Business process automation uses technology to perform traditionally manual work and recurring business tasks with minimal employee intervention. Databases, like a CRM, are a traditional form of process automation. They simplified the process of data handling. Today, business process automation encompasses a much more comprehensive range of advanced systems and platforms that enable:
Practically speaking, any technology that...
...qualifies as business process automation.
Business process automation makes it possible for you to:
The benefits themselves go much further. Here are five to consider:
Data, documents, and information move faster digitally than they ever could on paper. Employees only need to confirm the accuracy of the data on the screen. Then, click or swipe, and the document or information moves on to the next step in the process.
Automated routing also simplifies sharing of a document along a workflow or filing it for storage.
Plus, once captured and stored digitally, documents can be recovered right from the employee’s desk. There’s no more getting up to go to the file cabinet to retrieve paper files.
For example, Ricoh’s Smart Integration solution, paired with one of its MFPs, enables push-button workflows. Set the paper documents in the document feeder and select the designated workflow button. The document is scanned and moved into the location where an employee can easily start the next step, even if the employee is located in a different office or home office.
With advanced indexing technology like that in DocuWare, data can be captured automatically from predefined documents like AP/AR or purchase orders. This data can be applied to the document as searchable “tags” or index fields. Based on the information, such as “ABC, Inc.,” the document can be classified, sorted, and routed to the correct manager for approval. Rules and conditions can be established with alerts sent to appropriate individuals at each stage of the process to keep it moving.
And the information remains secured throughout the entire journey, protecting customer privacy and meeting compliance requirements.
Conventional processes often have multiple and often repetitive steps. Forms need to be filled out. Onboarding sessions need to be arranged. Passwords must be assigned, bank accounts set up for payroll, and personal information collected.
A traditional, paper-based process like this introduces potential challenges like:
Workflow automation allows you to streamline tasks. This makes it possible for work to quickly shift between each stage of the process, with key employees having visibility and awareness. A new hire can sit down at their laptop, open a link, and complete the form guided by the predefined workflow.
With these pre-built workflows, you can:
As documents move at the pace of a click, forms get filed, and approvals are validated faster. It’s simply a faster and more secured way to get new employees onboarded and working.
Some tasks are well-suited for business process automation. The most common types of processes that are ideal for automation are:
Here are some suggestions as to what to look for in a partner:
You should also look for a partner with a track record of success. If you are a small business, does the prospective partner have a history of working with SMBs to match their service offering? Enterprises should ask the same.
Ultimately, you want to partner with a trustworthy provider with proven expertise in the business process automation technology you seek to implement.
Want to learn how business process automation might benefit your business?