Businesses today are taking advantage of emerging enterprise solutions to take care of repetitive tasks while improving cost efficiency. Almost every organization today is using at least one example of business process automation. In fact, the use of artificial intelligence solutions stands at 40% of all organizations.
History of Process Automation
Humans have always been in search of automation that makes life and business easier. Henry Ford’s assembly line revolutionized industrial production. In the 1980s, software developers began selling enterprise systems to businesses. These solutions improved human resource management, project management, and sales records management.
Enterprise solutions from that era could not integrate with and improve other business processes. This remained the case until the 21st century when business process management (BPM) software emerged. The solutions tracked workflow in a company and came with analytical capabilities to show areas of inefficiency and improvement.
In the last decade, digital process automation (DPA) solutions have improved on BPM solutions. DPA solutions use robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to automate tasks in the business process.
DPA solutions do not always have to be complex. For low-level automation, there are low-code platforms that automate simple business tasks. Such solutions are inexpensive and require little to no technical support, unlike BPM solutions from two decades ago.
Before the last decade, the need to have human intervention where there was an information-based process limited automation of business tasks. However, intelligent automation has made it possible to reduce human reliance. Intelligent automation uses AI, machine learning, natural language processing, robotics, and predictive analytics to improve business processes.
With such capabilities available to businesses today, opportunities for automation are vast. In order to build a strong case for automation, you need to understand the existing workflow problems. You then need to find a solution provider who can understand and design a proper fit solution. The new solution needs to integrate with other existing enterprise software.
Here are a few business processes that most companies can streamline through automation.
Integrating new employees into a company can be a hectic process without proper planning and execution. New employees need to fill out their personal information in forms, they need to understand the workflow at the organization, they may need training, supervisors, mentors, among many other things.
There is a risk that you will lose records, training and assigning of mentors may take too long, and the new employee may become frustrated with the lack of coordination.
Automating the entire process ensures that the onboarding of all employees is standardized. The company avoids the risk of losing records, and missing routine tasks such as collecting employees’ bank account records.
Social Media Automation
Today, companies can improve their social media presence while freeing up time for their social media team to engage in high value tasks such as personal engagement with followers. Automation tools can help you schedule your posts, generate reports, and develop new content ideas.
Social media listening tools can help follow conversations and developments in the industry by following conversations using keywords and hashtags.
Companies can integrate chatbots into their customer service strategy whereby automated replies and suggested solutions to common problems can improve customer experiences. Natural language processing has improved the ability of chatbots to understand and predict customer intentions.
Automating Invoice Processing
The handling of invoices is a sensitive area because the company risks overpaying for purchases and undercharging customers. An automated invoice processing solution will extract data and record the information in an accounts payable management system.
The system would normally be integrated with the purchase order management system and the digital payments system if it exists in your company.
Automated invoice processing streamlines the invoice matching process that normally requires tens of man-hours. Invoice matching ensures accurate payments to vendors while flagging potentially fraudulent transactions. The system will normally flag and report deviations whether in the quantities or prices stated in the invoice from what was in the purchase order or contract.
Automated invoice processing enables the company to add layers of verification without losing time-efficiency before any payments are made.
Sales and CRM
Your sales team loves interacting with customers and getting your company new business. But they probably dislike the repetitive paperwork that comes with it. You can improve their work by making use of modern Customer Relationship Management that comes with powerful built-in capabilities.
Automated CRM software helps in the client research and needs assessment process. If you are targeting a specific corporate client, the CRM software can gather whatever information is available online about them. This can aid your sales team in striking a conversation and making a good pitch.
CRM software also automates data entry, record creation, and record keeping. Your sales team may deal with hundreds of clients and it’s important to keep accurate records. Remember, some sales may take months or even years to close. You need accurate records of potential clients as they move down the sales funnel.
As predictive analytics continues to be integrated with CRM, lead management is becoming more efficient for decision makers. It is now possible to tell where clients are along the sales funnel and which accounts are most valuable and how best to manage them.
Why Should You Automate Business Processes?
Automation is a sign of a business’ commitment to excellence. The completeness of records protects the business in case of a compliance audit. In addition, automation of processes helps to standardize operation, so that there is consistency in outcomes. Consistency is a significant factor whenever a business is attempting to establish itself as a reliable solution provider.
Automation of repetitive tasks contributes to employee satisfaction. Automation augments the skills of your important staff while allowing them to concentrate on the high-value tasks. It also reduces turnaround time of your business processes, which improves customer satisfaction in the long run.
If you are looking for opportunities to automate your business processes, Transcendent Software LLC has a process automation solution. We help businesses increase their ROI through the selection and adoption of appropriate automated solutions. We take time to understand your organization’s workflow before recommending an iterative approach to process automation. To learn more, contact our team for a consultative call.