Automation is gaining traction and becoming a tool in business strategies. This is also because digital transformation has become necessary in order to stay competitive. Businesses looking for a stepping stone to become innovative leaders in their market may have already heard about business automation but don’t know where to get started. Here’s the rundown on business process automation and the popular business automation tools to get started.

What is Business Process Automation (BPA)?

Business Process Automation (BPA), or business automation, is levering technology to streamline recurring processes, tasks, and workflows via automation. Some manual processes that may be automated include employee onboarding, purchase order (PO) requests, and document approval. 

The Benefits of BPA

The benefits of automation in business include:

Enables Digital Transformation

Digital process automation is a major change and business automation tools facilitate this transformation. BPA is a stepping stone for businesses looking to go digital while improving efficiency and making business more agile.

Provides Clarity and Transparency

Before automating workflows, process mapping has to take place. This way, BPA tools will involve the right people and follow a certain design to effectively get work done. Analysing what processes need automating will provide clarity and transparency on the current resources your businesses have as well as what future automated processes should be like. 

Process Streamlining

Streamline business processes with automation. BPA enhances insights, accountability, turnaround time, and reduces human error.

Business Automation Tools - A Stepping Stone to Digital Transformation
Popular Business Automation Tools – A Stepping Stone to Digital Transformation
Standardisation

Automating processes also means consistent outcomes. Having standardised operations means that your business will be more reliable and credible when it comes to handling data, processes, information, transactions, and other operations. 

Improved Compliance

With business automation tools, every single detail of different business processes has a thorough record. To ensure compliance, automation tools produce reliable information required during audits. 

Increased Customer Satisfaction

Customers want error-free, quick, and standardised processes. Automated customer service and other operations will be excellent and up to standards which will keep customers satisfied and build up loyalty. 

Business Automation Tools - A Stepping Stone to Digital Transformation
Popular Business Automation Tools – A Stepping Stone to Digital Transformation
What Processes Should Be Automated?

While there are various business processes that can be automated, the most important ones that should be handled by business process automation tools are tasks that are:

  • High-volume
  • Time-sensitive
  • Impactful on other processes, workflows, and systems
  • Require multiple team members
  • Repetitive 
  • Significantly affect compliance or are important to audits
Best Practices

It is easy to subscribe to a business automation tool but that doesn’t mean that you’ll succeed right away. The business process best practices you should keep in mind after investing in BPA is that you have to:

Choose the Right Processes

Various processes can be automated but this does not mean they all automatically qualify. It is good practice to weigh and identify the advantages and drawbacks of automating a business process before actually automating it. Businesses can benefit from automating repetitive and high-volume processes that are lightweight before automating more impactful and critical ones.

Find the Right Tool

There are various business automation tools on the market but each has its own design and objective. Some tools are more beneficial for the organisations looking to automate application development while others can offer clarity and transparency in a business.

Ultimately, the right tool for your business processes will depend on your goals, needs, and preferences. 

Business Automation Tools - A Stepping Stone to Digital Transformation
Popular Business Automation Tools – A Stepping Stone to Digital Transformation
Have a Goal

Another thing to have in mind is a goal. By clearly defining the goal of automating a process, you can check key performance indicators (KPIs) and measure its success. Having a clear goal means that you can adjust workflows and designs so that automated business processes work well. 

Get Involved

Involving all stakeholders in learning about and executing automation can make digital transformation a more seamless transition. Just like all changes, technological change can receive pushback. Involving employees and other members of your business can help them understand the need for automation and how these processes work. This way, automation will be embraced. 

Train Your People

Again, simply purchasing business automation tools does not necessarily mean success. Educating your employees will improve the chances that this technology is accepted, understood, and utilised. Seminars and training will help employees become familiar and accustomed to business automation tools and can positively contribute to business goals with this technology.

Focus on Improvement

Implementation does not equal success either. Automating one process can help you understand what works and what should be implemented in the next process for better and consistent results. Analyse and monitor what happens after automation and take this data to decide a process’s key performance indicators. Focus on continuous improvement to optimise BPA and guarantee success. 

Popular Business Automation Tools

Transform the way your business operates and look into the following best automation tools:

  • Zapier
  • IFTTT
  • ActiveCampaign
  • Grammarly
  • Shopify
  • WordStream
  • Calendly
  • Xero
  • HootSuite
  • Buffer

Take the best business automation practices into consideration and invest in any of the mentioned business automation tools for a year of efficiency and success.

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