If you are researching information about business automation solutions, your company must have faced the need to speed up some processes, improve the quality of service or reduce operational costs. In most cases, it’s more than these three goals. Luckily, we know how to choose business automation software, how to develop it, customize it properly and attune it in order to reach the best results.
According to Gartner, business process automation is “the automation of complex business processes and functions beyond conventional data manipulation and record-keeping activities, usually through the use of advanced technologies.” The companies that don’t automate marketing, sales, financial, development, and general operational start reminding dinosaurs unable to move quickly because of their weight.
Each and every company has numerous operational workflows that involve too many people or consume too much employees’ time. Sending template e-mails, processing invoices, launching internal operations in the HR department and filling in the CRM. These are repetitive tasks that don’t require some technical or cognitive skills and are exhausting for employees.
With the help of the right business automation software, it’s possible to reduce the possibility of an error to the minimum. It will leave more time for analytics and creativity and increase revenue. After all, the penny saved is the penny earned.
1. Identify the Need
Ask yourself the following question:
Which tasks are repetitive and tiresome that we can automate?
What specific performance figures do you want to improve
Managers should interview their employees regularly and ask them about these repetitive tasks: this will soon lead to more effective processes automation.
For instance, our company decided to automate an onboarding process for the Intecracy HR department and four other departments involved in this process. Before automation, onboarding required a dozen of calls, e-mails and personal talks between people working in IT, financial and administrative departments. No need to say that the cost of onboarding was quite large, taking into account 600 employees team which is constantly growing.
BPM tools are one of the most effective methods of business process automation. There is a huge number of BPM software on the market, yet we chose Camunda as the software trusted by Goldman & Sachs & NASA.
In our case, we chose Camunda BPM to speed up repetitive processes and generate automatic responses.
As a result, the time spent on onboarding/dismissal was reduced by 15% for the big IT company.
2. Create the Checklist Of Features of the Business Automation Software
Depending on your business purposes and goals of automation, your automation software should embrace a number of specific features you need.
Do you want to make your marketing efforts more efficient?
Make sure your tool is able to improve lead generation and build initial contacts with your customers.
Do you need to automate the decision-making process in procurement as we did for Nectain? Interview the team carefully by asking the following questions:
What conditions must be fulfilled to create an integral algorithm?
What decisions take the most time to make?
What factors do we need to consider if working with unpredictable factors?
The better your interview will be, the more information you will gather and the more sophisticated business automation solution you will develop in the end.
3. Use System Integration
Make sure your newly chosen automation tool is capable of easy integration with other systems. System integration is a must in the modern digital world. In one of the recent cases of business process automation, we integrated two independent systems into one.
We automated the task management tool Jira with the enterprise messenger in Slack to help team leads receive regular reports about the team’s performance in an effective manner.
You use a lot of digital tools for business running purposes, so don’t let them work against each other. Otherwise, it could disrupt the whole workflow process and cause more harm than good.
4. Recognize Navigation Capabilities
Ensure you and your team will be able to navigate the software without difficulties. If you can’t easily set up and use your solution, then most of the time-saving advantages will be negated.
Navigation is best checked in action. That is why to make sure that the processes you are automating run smoothly, it is most effective to consult an experienced QAs. Even the most complex and puzzling workflow can be automated so easily that even a fresh user will enjoy it.
After all, comprehensible UI/UX is often the result of thorough testing!
5. Use AI
Business process automation is getting smarter and smarter. McKinsey is speaking about the next generation of automation- Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) which includes AI, RPA, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Object Character Recognition. According to McKinsey, the results of IPA will be staggering:
- 50-70% of tasks will be automated;
- 20-30% income growth;
- 50-60 straight-through processes time reduction;
- ROI is triple-digit.
Think from the long-term perspective and find the solution that can scale with your constantly advancing business. Make sure your choice is agile enough to grow and adapt to future needs.
One of the recent cases of business process automation was done for a logistics company with the help of OCR application. By automating the process of document fillings using Object Character Recognition we managed to reduce the operational time by 40%!
6. Consider Your Service Needs
While choosing the right automation solution, you don’t just buy a full package product – you also get respective customer service from a provider.
You need to make sure that the company will offer you qualitative ongoing service options available via the most convenient way for your methods. Looking for a company that will provide you with business automation software solutions, search for those that can support it properly.
7. Be Aware Of The Security Risks
Choose a solution with all possible security measures applied to repel a potential cyber attack. Digital automation makes business processes simpler and faster, as well as more vulnerable to outside intervention by hackers.
Business automation software development presupposes access to internal corporate data, which means that security becomes the top priority issue. Ensure the company that is automating business processes has an effective Security Policy, 27001 ISO Certificate, and is capable of working under a strong NDA.
8. Take High- Quality Control Measures
Subject your automation tool to the quality control standards to unveil possible bugs. Monitor and measure the effectiveness of the applied solution – make sure, at the very beginning, that it works as you expect.
9. Study A Proposal Of Ready-To-Use Solutions At The Market
Look around for the right quality solutions and time-tested tools that have already proven a return on investment. Consider the functional and operational possibilities of all of the proposed alternatives. If any of them still doesn’t fit you – begin to consider developing a customized solution.
10. Get A Customized Business Automation Software Tool
Develop your own automation software with the specific features and options needed for your business. A Customized business automation tool will add significant value to your enterprise. Accounting it can not just increase efficiency but also bring a lot of proactive capabilities.
Outsourcing companies, like Softengi, usually contribute a lot of time to developing business automation solutions.
Look around for the right quality solutions and proven tools that have already proven a return on investment. Consider the functional and operational possibilities of all of the proposed alternatives. If any of them still doesn’t fit you – begin to consider developing a customized solution.