Perfection is almost impossible as long as a person is running a process manually. It is prone to error because of the obvious limitations of the mental and physical limitations of the human body. It is often convenient to start automating business processes process and let them be controlled by programs and machines to obtain more satisfactory results, this precisely was the idea behind the 4th industrial revolution in the early 1900s.
It is always beneficial that a process takes less time and produces more efficient results which are the core targets of automating any process. Automation can speed up the overall working of any organization dealing with complex and long tasks. Moreover, a robotic process is often more reliable because it follows the rules and provides the output that it is designed for, nothing more and nothing less. Process management flourishes profusely through these means allowing the company to diversify its usage of time.
Business process automation has sped up workflow management as well. It has evolved into something that companies depend on to be profitable, and now most of their general tasks are being performed through this production method.
What Precisely is Business Process Automation (BPA)?
Business process automation can be defined as using high-tech tools and processes used to increase the efficiency and accuracy of the work. These processes can employ a combination of software and hardware that automate the system with minimal human interference and produce the desired results more quickly and adequately. Thus, automation promises to provide a system that is less time-consuming and energy-draining.
By not having to use manual effort, automation in any system eliminates inefficiencies in operation. Quality management and automated business processes can be cost-saving, and you can always have more of that.
By automating business processes, you can maneuver many difficult tasks using AI and software in a matter of minutes that normally require multiple man hours. It has become increasingly common in many well-known institutions and business organizations to automate every possible task in the operations. There are many general examples of ways that this process of automation can take place such as:
- Screening applicants for a job
- Data reporting
- Ticketing systems
- Payroll processing and audit reports
Why Should You Care About Automating Business Processes?
Creating a digital workplace is a permanent solution to reducing the chances of error and unlocking new levels of economies of scales with minimal resources. In today’s corporate world, every little bit and second literally matters. Among the many different benefits that this methodology can offer, some of them are:
As the common saying goes, anything a man can do, a machine can do better and faster. Automating business processes enables you to complete tasks and accomplish goals at the speed you need to survive in the market. In this ever-changing world, everything is a race against time and automating business processes can provide foundation to keep up with that pace.
Once a process is automated, it can work tirelessly for long durations. You do not need to invest more money once it is perfectly implemented. Spending less and gaining more is, in short, an automated business process.
Chances of error in an automated process are limited as it follows the sequential guidelines that you provide. Its main outcome is process optimization and customer satisfaction. You must provide input and wait for the results (i.e., output) of every process. Consequently, you can confidently expect desired results without any significant losses and failures.
Automated process offer productivity without frequent mishaps. As there is no human intervention, the process execution and business operations are more effective than manual work done by humans.
Appropriate Time to (or Not to) Automate a Process
Despite how helpful this automation process is, you cannot just ruthlessly automate any process you desire. There are limitations to how and when you can use this method; otherwise, it can be counter-productive and produce doubtful and indecisive results.
- Make sure the automated process flow is not so complex that it would eventually lead to an inability of future workers to carry it out. It is better to either simplify it or provide appropriate training and documentation to employees so they are comfortable operating the new system.
- Only raw and relevant data must be utilized for the automation. Any emotional or gut feeling kind of data must not be brought into use. As humans, we rely on a lot of factors including emotions and logical thinking to make our decisions. The same is not true for machines; they need data in form of numbers and if you cannot effectively do that, you are in for a new headache. That being said, there are times where human intervention is needed to validate outputs and communicate effectively across teams for example.
- It is easier when all the members of the organization are on the same page about its implementation. As human beings, we can be very sensitive to change and therefore, may carry some objections towards automating a process that has previously been done manually for years. Therefore, for fluent functioning and transition, automating business processes must be communicated to all impacted members of the process. Not only that but they should be encouraged to bring forward their questions, concerns, and confusions. This helps create an inclusive environment for welcoming change with open arms.
- Automation in any process has a lot to do with the state of technology as well. Undoubtedly, today the human race is far ahead with respect to the state of AI that it used to be 20 years ago. But the machines still have a lot to improve and a long way to go. There is a possibility that the process you are trying to automate cannot be automated at the moment because the technology is simply not advanced enough. Be mindful of this and consult an expert as to whether the desired automation is possible or not.
So, it is advised not to rush into the implementation of automated business process management. You can appreciate the true benefits of automation only if you are cautious of these limitations.
