Business Process Automation (BPA)

Every enterprise wants to maximize revenues and minimize costs, but today’s competitive environment makes it difficult to simultaneously achieve both those goals. 

To thrive and scale, you need to use available resources efficiently with smart, data-driven strategic decisions. Adoption of business process automation is one of them. 

In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about business process automation, focusing on the terminology, key concepts, and automation best practices that help you keep processes running smoothly.

What Is Business Process Automation?

BPA or business process automation refers to the use of technology and software to automate and streamline repetitive, manual, and time-consuming tasks and processes within an organization.

The primary goal of BPA is to improve efficiency, reduce human error, enhance productivity, and ultimately cut costs. You can use automation to optimize any process, for example, customer support, budgeting, financial analysis, regular deals, compliance, or reporting.

Why Is Business Process Automation Important?

The biggest advantage of BPA is that it enhances efficiency by reducing manual labor and human error, leading to significant cost savings. 

Moreover, BPA ensures consistency, standardization, and faster processing, ultimately improving customer satisfaction. It supports data accuracy, enhances decision-making, and provides a competitive advantage. 

BPA also helps with scalability, regulatory compliance, and employee satisfaction. Industries from manufacturing to healthcare to logistics and transportation use BPA to enhance reporting, reduce administrative burdens on their teams, reduce risks, and scale their operations.

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Benefits of Business Process Automation

With enterprise automation software, you can construct a system that mirrors every task in your workflow. Then, you identify specific guidelines or rules for the program to follow at each step in the process cycle. 

Implementing an automation system can drive these important competitive and operational advantages for your business:

Streamlined, Efficient Interactions

Automation of business processes lets your company deliver the fast, friction-free experience customers expect. 

BPM software delivers the right data to the right person at the right time, driving quick, precise decisions and actions. You can monitor operations and identify potential issues at a glance to immediately address inefficiencies.

Better Productivity and Revenue

Productivity gains are the most common goal of automation initiatives. In one survey by Automation Anywhere, 78% of respondents said they engaged in BPA to improve in this area.

With this technology, your company can remain as competitive as possible by boosting production and eliminating waste. For example, Chief Healthcare Executive reported the healthcare industry could collectively save $25 billion every year through BPA.

Better Communication and Morale

BPA guarantees the smooth flow of information among your teams, enhancing clarity and transparency. 

Employees gain a stronger understanding of their own contributions and how they interface with the responsibilities of others and the larger organizational goals. For example, automatic project updates can reduce friction between team members without adding extra tasks to anyone’s plate.  

Talent is one of your business’s most valuable assets. Releasing professional personnel from tedious admin responsibilities improves their morale and allows them to focus on their core competencies. 

This in turn creates space for innovation and fuels progress toward key business objectives. The journal Open Access Government reports that the average company could save 25,000 hours of employee time annually by automating tedious repetitive tasks.

Improved Customer Experience

Remarkable consumer care is the norm across industries, not a competitive differentiator. Your audience is always online and they expect immediate responses when they ask questions or request information. 

Business operations automation brings your customers closer to the process so they can access the information they need when they need it. 

If it’s easy to work with your company, they’re more likely to become repeat clients.

Standardized Procedures

Computerized information flows save time and reduce potential mistakes. Automation software ensures that everyone follows the proper procedure and requires approval for team members to break protocol. 

Your entire team can access the same documents and tasks around the clock whether they’re at the office, out in the field, or in a home-based workspace. Having standard operating procedures in place also makes it easy to scale your business and enter new service lines.

Types of Business Process Automation

The most common types of BPA include:

  • Robotic process automation, which uses software “bots” to automate rule-based tasks like data entry, invoice processing, and customer support.
  • Machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence that provides decision support by analyzing large datasets and making predictions based on the provided information.
  • Integration platforms, which connect your company’s different systems and apps so they seamlessly work together.
  • Document process automation, which encompasses document capture, classification, indexing, and storage.

