How to Improve Business Process Automation? 5 Actionable Tips
 Back Office

How to Improve Business Process Automation? 5 Actionable Tips

Ryan Thompson
Ryan Thompson
April 29, 2024
Last updated on:

April 29, 2024

|

Read time: 5 mins

Business process automation is the use of technology to streamline and automate repetitive tasks, workflows, and processes within an organization. It replaces manual processes with automated solutions and helps businesses increase operational efficiency, reduce errors, and improve productivity. Business process automation often involves the use of software applications, such as RPA, AI, etc., to perform tasks, including data entry, document management, customer service, and workflow orchestration.

However, integrating these automation tools with existing systems and processes seems complex and time-consuming for many businesses. It also requires significant resources and expertise. Additionally, identifying the right processes to automate and ensuring compatibility with existing technologies poses hurdles. Ultimately, it leads to missed opportunities for efficiency gains, hampers overall progress and effectiveness of the business, and more.

This blog delves into how to improve business process automation and ensure streamlined workflows, enhanced productivity, and faster time to market. 

According to a report by Analytic Insights, By 2025, 80 percent of organizations will adopt intelligent automation.

5 Best Tips to Improve Business Process Automation

Let's begin with the best tips for business process automation improvement:

1. Conduct Comprehensive Process Mapping  

A comprehensive process mapping is crucial in improving business process automation by providing a detailed blueprint of existing workflows. Through techniques such as flowcharts, swimlane diagrams, and value stream mapping, organizations should collect a thorough understanding of each step, decision point, and potential bottlenecks within their processes. This detailed analysis enables them to identify inefficiencies, redundancies, and opportunities for optimization and automation.

By visualizing the flow of work and dependencies between different tasks and departments, organizations need to prioritize automation efforts and allocate resources effectively. Moreover, process mapping facilitates communication and collaboration among stakeholders, ensuring alignment and consensus on automation objectives and strategies. Ultimately, comprehensive process mapping serves as a foundation for successful automation implementation, guiding strategic decision-making.

Case Study:

One notable example of how conducting comprehensive process mapping improves business process automation is identified in the way Atlassian used to streamline its processes. Atlassian, a leading software company, had several challenges in its software development process. Through comprehensive process mapping, the company identified inefficiencies such as manual code review processes, lengthy approval cycles, and inconsistent collaboration among development teams.

With this insight, Atlassian introduced automation solutions, including automated code review tools, continuous integration and deployment pipelines, and workflow automation for issue tracking and resolution. As a result, the software development process became significantly faster and more efficient. Developers could focus more on coding while automated tools handled repetitive tasks. This automation initiative not only improved productivity but also enhanced product quality and accelerated time-to-market for Atlassian's software products.

What is document process automation, and how is it transforming businesses?

Document process automation digitizes, organizes, and automates tasks related to document creation, processing, and storage, enhancing efficiency and reducing manual effort. It enhances efficiency, accuracy, and collaboration, while reducing costs and time, driving productivity and competitiveness.

To know more on this read our blog:‘How Document Process Automation is Transforming Offices’.

2. Identify Automation Opportunities 

Identifying specific tasks or workflows that are ideal for automation is a critical step in maximizing the effectiveness of business process automation (BPA). These tasks often exhibit characteristics such as repetitiveness, manual execution, or time-intensive nature, and they typically follow a set of rules with minimal human judgment required. Hence, businesses should focus on automating these rule-based tasks to significantly reduce the need for manual intervention, thereby increasing operational efficiency and freeing up valuable human resources for more strategic activities.

Moreover, it is essential for businesses to prioritize processes with high transaction volumes or those prone to errors or delays. By automating such processes, companies can streamline their operations, minimize the risk of errors, and improve overall efficiency. Additionally, focusing on tasks with high transaction volumes ensures that automation efforts yield significant returns in terms of time and cost savings. Kissflow says that nearly 80% of businesses are accelerating the implementation of automation, and 50% are planning to automate most of their tasks that are repetitive. This means that businesses are finding the available opportunities to automate tasks that are repetitive, time-consuming, and labor-intensive.

Case Study:

An example of how identifying automation opportunities improves business process automation can be seen in the way Walmart used to enhance its inventory management process. This multinational retail corporation identified automation opportunities in its inventory management process to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Through careful analysis, Walmart recognized that manual inventory counting processes were time-consuming and prone to errors.

To address this, they implemented automated inventory management systems equipped with RFID technology and barcode scanners. This allowed Walmart to track inventory levels in real-time, optimize stock replenishment, and minimize out-of-stock situations. As a result, Walmart improved inventory accuracy, reduced labor costs associated with manual counting, and enhanced the overall shopping experience for customers.

3. Select the Right Business Automation Tools

Finding the appropriate automation tools is a critical decision that impacts the success of business process automation (BPA) initiatives. Businesses should thoroughly evaluate available tools and technologies, considering various factors to ensure alignment with their specific business requirements and long-term objectives. For instance, it is essential to assess scalability to determine whether the selected tools can accommodate future growth and expansion without requiring extensive modifications or replacements. 

Additionally, evaluating the technical capabilities of the tools is essential, including their ease of integration with existing systems and compatibility with the organization's infrastructure. Moreover, flexibility for customization is another crucial factor to consider, as it allows organizations to tailor the automation tools to their unique workflows and preferences, optimizing performance and user experience. 

