Technology plays a lead role in transforming business processes, and automation has emerged as one of the integral components of business process management in organisations. With numerous technologies and processes to deal with, Business Process Automation (BPA) has become a highly complex task. BPA implementation today should focus on a clear set of goals which drive the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of your business. This demands a thorough understanding of the requirements from the business as well as a systematic approach to measure the outcome of the technology implementation.
The key factors driving BPA implementation across businesses include operational efficiency, faster turnaround times and cost savings among others. The purpose of your BPA implementation therefore should be to meet these goals by embracing the right technology that empowers the employees with the self-service features to drive process improvement and derive higher business values. Meanwhile it should provide the business with an intelligent evaluation process to measure the results.
Do you see the difference in efficiency?
BPA is all about improving efficiency through automation and reducing manpower. For example, a company that leverages automation tools can process more than double invoices per year than an average performing company that uses manual processing. BPA also eliminates errors associated with manual processing. However, the level of operational efficiency brought by BPA depends on the nature of the technology and the way it is employed. Choosing the right technology is crucial and perhaps the most challenging task for enterprises – both big and small. The choice depends on many factors including the nature of your business, the scope of the implementation and the cost of the technology. The best approach to this is to perform a vendor evaluation and identify the right vendor who can suggest the right technology that meets all or most of your requirements. Leading BPA providers are capable of offering tailor-made solutions that can bring drastic changes in the way business functions are carried out.
Any difference in turnaround time?
Businesses which are conscious about quality and cost prefer BPA to shorten turnaround time without compromising quality. A typical example of this is the office automation with document management software and e-office capabilities. By incorporating the latest technologies in collaboration, cloud and analytics, office automation solutions improve workflow and enable intelligent information access across different departments, thereby improving productivity. With appropriate tools to predict performance and measure the outcome, each department can gain insight into the process and become more agile. Automation ensures consistency in performance by maintaining quality at every stage of operations. The impact will be visible in the entire value chain including sales, service, billing and collection.
And, cost savings?
Though cost is not the prime motive of BPA implementation, results show that automation brings cost savings in businesses in the form of reduction in manpower, faster product cycle and elimination of human errors. By automating key processes right from payroll to billing and sales to customer service, organisations are able to reduce their operational costs significantly. They also derive huge value from their BPA investment by creating loyal employees and happier customers. A helpdesk implementation, for example, shows how a simple technology can transform the way customer services are performed.
Addressing the concerns in BPA implementation
However, there are concerns associated with the cost of BPA implementation and its management. Modern BPA solutions delivered by cloud are the answer to the cost concerns over BPA implementation. Cloud-based BPA solutions are cheaper compared to in-house implementations; they also eliminate vendor lock-ins and provide businesses with the most up-to-date technologies available in the market.
The concern over BPA management is mainly attributed to the availability of the right technology and its utilisation. BPA implementations sometimes fail to achieve the desired results due to lack of effective technology. Conversely, sometimes businesses also end up installing a number of automation features which they never use in their entire lifetime. Managed Services is an answer to this dilemma. With Managed Services, you get the necessary tools required for your business. The scalable approach gives you the freedom to add or remove features as required. The pay-as-you-use model completely eliminates the expenditure associated with unused resources.
In short, organisations should have a system to evaluate the BPA implementation, measure the outcome and analyse the results to understand what works and what doesn’t. This will help them identify the loopholes in BPA implementation and correct it before it impacts the fundamentals of the business.