Automation has emerged as a game-changer for businesses across industries, revolutionizing traditional processes and driving operational efficiency. While many well-known processes have reaped the benefits of automation, several lesser-known automated processes have had high impact and can significantly transform business operations. Backed by compelling statistics, these processes demonstrate the immense potential of automation in streamlining operations and maximizing productivity.
According to recent studies, businesses that embrace automation technologies have witnessed remarkable improvements in key areas such as cost reduction, time savings, and error minimization. Leveraging these statistics, this article delves into the business process automation that organizations usually start with and also lesser-known processes that can be effectively automated, shedding light on their potential benefits and illustrating how automation is reshaping the landscape of business operations. An earlier article talks about what is business process automation and various industry use cases
It is also important to say here that BPA is not about removing humans and bringing in machines, it is all about enhancing the work that employees do, consider it as a partnership.
Manual processes best suited for business process automation
From a business perspective, here is a prioritized list of commonly automated functions, considering their impact on operational efficiency and potential ROI:
Order Processing and Fulfillment: Automating the order processing workflow, from order placement to fulfillment and shipping, can significantly streamline operations. It reduces manual errors, improves order accuracy, and speeds up order processing time, leading to faster delivery and increased customer satisfaction.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Automating CRM processes enables businesses to effectively manage customer interactions and tickets raised, track leads, and nurture relationships. This includes automating lead generation, contact management, sales pipeline tracking, and customer communication, leading to improved sales efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Automating Accounts Payable and Receivable: Automating accounts payable (AP automation) and receivable processes help optimize cash flow management and reduces administrative overhead. This includes automating invoice generation, payment reminders, and reconciliations, resulting in faster payment cycles and improved financial control.
Automated accounts payable systems offer real-time tracking and reporting capabilities, allowing finance teams to monitor the status of invoices, track payment deadlines, and gain insights into cash flow. This visibility gained through AP automation enables proactive decision-making, improves financial planning, and strengthens relationships with vendors and suppliers.
Automating Inventory Management and Procurement: Automating inventory management and procurement processes enhances inventory accuracy, minimizes stockouts and overstocking, and streamlines supplier management. Automating tasks such as inventory tracking, reordering, and supplier communication and integrating with suppliers and sales channels. Automating inventory management improves accuracy, reduces manual effort, and enables real-time visibility into inventory data.
HR and Payroll automation: Automate business processes in HR reduces errors, and improves compliance. Employee onboarding, attendance tracking, leave management, and payroll automation simplifies recurring administrative tasks, This frees up HR personnel to focus on strategic initiatives and employee development.
Automating Data Entry and Processing: Data entry is a time-consuming and error-prone task. Automating data entry and processing tasks can eliminate manual data entry, reduce errors, and improve data accuracy. This includes using optical character recognition (OCR) technology to automatically extract data from documents, forms, or invoices. Automation improves data entry speed, reduces costs, and enables data integration across systems.
Electronic Health Records (EHR) Management: Automating the management of electronic health records improves data accuracy, accessibility, and interoperability. EHR systems automate tasks like patient registration, documentation, lab test results, and prescription management, enhancing care coordination and reducing paperwork.
Medical billing and claims processing is another area where automation simplifies the workflow. It enables healthcare organizations to generate and submit accurate claims, track payments, and automate billing reminders. This reduces administrative burden, minimizes billing errors, and accelerates payment cycles. Have a look at RehabOne which is a proprietory automated EHR platform used by many healthcare organizations in America.
Marketing Campaigns and Lead Generation: Automating marketing processes, such as lead generation, lead nurturing, and campaign management, can improve lead conversion rates and marketing ROI. Automation tools allow for personalized and targeted messaging, lead scoring, and automated follow-ups, optimizing marketing efforts.
Data Analytics and Reporting: Automating data collection, analysis, and reporting processes can provide valuable insights for decision-making. By leveraging automation tools and integrating data sources, businesses can generate real-time reports, dashboards, and predictive analytics, enabling data-driven decision-making.
It’s important to note that the priority of automating business processes may vary depending on the nature of the business, its specific pain points, and strategic goals. Therefore, businesses should conduct a thorough assessment of their processes, identify the areas that will yield the most significant benefits, and prioritize automation initiatives accordingly. If you would like to know more about what are the different stages involved in business process implementation, our earlier article will be useful.
Popular but lesser-known business processes that benefit from automation
Automation can be applied to various business processes to improve efficiency and productivity. While many well-known processes can benefit from automation, here are a few lesser-known but popular processes that are well-suited for automation:
Expense Management: Automating expense management processes can streamline the submission, approval, and reimbursement of employee expenses. This includes capturing receipts, categorizing expenses, enforcing policy compliance, and integrating with accounting systems. Automation reduces manual errors, improves visibility, and saves time for both employees and finance teams.
Customer Onboarding: Automating customer onboarding processes can enhance the user experience and accelerate time to value. This includes automating account creation, user authentication, data collection, and personalized onboarding workflows. Automation can also integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) systems and other tools to provide a seamless onboarding experience.
Contract Management: Automating contract management processes can simplify contract creation, negotiation, and approval. This includes generating contracts from templates, tracking versions, managing signatures, and setting up automated alerts for renewal or expiration. Automation reduces the risk of errors, enhances contract visibility, and improves compliance.
Quality Assurance Testing: Automating quality assurance testing processes can improve software development efficiency and product quality. This includes automating test case execution, regression testing, performance testing, and integration testing. Automation tools can run tests faster, and more consistently, and identify bugs or issues earlier in the development lifecycle.
Remember that the suitability of automating a business process depends on various factors, such as the complexity of the process, the volume of work, and the potential benefits. It’s important to assess each process individually to determine if automation is the right solution.
As already highlighted, BPA is about getting machines to do what they are great at, while allowing your employees to innovate in other areas of the business. It can be a win-win for all when done correctly. The last is most important, Get an experienced automation partner, like iTech, to help you implement automation in your business processes. If you think it is time to automate, let’s chat!