Process automation is the simple strategy to involve technology in complex business operations. Its other main functions include reducing the dependency on manpower and centralizing the information. There are multiple benefits of process automation that make it a must-to-have for many businesses.
Why do businesses go for process automation?
There are multiple routine processes in any business that includes:
All these processes can be automated to improve efficiency and reduce the opportunities for variance and problems. The role of software and other technical tools play an important role in the process automation for any business.
Difference between Process Automation and Robotic Process Automation:
While process automation and robotic process automation may seem the same, there are major differences between the two. The aim of adding automation to routine tasks remains the same, while the differences lie in the requirements and deliverability.
The process automation handles the use of machinery that performs tasks, storage systems, data management, data integration, software, etc. Hence, process automation requires a large input of the IT developers and IT engineers to manage all these machinery and tasks.
The robotic process automation focuses on front-end activities and simulates the work assigned to humans. There is no need for IT developers and IT engineers for robotic process automation as the trained or semi-trained robots.
The robotic process automation is generally used for data extraction and email replies. Process automation is used for multiple business processes, including automating repetitive tasks, connecting & integrating the data services or sources, and managing & gathering data files.
Advantages of Process Automation:
The benefits of process automation for any business include:
- Improves productivity: Specific businesses like automobiles have recorded increased productivities up to 86% using robotic process automation. The business process automation removes bottlenecks, eliminates time-consuming tasks, and handles all manual work with great efficiencies. The quick integration of the entire process in one line increases the productivity of the entire business.
- Cost reduction: The business process automation can reduce the operational costs to 59 percent by eliminating the costs of human labor and associated risks. This income can be used to reinvest in other businesses, create more income, etc. All the return-on-investment starts coming as earlier as twelve months only. The main factors reducing the costs include fewer delays, fewer bottlenecks, fewer errors, increasing processing speeds, and freeing up time to improve other tasks.
- Reduced errors: Many businesses face the issue of high rejections due to increased errors in production. These increased errors can disrupt the business reputation while causing issues in the successful profits. Business process automation does the right work by reducing errors, helping staff work in the long run, and contributing to customer retention efforts.
- Transparency in operations: Customers are looking for experiences and hence prefer to choose a business that offers transparent operations. The implementation of the business process automation not only ensures transparency but helps businesses understand the process in detail. This deep understanding offered by process automation further opens the way for great improvements in routine tasks.
- Improved staff utilization: The increased work on the staff hampers their working efficiency. No employee wants to work with an organization that puts them on non-creative and monotonous tasks. The business process automation delegates the important work to the staff while the other routine works can be managed by the automation processes.
- Increased compliances: Many businesses like manufacturing require strict adherence to multiple compliances. However, businesses have to face the issue of compliances due to missed steps or forgotten steps. By including process automation, a business can improve the governance risk, monitor compliance concerns, etc., and hence eliminate the compliance-related issues.
Possible issues in Process Automation:
Like any other technology, process automation also has its own set of limitations.
Problem1: Many times, the errors in implementation are the root cause of multiple issues related to the business process automation. These errors are soon multiple vastly that making it impossible for any business process automation to increase productivity.
Resolution: The quick solution is to bifurcate every step of the implementation of business process automation that offers a quick check for any possible errors. If any errors are observed, these can be resolved at the same step only.
Problem 2: The business process automation may soon deviate from its original goal and concept if the assigned key indicators are not executed properly. The reduced goal management and the human intervention into automated processes may make the entire process automation lose its key essence.
Resolution: There is no alternative to the consistent monitoring of the main objectives of the business process automation for the business. Any deviation observed should get quickly aligned with the goals of the process automation to suppress these issues at the start only.
Problem 3: Businesses become overwhelmed with the benefits of process automation and immediately shift their entire process to automation. This quick implementation and hassle of implementing everything at once may backfire soon.
Resolution: It is recommended to go for business process automation one by one. It not only helps employees absorb the process automation quickly but also helps incremental changes in the detailed processes. It further opens the way for better training and better success at every step of business process automation.
Problem 4: Process automation becomes difficult to scale at one point. This can be due to multiple factors, including resistance by employees, tools limitations’, lack of strategic direction, automation breaking, etc.
Resolution: The problem of scalability can be resolved with detailed research. The scalability is easy when staff gets familiar with the process, the tools used are tested, and the possibilities of automation breaking are reduced with rigorous monitoring by IT engineers.
To sum up, any business aiming to improve efficiency, employee satisfaction, and generate revenues can safely invest in process automation. The detailed implementation can help companies get the best-optimized benefits while maintaining a strict eye on its possible limitations.