Business Process Automation (BPA): Where it Works and Key Benefits [Practical Examples Included]
Business process automation (BPA) is a process of managing information, data and processes to reduce costs, resources, and investment. It consists of integrating applications, restructuring labor resources and using software applications throughout the organization.
It helps businesses simplify the progress of tasks that are complex when performed manually or prone to human errors. The long-term benefits of using Business Process Automation tools include increased efficiency, stability in processes, and a definite boost in productivity.
Identifying Tasks that are Best Suited for Automation
Regardless of the good intent and benefits of automation, there are cases where automation is not the best suited solution, and a certain human touch and analysis are needed. So, before you start planning and implementing business process automation, be sure that you know which workflows and tasks are best suited for it.
Here are a few questions that will help you identify which tasks or processes in your business would benefit the most from automation.
What are the repetitive tasks in your business? Create a list of recurring tasks at your workplace, whether they are repeated daily, weekly, monthly, or even annually. Prioritize the most expensive and time-consuming tasks and automate them immediately to save your time and money.
How do you process email? – Whether you are a CEO or an executive, going through emails is something that you have to deal with every day. Poorly managed emails can be a source of distraction and end up eating into a lot of your valuable time. Automation can help you manage your emails more effectively.
How do you know what to do and when? – Sometimes you find yourself in a situation where you don’t understand where and how to begin your day. This specially happens when you have a long list of important tasks lined up ahead of you. With the help of automation, you can strategically create a list according to priority and start doing them systematically, ultimately saving time and reducing stress.
Asking these questions will help you identify a variety of tasks or processes within your business that need to be automated. However, there are some specific processes that are meant to be automated. Let’s take a look:
- Employee Onboarding
- Employee Analytics
- Helpdesk Support
- Creating Customer Case Studies
- Backup and Restoration
- Sales Orders
- Time and Attendance Tracking
- Lead Nurturing
- Back Office Processes
- Moving Documents Between Programs or Folders
- Adding Events to Calendars
- Customer or Lead Follow-up
- Collecting or Sending Documents for Signing
- Customer Feedback Collection and Processing
5 Practical Examples of Automation in the Workplace
Now that you have reached this far down, you must have developed a clear idea of how automation works. Based on the type of processes you want to automate, you may need different software. There are specific tools for specific automation processes, and you need to be careful while selecting them. Further, to reap the most out of your business process automation, you need to integrate these tools with other business applications that you may be using. To help you understand the business process automation better, I’ll take you through a few interesting use cases.
- Customer Support
If you’re running any kind of website or SAAS based business, you are bound to have some customer support tools for handling your customer queries. Customers need and expect around the clock support, making it tough to be managed by human beings. Hence an efficient customer support system or software is necessary for smooth functioning and success of an organization. There are a range of customer software available in the industry, however Zendesk, Freshdesk, and Intercom have gained wide popularity in the recent times. Integrating these tools with other applications you use in your organization can streamline the overall customer support process on a single platform.
Using a DIY automation platform like Appy Pie’s Connect will bring about a certain sense of ease and efficiency in your Customer Support workflow. Take a look at the integrations below, that can make it happen for your business.
- Create Deals on Pipedrive from New Zendesk Tickets
- Add Every New Zendesk Ticket to Google Sheets
- Create tickets on Zendesk for new Intercom conversations
- Create or update users on Intercom from new MailChimp subscribers
- Get Slack notifications every time a new ticket comes into your Freshdesk ticket view
- Create a Trello Card for every new Freshdesk tickets
- Social Media Management
Consistency is key to building a strong audience base on social media. However, there are businesses that do not have sufficient manpower to assign a dedicated team for social media management. Especially, if you’re a small business or a start-up, you might not have the right resources or money to allocate or spend on social media marketing. As a result, you reap little to no benefits from marketing on social media. Don’t worry! Social media automation holds the solution to this problem. To make things easier for you, there are a number of social media automation tools that can make your social media management easier and efficient. They help you discover fresh, trending content that you can share with your audience. There are tools that let you schedule posts, ensuring that your social accounts stay active even while you’re offline.
Using a DIY automation platform like Appy Pie’s Connect will bring about a certain sense of ease and efficiency in your Social Media Management and Marketing workflow. Take a look at the integrations below, that can make it happen for your business.
- Project Management
A study conducted by Capterra and Business2Community shows that a staggering $122 million was wasted for every $1 billion invested in the USA, primarily because of failures in project management efficiency. In addition to this, 45.8% of respondents mentioned that sharing information across teams and communication problems are the biggest reasons for project failure. Further, 49.5% of the respondents stated that managing project costs is one of the major problems faced by project managers over the past few years. And, less than one third of all projects were successfully completed on budget and on time over the past few years.
The most common reason for project failure is poor communication – internal or external (client communication). By establishing robust team communication, you can fix most of the problems related to project management. There are many project management tools that can help project managers automate their tasks with greater visibility and enhanced management capabilities. Automated workflows and data-driven decisions enable project managers to achieve their goals.
Using a DIY automation platform like Appy Pie’s Connect will bring about a certain sense of ease and efficiency in your Project Management workflow. Take a look at the integrations below, that can make it happen for your business.
- Create tasks in Wunderlist for labeled Gmail messages
- Add New Wunderlist Tasks to Asana
- Create tasks in Wunderlist from new or moved Trello cards
- Create Trello cards from new Google Sheets rows
- Add new Trello activity to Todoist as tasks
- Post each new Trello Card to Your Facebook Page
- Create a GitHub issue for every new Asana Task
- Customer Relationship Management
Customer Relationship management (CRM) is one of the most critical approaches in maintaining and creating relationships with your customers. When implemented strategically, CRM helps you build better customer relationships, increase company revenue, and create a superior customer experience. However, discovering valuable insights about your customers (such as who they are marketed to and how they respond or what is it exactly that they’re looking for, is not easy task. CRM automation tools can make your job easier, helping you collect valuable insights about your customers in just a few clicks. When you connect your CRM tools with each other using automation platform like Appy Pie’s Connect, you add more value to your CRM strategy with a comprehensive user experience.
