Every business in operation today has the goal of maximizing profits, while minimizing the time required to earn them. Business process automation (BPA) helps achieve this goal in multiple effective ways. Some business owners resist implementing BPA systems despite definitive proof of its efficacy. Others are willing to make the changes but lack the understanding required to take any noticeable advantage of BPA benefits.
Each day your business goes without the benefits of BPA is a day spent losing progress and profits to competitors. Are you interested in increasing the efficiency and continuity of your business operations? Read ahead to learn about the many benefits of business process automation today.
Basics of Business Process Automation (BPA)
Understanding business process automation (BPA) requires breaking down some of its functionality into individual categories then recombining them with extended knowledge. The human element of running a business is obviously essential to its success, with the caveat of random human error conversely introduced as an occasional anchor to progress. BPA utilizes software programming to create automated workflows, which reduce human errors and increase overall business continuity.
BPA, when examined more closely, is the automation of one or more business processes. A business process consists of one or more activities or activity sets, which serve the collective purpose of helping a business attain its goals. Goals vary per business but generally include increased profits, an expanded customer base, increased efficiency and minimal wasted time and mistakes. Therefore, a business process is any activity or set of activities designed to help reach these and other business goals. When a business process is automated its function or functions are repeated as a series of steps or phases, which serve to reduce or eliminate the need for human participation and, by default, human error.
Business Processes - Expanded Explanation
When you travel from one location to another you use a mode of transportation to complete the process. Thinking of a business process as a method of transportation helps further explain its purpose. Consider this perspective: You have the goal of getting from home to your job so you drive your car to reach your destination. This method of transportation, or process, is akin to a single business process, as it serves one function and helps achieve one goal. Now consider a longer trip where multiple destinations are involved. You drive your car to a local train station and take a lite rail to the airport, which is further away. At the airport you take a shuttle to the proper terminal then fly across the country, making one layover stop on the way. Once you arrive at your destination you take another shuttle to your hotel. Throughout the entire process you also take multiple elevators, escalators and stairways to get to various levels of each building you are in.
Each mode of transportation in this example is akin to a business process, and the combination of all processes working together helps you reach your goal. Now, imagine if you did not have to do any of that and were simply and instantly transported to your destination with little or no effort on your part. Voila - this is akin to the automation of business processes and the essence of the benefits provided by using BPA.
Benefits of BPA for your Company
Each company has its own specific sets of goals, but all companies are in business to succeed. Implementing BPA into your company helps it achieve success faster and more efficiently, in addition to providing multiple other benefits. One primary benefit created by using BPA is the reduction of various costs and expenses.
In the modern world many manually engaged business processes require the use of more resources than is logical and necessary. Resources include manpower and payroll hours, which are prevented from engaging in more important processes because of their superfluous responsibilities. This is especially true when these resources are tied up longer than expected correcting human errors. BPA provides the benefit of minimizing operations costs and increasing profits by eliminating the waste of resources and instead utilizing them with optimal efficiency.
BPA increases compliance with all legal, industry-standard regulations. Noncompliance is an expensive experience for a business and BPA eliminates those applicable expenses by eliminating the mistakes capable of causing them. Every single automated business process is logged, with records kept pursuant to initiation and completion times, task details and names of all task performers involved in the process. In addition to an increase in compliance, the ability to display it clearly increases appeal to potential investors as well. BPA is also highly beneficial during audits because it outputs accurate, detailed information fast.
Improved Operational Efficiency
Overall operational efficiency is another benefit provided by using BPA. Quality control is automatic so resources are not required to oversee the progression of one business process to another. If a workflow does become bottlenecked BPA is capable of identifying and correcting errors automatically without additional human input.
The most important aspect of any business is almost always its customers. BPA implementation helps improve the quality of your customer’s experiences in a variety of ways. For example, a service level agreement (SLA) is (broadly put) the expectations a customer has pursuant to the quality of service he or she receives from your business. More definitively an SLA includes the metrics through which your customer service is measured, consequences for failure to meet customer expectations and rewards for meeting and exceeding them. BPA holds all SLAs in compliance with the highest standards and helps guarantee customer satisfaction and quality of experience across the board.
Popular BPA Software and Tools
The best BPA software and tools offer a combination of reliability, customizable options, extensive features and competitive pricing. Some BPA programs are effective for most types of businesses, while others have features especially designed to benefit select business types. For example, Kintone is widely considered the best BPA software solution for nonprofit businesses because of its discounted annual pricing and multiple thousands of pre-built applications added daily. Kintone is used by major nonprofits such as the Alzheimer’s Association and United Way. Nintex is considered excellent for most types of businesses due to its user-friendly platform and simple integration with cloud functionality. Several other popular BPA software and tools programs for 2021 include: