In the last twenty years, automation and business process management have become a bigger topic in the national conversation. While automation may lead to job loss, it has opened up many new doors for small to mid-sized businesses. Manual processes are tedious, repetitive, and timely.
As a result, organizations that employ manual processes have a difficult time remaining competitive in a globalized economy. Strategically implementing automation to replace manual activities allows struggling businesses to increase productivity and add to the bottom line.
Many companies may want to quickly switch to automation, but this isn't always the right path. Without having an effective strategy in place to slowly integrate automation into the workplace, an organization can become overwhelmed with managing the new technology systems and training employees on how to use them.
To optimize the automating business process, it's essential to follow these best practices taken from organizations that have successfully switched to automation.
10 Concrete Ways to Automate Internal Business Processes
Business process automation refers to an organization that utilizes technology systems to automate recurring daily tasks and activities.
It expedites the amount of work that can be completed by directing data to the proper employees at the proper time by virtue of pre-programmed rules. Business process automation increases productivity by simplifying day-to-day work life.
Organizations can automate their hiring process, social media outreach campaigns, customer service, and much more. To pinpoint a process that needs to be automated, organizations can look for these key elements-
- The activity needs to be standardized across the company.
- The activity is recurring and repetitive
- The activity should always be free from human error
As a result of implementing automation, businesses increase their operational efficiency, improve workforce morale, and improve their marketing and sales efforts. To ensure an organization receives the best results from automating a process, it should consider the following-
1. Implement Automation Wisely
An organization doesn't always need to automate every single process to increase productivity and efficiency. Each business should seek out those activities that are befitting for automation.
This includes tasks that are repetitive, timely, and require valuable resources that could be used in other capacities. Any process that requires minimal to no human error is also a good candidate for automation.
2. Slowly Convert Manual Processes
Rather than automating the entire organization quickly, pick a couple of small processes that are repetitive, and utilize an automation tool to see if they can be improved.
It's always optimal to use a small-scale strategy when implementing something new in a business plan. As business process automation software becomes more developed over time, the organization might naturally evolve to automate every process.
3. Utilize Automation for Marketing
Many organizations automate processes to improve internal workflows but forget that automation software can be used externally as well. Employ automation as part of a marketing and sales strategy to cut back on labor-intensive tasks and minimize costs.
For example, a marketing firm may use a social media automation tool that schedules posts on certain days for their clients.
4. Pinpoint Repetitive or Manual Tasks
Business automation is best suited for repetitive and mindless tasks that require valuable talent which could be better suited elsewhere. To illustrate, a large business that hires new employees regularly needs to input all employee information into a system.
Instead of asking the HR team to manage this task, organizations can utilize a software program to automatically upload employee information. This allows the HR team to focus on more important tasks such as hiring, recruiting, or payroll.
5. Automate Small Processes
Though it's typical to look for the large activities that need automation, many businesses forget about the smaller ones. Over time, these little manual tasks add up and result in a decrease in productivity and efficiency.
Successful organizations employ automation tools for small processes, such as sending emails or uploading social media posts. The employees who were at one time required to perform these tasks can then spend time completing more important projects.
6. Integrate Automated Software Solutions
Software solutions should integrate or be combined with other robotic process automation software to save time, increase transparency, and improve the quality of outcomes.
For example, a customer relationship management system can integrate with a human resource tool or project management software so everyone has access to all information at all times.
There will be less need for back and forths between departments to complete a task as a result of an increase in access to information.
7. Perform Regular Audits
Organizations conduct audits to find inefficiencies, protect themselves, identify irregularities, and maintain an accurate account of historical data.
Auditing automated processes can also provide these benefits, particularly for organizations that have only automated a few tasks. They can compare the results of manual processes to automated processes to see whether the company saw a benefit from the switch.
8. Harness Transformational Projects to Jumpstart Automation
A transformation project is an intervention that promotes systemic change for a problem/concern with the possibility of a big-scale future impact. An organization might use a transformation project to introduce automation to employees, customers, and stakeholders.
For example, a company may modernize the customer relationship management system as an opportunity to introduce automation for other processes. This helps slowly introduce the concept to workers before completely switching from manual processes.
9. Code Manual Processes Step-By-Step
Organizations need to fully comprehend the manual processes and how they work before automating them. This will help optimize the automation process to ensure a successful outcome.
Then, the company should break down each step of automation into smaller steps that can be easily coded. Each solution for each step that is coded needs to be flexible enough to mature and communicate with other aspects of the system.
10. Focus on Core Business Goals
The purpose of automation is to improve the important processes in the business that generate profit and growth. By staying focused on the primary business goals, the organization can remember which processes are essential to automate.
Automating marketing and advertising campaigns, using bots for large aspects of customer service, and employing software to generate leads can all help to increase profit and attract new customers.
In conclusion, here is what to remember about optimizing internal business processes-
- Business process automation refers to an organization that uses technology and a robotic process to automate a manual process.
- Automation increases productivity, adds to the bottom line, improves efficiency, and increases employee/customer satisfaction.
- The top ten best practices to automate internal business processes include-implement automation wisely, slowly convert manual processes, utilize automation for marketing, automate small processes, integrate automated software solutions, perform regular audits, code manual processes step-by-step, and focus on core business goals.