According to Software Advice, 74% of businesses indicate that CRM software allows them to have greater access to customer data.
A survey done by Accenture revels that the top- performing businesses are five times more likely to use customer data in their customer relationship management strategy compared to low performers.
Using a DIY automation platform like Appy Pie’s Connect will bring about a certain sense of ease and efficiency in your social media management workflow. Take a look at the integrations below, that can make it happen for your business.
- Post Messages to a Specific Slack Channel When New Deals Are Added To a Stage on Pipedrive
- Post Messages to a Specific Microsoft Teams Channel When New Deals Are Added To a Stage on Pipedrive
- Add Every New Salesforce Lead to a MailChimp List
- Create Leads in Zoho CRM From New Mailchimp Subscribers
- Send Messages to Channels in Microsoft Teams for new Hubspot CRM Deals
- Hiring Process
Hiring is one of the most critical tasks for any business. Right from searching for applicants up to onboarding, hiring requires a lot of time investment and resources. Without automation, the entire process can become quite chaotic and a variety of issues could crop up like endless paperwork, lower productivity, employee dissatisfaction, and many more things that can affect your business reputation. An automated hiring process searches application at an amazing speed and quickly identifies the best candidates from thousands of applications, keeping your hiring process quick and efficient.
Further, applying business process automation to employee onboarding will ensure a smooth transition from one step to the next, keeping relevant people in the loop and providing them an overview of the status of the process.
How to Set Up Business Process Automation
Once you’ve decided to automate a business process, you should consider every aspect of it. Ideally, you should divide it into four steps to get the best results.
Analysis: In this phase, you need to systematically review your organization’s entire infrastructure to determine whether it is suitable to adopt automation. Only after this, should you select a technology solution based on its architectural design and its compatibility with the business.
Implementation: At this phase of business process automation, consider everything that is needed for the process. While implementation, you should carefully document and record each and every functionality involved in the process. You should also implement administrator and end-user training, followed by end-to-end, and user-acceptance testing to determine feasibility before moving on to the next phase.
Integration: In this phase, you must perform API integration. API integration will allow you to communicate and access other existing programs. You should also implement the enterprise service bus (ESB). It allows communication between software applications or services.
Support and Training: In this step, you should support and train you employees on using the automated processes you are setting up. Once they get used to your automation process, they will be more productive. If you set up a robust support and training system, the whole organization will be able to take advantage of it.
What are the Key benefits of Business Process Automation (BPA)?
Productivity is one of the most critical factors for a business to be successful and profitable. Particularly when it comes productivity, nearly every business tries to get the most out of the available resources. Productivity at workplace can be increased in a number of ways but automating business processes is best way to achieve it. Automating your business processes means that you’re giving your employees the right information at the right time enabling them to do their tasks more quickly and easily – resulting in more productivity.
- Cost Reduction
When your team spends less time on repetitive tasks, they get more time to spend on other important tasks that a machine can’t accomplish. This means that your company can have the same level of output even after reducing the human workforce, ultimately reducing the overall cost of business operation.
- Easier Metrics Tracking
Every area of business has specific performance metrics that need to be monitored regularly to ensure business success. When you automate your business processes, you can collect data whenever you need. Data you collect can be turned into reports to get the bigger picture of your business inner workings. Example: Your marketing teams track marketing and social media metrics, such as campaign and program statistics, sales teams analyze sales performance metrics such as new opportunities and leads, and management teams look at the big picture – the financial metrics.
- Faster Processes
It is only natural that automated processes would be much faster than the manual processes. Most transactions can be done electronically and may even be accomplished through your mobile device. It lessens errors and problems such as files getting lost, and the processing can be performed on the go, sometimes even without your supervision.
- Eliminate Human Error
No matter how efficient you are, it’s impossible to avoid human errors. Even a single human error can affect your business’ infrastructure, processes, customer relationships, or reputation. Automation can limit the possibility of human errors in the business processes.
- Create Accountability
Automated workflow creates accountability for every step of the process making sure that everyone in your team performs their task responsibly. This way, you can identify the tasks that are taking more time than necessary and ensure a faster execution.
- Maintain Competitive Edge
Companies are consistently under pressure to reduce costs and increase profits. By leveraging the power of automation, you can eliminate these pressures and achieve your business goals.
What Experts Say About Automation
Tom Preston-Werner, founder and former CEO of GitHub, says, “You’re either the one that creates the automation or you’re getting automated.”
According to Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation, says, “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
Abhinav Girdhar, founder of Appy Pie, says, “In this Technology driven era, I see that business owners tend to invest in computer-based automation to eliminate human action as much as possible. Human intervention is required only for complex troubleshooting, higher-level analysis, and strategic thinking.”
Alok Kumar, senior marketing head at Appy Pie, says “In this constantly evolving business environment, business process automation is critical to increase your business profitability and to remain competitive. My favorite kind of automation is marketing automation, which helps us attract a large number of potential customers towards my product.”
Business process automation is widely recognized amongst companies who want to make the most out of their resources. In order to get the most out of your business process automation efforts, you must integrate all your tools together with Appy Pie’s Connect. It allows you to connect your favorite apps and automate tasks between them, all without any coding. Appy Pie’s Connect is quite easy and with it anyone can build their own app workflows in just a few clicks. All you need to do is follow a guided process that is described on the website.
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