where does visibility break down? 
  • Why isn’t the current process offering easy tracking? 
  • When did the problem start? 
  • Is it possible to track back to the root cause?

Analysis often seems simple (“too much money is wasted on X”), but this step should be given plenty of time. It’s also best to bring in as many people as possible who are involved within each step so that they can give their feedback. Otherwise, a “successful” business process optimization initiative may only lead to more issues.

3. Implement the Business Process Optimization (BPO) Plan

The third step is to put an internal BPO champion in charge of implementation. This may represent a significant change to how things have traditionally been done, which is why experienced optimizers know they need to go over the changes with those who will be carrying them out and field any questions before getting started.

4. Monitor the Results

Once the changes have been put into motion, it’s essential to monitor the results. Did the plan achieve the desired goal? If not, make further changes and try again. This step also entails speaking with the various teams involved to ensure the desired changes didn’t result in any collateral damage.

Why Consider Business Process Automation?

A recent study by Automation Anywhere found that the typical office worker spends 40 percent of their time on repetitive, easily automated tasks.  In some cases, the amount of time saved could amount to entire workdays. Imagine what employees could do with this additional time?

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.  

However, by creating digital workflows and automating daily tasks, you can dramatically improve productivity, enhance the experience for your employees and reduce costs. Processing, distributing, and accessing data and information more efficiently can provide significant returns and significantly impact the user experience for both your employees and customers. 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. 

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!

At Office Interiors, we strongly believe that it is our responsibility to provide our customers with answers and information they need to make an informed decision. We aim to answer all the questions and concerns our customers might have. 

After reading this article, if you still have any questions feel free to contact one of our team members. We would love to have the opportunity to earn your business and help you to love the way you work!

Cody Turner
Digital Content Specialist
Office Interiors