March 9, 2020

Automation for Business: Smart Tips You Need To Know

Automation
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Keeping costs low and outputs high is a goal that all businesses can agree on. Using technology as a means to achieve this goal is a primary solution. Automation for business is changing how businesses function. It’s helping employees perform better with less headache and supporting management teams oversee operations with transparency.  

In this article, we aim to give you everything you need to know about using automation for business. We will define what it means, share examples of automation in use, and explain the reasons why it’s pivotal to implement automation for business for success. 

What is Business Process Automation (BPA)

Business process automation (BPA) is the use of technology to automate business processes. That seems obvious. So, to take it a step further, BPA is the strategic use of automation software to decrease costs and increase efficiency. 

It’s important to note that BPA is different from Industrial Automation (IA). IA is concerned with using robots to decrease physical dependence on humans. On the other hand, BPA works alongside human resources and augments their capabilities. 

BPA is best used in the following instances:

  • For an inherently repetitive process 
  • Processes that don’t require complex human thinking
  • Processes that need to be error-free (i.e. data and reports)
  • The process should be standardised across the organisation 


Process Automation Examples

There’s no doubt that businesses have many processes to function. The good news is that most operations can benefit from automation. Here are a few use cases in which it helps everyone to implement automation for business. 

  • Employee onboarding: Hiring the right talent is one of the most vital processes in managing a successful business. However, it can take time to fill out paperwork, arrange logistical elements like payment and train a new employee on business practices. Automation can help to make the process smooth and ensure that everyone is kept in the loop on the status of a new employee joining the team. It helps to eliminate bottlenecks and excess paperwork. 
  • Purchase orders: Most companies need to submit purchase orders to external vendors for goods or services. Often, these purchase orders are recurring, but they rely on people to submit and approve. Instead, if you implement automation software, the purchase orders can be automatically accepted and sent to the vendor without a second thought. Not only will automation save time and the nuisance of an employee having to remember to fulfil an order, but it will also avoid data entry errors at the hands of humans. 
  • Accounts payable: For a financial team, paying accounts can be burdensome. From endless paperwork to cross-checking that the numbers are right, all the busy work can cause delays. These delays can result in unwanted late fees, too. Then, your business is stuck storing endless paperwork. Instead, you can use automation software to process paperwork digitally and automatically transfer payment. 

Why Choose Automation for Business? 

You’re reading this because you already know it’s vital to use the help of automation in your business. Businesses who use automation software like that of SolveXia can gain a 10x increase in productivity. 

Business process automation helps organisations in so many ways. Some of the most prominent benefits include: 

Digital transformation: 

The technological landscape is always expanding because of innovation. For organisations of any size, it often takes stepping stones and time for changes to take root. Business process automation serves as an excellent start for digital transformation within an organisation. This is because it’s easy to implement, and changes are immediately realised. For example, if you were to begin using data automation tools like SolveXia for a business process, you’d be up and running on the same day as it works with all your current data systems and doesn’t need installing. Your team would have all the support they needed, and the easy-to-use interface makes the introduction of technology seamless. 

Clarity: 

Managing a business means that you have to know what’s happening in all departments. With automation technology, you have complete transparency across the board. This is because data is updated on real-time dashboards, and you can pull reports to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) at any time. 

Streamlined processes: 

When you remove the need for a human to conduct repetitive tasks, you also eliminate bottlenecks and key person dependencies. Business process automation helps to ensure that processes run smoothly, and nothing falls through the cracks because all steps happen consecutively and automatically. 

Compliance: 

For any type of business, government compliance and regulation is essential. This is especially true in the financial industry. As such, data automation tools are equipped to manage regulatory compliance and reduce compliance risk. For example, tools like SolveXia allows for easy to pull audit trails that can be automatically sent to whoever needs them, plus there is version control on all processes and approval flows. 

Standardisation of operations: 

For quality control and operational excellence, consistency is critical. When business processes are standardised, you ensure that your inputs and outputs are the same every time. This way, both employees and customers alike can rest assured in knowing what to expect. 

Customer satisfaction: 

Ultimately, customer satisfaction is the primary concern for any good business. Without customers, you will go out of business. So, by using automation in business, it can help ensure efficient flow of business processes and also help boost employee satisfaction, which means you will, in turn, be better serving your customer base. Taking it a step further, automation relies on useful data. With data, you can segment and target your customers in a more personalised manner so that no matter how many customers you have, every person feels individually taken care of. 


What Business Process Should You Automate?

From the points above, you may be wondering where to start. If you’re thinking something like, “Well, this sounds great. But, how do I know what to automate because I have so many business processes?!” 

Business process automation works best on certain types of processes. Consider this criterion for processes when implementing automation:

  • High-volume tasks
  • Require compliance and audit trails
  • Many people are involved in the process
  • The process is time-sensitive
  • The process affects many parts of the business overall 

Benefits of Process Automation Tools

Process automation tools are a game-changer. The devices themselves vary in their design and offerings. However, the best automation tools, such as SolveXia should provide the following upsides: 

  • Integration: The tool should integrate nicely with your existing tool stack. This means that your legacy software and methods can still be of use if need be. 
  • Consistency: The processes should remain consistent in their inputs and outputs. 
  • Simplicity: It should be easy to use the software for everyone involved. The best software tools don’t require an IT team to set up or support. 
  • Flexibility: Businesses grow, and processes evolve through business process improvement. As such, the tool should be able to grow and adapt with your business’ practices. 

Best Practices / How to Automate for Business

If you’ve chosen your tool and are ready to get started, there are some best practices to keep in mind. 

Here are some of the top tips: 

  • Automate most straightforward processes first: Start with the low hanging fruit. These are the processes that your team uses day-in and day-out and don’t require so much testing or modifications. 
  • Start small: It’s easy to get carried away and want to automate everything at once, mainly because once you see the benefits, you will want more! But, change takes time, so start small. Pick a few processes to change and be sure to communicate them well with internal and external stakeholders, so people are on board. 
  • Automate processes right away: Once you choose what to automate, don’t mix in the old process of manual work with the new process. Automate quickly and fully once everyone is looped in! 
  • Document everything: Take note of what you do. Write down the before and after so you can see the effects of automation. Be sure to document the costs and financial benefits so that you can measure ROI. 
  • Learn from the best: There are technology leaders in your organisation as well as in the overall landscape of automation. Leverage these people and companies for your success. For example, you can use these resources as a place to learn more and educate your team. 
  • Pick a technology partner: When choosing your technology, you’re ultimately choosing a partner. This should be a vendor that you can trust, rely on for support and grow alongside as technology innovates. At SolveXia, we work hand-in-hand with our clients to ensure that they are supported at every step of their journey using our automation software. 

The Bottom Line

If you have yet to use business process automation, then you are certainly behind the curve. If you’re in the process of executing broad-scale changes across your business and want to maximise your benefits, then automation is the way to go. No matter where you are in your journey with business process automation, automation tools such as SolveXia can help you.

With automation for business, you can reduce costs and maximise benefits across your entire organisation. 

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