Examples of Business Process Automation in HR
HR workflows are opportunities to profoundly simplify HR processes, and can often be implemented quickly for instant utilization. An HRIS (Human Resources Management Information System) is a software, capable of streamlining this automation process. Many HRIS systems have workflow management capabilities built into them. In addition, a software like this can integrate all your HR applications you use for different purposes and compile on one database and dashboard for better overview and analytics. Whatever the HR software, you can easily extract the data and present it in a much more understandable way. Here are some examples of processes that can automated using workflow automation functionalities in a workflow management software.
Automating business processes is exceptionally beneficial in HR workflow through automation of invoice processing. It can be designed to make sure that every payment is legitimate and get an audit of every transaction that was submitted. It transforms the work that will usually take hours to mere seconds. Validating, routing, and reporting are now possible without any hassle.
In any big organization, hiring new workers can be a time-consuming and exigent task. Instead of individually processing paperwork manually, it is very convenient to deploy software that is capable of onboarding employees quickly and efficiently. Besides the efficiency of this automating business process, you can also automate the evaluation of the onboarding process by automating survey and feedback mechanisms at the end (or throughout) the onboarding experience.
Employee Support and Help Desk
Deploying an automated system for providing customer support and general help employees and relieve HR from individually answering the repetitive and simple questions faced by the customers and employees. By automating a help desk which answered frequently asked questions in seconds, the HR department can then react nimbly to provide the solutions to larger issues that human interactions.
By using artificial intelligence (AI) technology like chat-bots and digital help centers, the employees’ issues can be easily accounted for and forwarded to the relevant authorities. Instead of making employees wait for replies, you can automate this process and eliminate waiting times.
The hectic process of keeping track of the expenses in an organization can be reduced to seconds by automating the process. This means putting necessary approval steps that are triggered automatically and are sent to the right team member at the right time, without wasting time on approvals that are not necessarily required. For example, you can choose to only require a VP-level approval when expenditures exceed a certain amount.
Not can you eliminate the data entry work, but it can also calculate the incomes/outcomes and the expenditure of the entire organization by automating relevant business processes. There is no pleasure in personally filling out manual reports. That is why many automations can use validation points for keeping quality management in check. In this way, the security concerns can also be reduced and implementing stronger data security controls can be made exponentially easier.
You can exempt yourself from the trouble of keeping your employees’ payments in check by automating this process as well. Many software and apps allow you to efficiently keep records of employee payroll information. Document management and case management are also possible to automate with the right software in place. The trust of the workers stays intact when their records are consistently accurate and on time.
You can streamline the process of recruitment via automation. You don’t have to interact physically with each applicant to select qualified individuals; instead, you can automatically introduce a system to pick out the applicants for you based on education, experience, skills or other criteria. Outsourcing resume screening to AI can seem scary at first, but it will ultimately create efficiencies in the recruiting process that are based on objective selection processes and addressing business needs in terms of human capital.
Business Process Automation Tools
There are many tools available on the market that you can successfully help you in the automation process. These configurable automation solutions help you create a digitized system based on artificial intelligence and algorithms and eventually increase your departmental output. The HR dashboard can easily integrate with these tools and deliver you consolidated reports that can help you measure the efficiency of processes and compare productivity pre-automation vs. post-automation.
How to Choose the right HR Automation Software
There are tons of HR applications on the market and each one them will tell you that they are the best. However, you as a Business Analyst or HR decision-maker should consider what is suitable the most to your organization:
- Improving business outcomes: The software you intend to implement should drive actual value to your organization and should not just add another layer of complexity for your management teams to deal with.
- Cost reduction is one of the major objectives when look to automate a process. The software you choose should be economical while improving you with increased work efficiency.
- Flexible and scalable: The HR automation software you choose should also be flexible in terms of configuration to meet your business requirements so you can conveniently adapt your HR stack as your business grows.
- Suit yourself: It is not a given that a software with many successful users will suit to your organization as well. Always consider your organization’s operational needs more than anything else before you sign up for any SaaS solution.
Automating business processes has revolutionized how business operate in the modern world. Management systems have improved tremendously, making processes efficient, productive, and easy to implement. Digital workplaces, like an HR platform which has an easy-to-use interface, can provide your organization the leg-up it needs to outshine your competition when it comes to HR agility and human capital management.