Many companies incorporate more than one type of BPA as they engage in digital transformation.

Business Process Automation Examples

These are just a few of the possible ways you can incorporate BPA into your business model.

Record Management

Record management is ripe for renovation with BPA. 

You can use this software to organize all your business documents in a core database, coordinate collaboration across departments, and maintain the data you need for government regulation and legal compliance. 

If you run a medium-sized or enterprise business, you may want to consider BPA for record management in the HR and operations departments as well.

Renovation and Inspection

Many companies rely on BPA during the renovation and inspection process. Automated tools can diagnose problems early when they’re less expensive to fix and manage the routine maintenance workflow. 

Consider adopting BPA for renovation and inspection if your project and site managers in construction and administrative roles need a better way to track costs and materials, schedule equipment, assure quality control, and deliver training programs and safety information.

Audit and Compliance

With a BPA-based audit system, you can provide comprehensive documents with detailed change annotations to auditors at a moment’s notice. 

Specific team permissions allow you to control access and ensure security, reducing the risk of financial loss associated with an audit.

Identifying Business Processes to Automate

McKinsey & Co estimates that companies can potentially automate 60% to 70% of business tasks across all industries and internal departments, particularly with the widespread adoption of generative AI.

But successful BPA requires strategic selection of the appropriate tasks and workflows.

To choose those, start by auditing your operational processes. Automation software works especially well for workflows that:

  • Involve many different employees
  • Take a lot of time
  • Require recurring assignments
  • Require audit trails for compliance and record-keeping
  • Significantly impact other processes and systems

Look for recurring and repetitive tasks that translate well into the step-based flow. 

Establishing clear goals for automation can also inform this process. Determine what you want to achieve, whether it’s reducing processing time, minimizing errors, improving customer satisfaction, or saving costs.

How to Automate a Business Process

Once you’ve identified the process you want to automate, analyze the entire workflow, looking for bottlenecks, redundant steps, and error-prone areas.

  1. Analyze the current flow: Analyze how the process runs now, identifying pain points, bottlenecks, and areas requiring automation the most.
  2. Set goals: Define clear objectives for automation, such as reducing processing time, minimizing errors, or speeding up approval or document signing. 
  3. Choose the right tools: Select the dedicated automation tools. They may include Business Process Automation (BPA) software, workflow management platforms like Fluix, or CRM or HR management software, depending on the type  of the process.
  4. Map the automated workflow: Create an automated workflow that reflects the optimized process. Define the sequence of tasks and interactions between people responsible for completing them. 
  5. Set integrations: If you use multiple software systems or data sources, integrate them for data synchronization.
  6. Ensure security: Implement data validation checks and security measures to maintain data accuracy and protect sensitive information. 
  7. Train your teams: Educate your team on how the new automated workflow works, and what they’re expected to do within it.
  8. Monitor and optimize: Collect and analyze data to measure the performance against your objectives, optimizing the process when needed.
  9. Scale: Consider opportunities to scale and expand automation to other processes.
  10. Document: Maintain documentation of the automated process and ensure that it complies with relevant regulations.

Automating Business Processes with Fluix

According to CMSWIRE, the global BPA market will be worth more than $51 billion by 2032 — so if you aren’t adopting these solutions now, you’ll fall behind your competitors quickly. 

While automating business processes provides countless benefits, it also takes time and money to get started. You can reduce the learning curve and shorten the time to BPA adoption by partnering with Fluix. 

Fluix is a workflow automation platform that enables organizations to streamline their operations by digitizing and automating paper-based and manual processes. Using Fluix, you can create, distribute, and track digital forms and documents, reducing the need for manual data entry and paperwork.

Fluix also facilitates workflow management, allowing teams to collaborate on tasks and projects in real-time. Its integration with various business systems and cloud storage services ensures data exchange and accessibility, helping you make more informed decisions.

Ready To Start Automating Your Workflows And Processes?

Let our experts show you how to do it easily in Fluix