Standard Business Processes Ideal for Automation
Image 1 - Standard Business Processes Ideal for Automation

Case Study:

One notable example of how selecting the right business automation tools improves business process automation is defined in the way Amazon used to optimize its order fulfillment process. Amazon sought to streamline its warehouse operations after facing an exponential increase in customer orders. Therefore, through careful evaluation, it opted for robotic automation solutions from Kiva Systems (now Amazon Robotics).

These robots efficiently navigated warehouse aisles, picking and packing items for shipment with precision and speed. By integrating Kiva's robotic technology into their fulfillment centers, Amazon significantly reduced order processing times and increased order accuracy.

4. Design Efficient Workflows

Before automating workflows, businesses must streamline and optimize them to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness. This involves meticulously examining existing processes to simplify and refine them. One key aspect of this optimization is eliminating redundant steps that may unnecessarily prolong processes. Additionally, businesses need to standardize procedures across departments to create a cohesive and unified approach, reducing confusion and potential errors. 

Likewise, by minimizing handoffs between departments, organizations can streamline communication channels, thus accelerating the flow of work. Furthermore, standardized procedures promote consistency in outputs, reducing variability and ensuring higher quality and reliability. 

Case Study:

An example of the significance of Business Process Automation (BPA) is best demonstrated in the way IBM leveraged it to streamline its HR process. IBM is a global technology and consulting company. IBM faced challenges in its HR department due to manual processes for employee onboarding. Its employee onboarding process took an average of 10 days, resulting in productivity losses and dissatisfaction among new hires. Moreover, manual data entry contributed to a 15% error rate in employee records, leading to compliance issues and additional workload for HR staff. This has resulted in inefficiencies and delays.

Considering the benefits of BPA, IBM implemented it to reduce most repetitive tasks. After adopting BPA tools, IBM streamlined its onboarding process, reducing the time to onboard new employees by 80% to just 2 days. It has also decreased error rates to less than 1%, ensuring accurate employee records and compliance. As a result, IBM saved approximately $1 million annually in HR administrative costs and improved employee satisfaction and retention rates.

Image 2 - Business Process Automation Metrics

5. Monitor Performance & Iterate 

Continuous monitoring of performance is crucial for optimizing business process automation and driving continuous improvement. Organizations should track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as process cycle time, error rates, cost savings, and customer satisfaction to calculate the impact of automation on business outcomes. By analyzing performance metrics and gathering feedback from users and stakeholders, organizations can identify areas for optimization and refinement. 

This iterative approach allows for ongoing enhancements and optimizations in automated workflows, ensuring that automation efforts align with evolving business needs and objectives. By embracing continuous monitoring and iterative refinement, businesses unlock the full potential of business process automation to drive innovation and attain sustainable competitive advantage.

Case Study:

One key example of how monitoring performance metrics and iterating improves business process automation is identified in the way Tesla used its manufacturing process. In its Gigafactories, Tesla implements advanced automation technologies to produce vehicles efficiently. By closely monitoring production data and performance metrics, Tesla identifies areas for optimization.

For instance, they use real-time data analytics to detect bottlenecks in the assembly line and promptly adjust workflows to streamline operations. Additionally, Tesla regularly conducts simulations and tests to refine automated processes further. Through this iterative approach, Tesla enhances manufacturing efficiency, reduces production costs, and increases vehicle output.

Conclusion

The advancements in business process automation are poised to revolutionize organizational operations, driving efficiency, productivity, and cost savings. The integration of AI and ML algorithms into BPA solutions enables systems to learn from data and autonomously adapt, further enhancing their capabilities. However, despite its potential benefits, BPA adoption presents significant challenges for businesses. Many struggle with the complexity of implementation and integration with existing systems while ensuring data security and compliance remains a paramount concern. Addressing these challenges requires not only financial investment but also a strategic approach to align automation initiatives with organizational objectives. Outsourcing can be a viable solution to navigate these complexities effectively.

At Invensis, we offer expertise, resources, and infrastructure to help businesses improve their automation initiatives in several ways. We have extensive experience in implementing automation solutions across various industries and business functions. Additionally our services include, data management, and integration of automated tools into existing systems. By customizing solutions to individual business needs, we optimize business efficiency, reduce costs, and accelerate productivity. Likewise, we also offer ongoing support, monitoring, and refinement to ensure seamless automation implementation, empowering businesses to focus on core objectives.

Contact us to accelerate automation initiatives and drive innovation with our back office services.

Discover Our Full Range of Services

Click Here

Explore the Industries We Serve

Click Here

Related Articles

Back OfficeTop Countries For Outsourcing in 2024

Explore the best countries for outsourcing business operations in 2024, highlighting top destinations that offer cost-effective and high-quality services.

June 7, 2024

|

Read time: 8 mins

Back OfficeHow is AI Used in Businesses? 7 Transformative Applications You Need to Know

AI is now revolutionizing businesses. Explore seven transformative applications and discover how is AI used in businesses for efficiency and innovation.

June 4, 2024

|

Read time: 8 mins

Back OfficeHow to Improve Business: Top 6 Tips to Follow

Improving your business helps drive real results and growth. Know how to improve this with key tips here.

June 4, 2024

|

Read time: 8 mins

Services We Provide

Industries We Serve