It is no surprise that more and more business owners want to start automating their businesses using the most efficient software solutions. According to a business leaders’ global survey conducted by McKinsey & Co. in 2020, in a wide cross-section of various industries, 66% were driving solutions for automating at least one of their business processes. This is a significant increase from the 57% garnered two years prior.
However, a lot of businesses are still hesitant to switch to automated business practices due to a number of factors. So now we’re going to discuss the important things you need to know about automating your business operations. Including the do’s and dont’s and other tips to make this transition a successful one.
What Is Business Process Automation?
Business Process Automation is where your business processes are executed in the absence of human intervention. In simple terms, this happens when the task you used to do manually is now executed with the use of the software. Automatically, behind the scenes, and right on schedule.
Some of the benefits of automation of processes are higher productivity, decreased human error, and reduction in operating costs. When well-implemented, this could give the business good ROI, improved customer service, and satisfied employees.
Some of the best process automation tools are as follows:
Using document automation is a powerful way to provide functional and end-to-end document processing that aims to accelerate, and maximize current operations. Your contracts and forms, for instance. This allows you to free your workers from doing repetitive, error-prone, and low-value tasks.
So, how does it work? It pulls data and text from different sources. The document has templates with predefined areas where these data or text are added into. These data can be as simple as text blocks or as sophisticated as images, graphs and tables.
Undoubtedly, you need the best accounting software for small business, and one that will adjust to your accounting needs as you scale up. One that is equipped to improve their client’s financial management capabilities. Furthermore, it should allow easy customization where data security is the least of your worries. Ensuring backups are securely implemented so user information is always secure.
Traditional, manual accounting takes up so much time, is subject to errors, and lacks security. Accounting process automation usually includes updating your financial records, creating financial statements and accounts reconciliation. Other important tasks to automate are purchasing order activities, travel and mileage reimbursement, expense reports, accounts payable, sales order process, payroll and monthly close processes.
With these tools, automating can be done with ease. The first step usually involves a workflow template. You can then customize the pre-built expense report form that matches your needs and processes. These tools also give you access to a workflow designer so you can set the approval order.
This is a technology that manages your business’ marketing processes and other multifunctional campaigns. It can do this automatically across multiple channels. By using this, businesses are able to target customers better via automated messages through the web, email, social media, and text.
Generating leads is a challenging task. Plus, you would have to keep your customers engaged throughout their customer journey. On top of that, it’s difficult to handle data collected and put it to use. With marketing automation, you can put data to work.
Other Things To Do With A BPA Software Solution
Automate responses to customers
You don’t have to answer all queries one by one. You can use a solution to create an automatic response by setting a certain keyword. It also helps you categorize these concerns easier for your customer support team so they can focus and address other unknown tickets.
Automate the approval process
Some businesses and industries require an approval process. For example, procurement businesses various approval stages. Hunting down for each manager and asking them to sign the approval is tedious. Using a tool simplifies the process—click a button to start the approval process and you’re done.
Automate the employee onboarding process
Employee onboarding is a structured process. It’s complex, but you can definitely automate the process with automation software. Simply make sure your business process involves a series of predictable and repetitive steps. You can then create your own automation flow to match your own onboarding process.
What You Should Not Do With Automation
Do Not Apply To Broken Processes Regardless of the type of automation you’re using, remember that this is just a tool you can use. So do not expect it to do all the work for you. Utilize workflow mapping, for instance. This way, organizing work between teams becomes seamless. Also, be sure everyone understands the steps needed before implementing an automation solution.
Do Not Overdo Automation This is one of the first things to remember when learning how to automate business processes. Human touch is still needed if you wish to make your business automation strategy a success. Yes, certain processes need to be automated but it is still the people who should be in charge of crucial decision making.
So choose an automation solution that best fits your business model. This will all depend on your goals for automation. The software you will use must embrace the needed features for your streamlined daily operations.
Business Process Automation Myths
Now that we know some of the important aspects of business automation and several automated processes examples, it’s time to bust some myths. Myths that keep you from taking a leap of faith and making that much-needed change for your company.
Automation = Reduced Flexibility This will not happen as long as you find the right approach. Your core criteria should be that the automation solution you choose has the capability to scale with your business. Important features must include the following:
- Document Generation Tools
- Contract Negotiation Tools
- Team Workspace
- Automated Payment Collection Tools
Automation = Skyrocket Expense Again, this will all depend on the choices you make. So do not choose platforms that will burn a hole in your pocket just for you to try. Standard automation features are supposed to be in place the moment your new workspace is created. For one, this is usually how pricing plans go. More affordable starter plan with core features. But it’s also true that some software DOES offer too many features that will bloat for users who aren’t right for it.
Automation = Loads of Technical Information This is perhaps one of the biggest fears a company has about having their processes automated: the learning curve. They are scared their people do not have enough technical knowledge to implement these automation tools.
This may have been the case years ago. But now, there are platforms with no-code business automation. This allows even your least tech-savvy employees to get on board to automate their repetitive tasks in just a few minutes.
Business Process Automation + Efficient Software Solutions = Successful Business
Every business is unique, and there is always room for improvement. Your business is not an exception. So if you wish to make your business more efficient, it’s time to get out of your comfort zone and give business process automation a try.