According to Gallup’s research, almost 71% of American employees consider themselves to be “actively disengaged” at work. A fair amount of blame falls on repetitive, mundane daily tasks.
It’s the uncomfortable truth that many businesses today struggle with less-than-optimal daily processes. Even small inefficiencies tend to add up, causing unnecessary frustration and driving down employees’ work satisfaction.
That’s where business automation can step in, offering cutting-edge ways of improving performance and helping organizations achieve their business goals.
Benefits Of Business Automation
Automating business processes refers to technology-based automation of complex business activities. Thanks to advanced software, a number of repeatable business transactions can now be operated with much less involvement of a human.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the key benefits of business process automation.
A higher degree of process control
When all parts of the workflow can be viewed on one dashboard, it’s much easier to track the progress status of each project. It allows you to make informed, metric-based decisions (from sales cycles to billing and A/B testing) and achieve greater accuracy with timelines. You can always stay on top of your next actions required to meet business objectives. Tailoring operational changes becomes easier, and organizational processes can be improved with actionable, data-backed solutions.
Fewer errors and more saved time
Endless email chains, conflicting document copies, unprocessed paperwork, and unintentional human errors can pile up and severely disrupt any team’s workflow. Business automation lets you quickly detect the crucial pain points and immediately address them. Automated software tools are meant to streamline processes by handling redundant and ineffective tasks. They can significantly reduce human error and save valuable employees’ time.
Reduced operational costs
If you’re not employing optimal working methods, you’re likely to sacrifice the speed and accuracy of your tasks. Even small inefficiencies can be extremely costly for an organization. With the significant improvement of business processes and better use of the company’s resources, organizations can cut costs and create new – or enhanced – revenue streams.
Increased client satisfaction
With business automation, you can be a step ahead of your competitors by boosting value for clients. Automation can be especially useful in situations when customers expect quick action and when personalization plays a vital role (say, whenever you want to send specific emails to loyal customers). It’s also irreplaceable in situations when a human error can damage client trust – for instance, when a business deals with massive amounts of sensitive financial information.
It’s a common myth that business process automation replaces people. In fact, the opposite is true – it considers your team as a top priority. With more automated tasks, employees get freed from mundane activities and can proceed with substantially more creative, strategic, and meaningful work.
Commonly Used Business Automation Tools
In today’s organizations, there is a rapidly increasing number of tools and programs based on automation technologies. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Robotic process automation (RPA). It relies on software robots (bots) or artificial intelligence (AI) workers who perform repetitive, high-volume tasks. They do it fast, and they do it more efficiently than an average human. RPA is widely used in data identification and extraction processes, banking and finance operations, e-commerce activities, client care practices, and so on.
Applications of intelligent character recognition (ICR) and optical character recognition (OCR) applications. These types of software can scan and “read” different forms of text. OCR software translates scanned images of textual information (printed or typed) and turns scans into machine-encoded text. ICR is more specific and deals with various styles of handwriting.
Automated documentation software. It can be defined as a content management system that imports, exports, and logs all business-relevant data. You may view it as a structured library of important files that can be easily accessed at any time.
Smart forms. These forms eliminate unnecessary business processes related to handling paper forms: printing them out, filling them in, making copies, etc. With smart forms, you can create customizable documents (digital or print) and effortlessly save them in your content management system (CMS).
Even though switching to automation may seem like a challenge sometimes, the long-term benefits usually far outweigh the resources invested.
Departments That Can Benefit From Business Automation
Business automation can be applied in a wide array of fields and in multiple departments of organizations. Here are a few examples.
The benefit of the Sales Department from Business Automation
Automation tools enable sales teams to place their focus where it’s due. Salespeople spend fewer hours logging their activities and use that time to make phone calls and close deals. Business automation software can be used to schedule appointments, keep an accurate record of call outcomes, create lists of leads that can be loaded into your CRM, match leads with reps, etc.
The benefit of the Marketing Department from Business Automation
Manually running marketing campaigns can often be time-consuming. You can drastically reduce the necessary resources by automating selected marketing activities, such as managing email flows, posting automated messages on social networks, analyzing the results of marketing campaigns, and others. Marketing efforts are usually merged with customer relationship management systems for an even smoother performance.
The benefit of the HR Department from Business Automation
In HR, automation software is used for digitizing and automating repetitive tasks, like screening job application documents, scheduling interviews with potential candidates, employee onboarding procedures, timekeeping, managing payrolls and benefits packages, etc.
The benefit of the Finance Department from Business Automation
Accounting-related business functions often include a range of tasks that can be automated. The list might include bookkeeping, expense management, recurring invoice sending, payroll processing, procurement procedures, payment reconciliation, tax solutions, etc. Automation also helps consolidate critical financial data from various systems for further analysis with minimal human intervention.
Our latest article reviews accounting automation in detail: Accounting automation
Nowadays, a number of business automation technologies are available, and they can be tailored specifically to the organization’s needs. Automation is called the future of business, and for a good reason. It has the potential to transform core business processes, optimize daily activities, and unburden employees from unnecessary work, empowering them to focus on tasks that truly matter in the long run.