What is Business Process Automation
Business Process Automation (BPA) is the implementation of technology to automate complex business processes and functions beyond routine tasks. Automation of processes can help streamline and optimize workflows which increases efficiency, reduces costs, and improves business performance.
All industries can benefit from implementing BPA and it often involves integrating software, technology, and data tools to run the automated processes.
Key Business Process Automation Aspects
First, businesses should analyze which processes could benefit from automation. These processes should be repetitive, involve high volumes of data, and are rule-based.
Next, is workflow design which defines the steps and logic of an automated process and often includes creating flowcharts and process diagrams to ensure all steps in the process are visualized. After the workflow design is completed, the software needed to implement this workflow must be developed or purchased (we have listed 10 of our top choices below).
Once the software tool has been developed or purchased, it’s time to integrate it into the current systems and applications to ensure that the automation efficiently runs between different software tools, this can often involve using APIs, custom integration, and middleware.
The automated process must be thoroughly tested to ensure any issues or errors are identified and resolved before the process is rolled out. After testing has been completed, the automated process can be rolled out into the production environment. The deployed solution should be monitored to ensure it is running correctly without any errors.
Any automated solution does require maintenance and constant monitoring, KPIs are useful measures to ensure efficiency and productivity are meeting expectations. If there are changes made to the software or current systems, adaptions may be required to ensure the process is running efficiently and meets regulations.
Benefits of Process Automation
BPA can greatly improve the efficiency of repetitive tasks by reducing manual intervention which can also minimize errors. These processes can also be set to run when trigger criteria are met which means these processes can also run outside of business houses. By reducing the need for manual labor and eliminating errors, businesses can expect to save costs.
Automated processes follow the same set of rules which means these tasks are completed consistently and have a higher rate of accuracy. The chosen BPA tool implemented should be scalable so these processes can scale as the business grows.
Implementing automation software can be costly when it comes to the initial upfront investment, so choosing the right tool is vital. Businesses can expect to reduce costs in the long term but will need to ensure that they factor in the initial setup costs.
Training and upskilling employees to use the automation software can be a time-consuming process. Change management will need to be implemented as well as ensuring that the business automation tool is easy to use.
Implementing automation software may be challenging and require expertise, the chosen software should offer strong support so any implementation issues can be resolved by experts.
Business Process Automation is a dynamic field that is constantly evolving with technology advancements. Effectively leveraging BPA can give businesses a competitive advantage by improving operational efficiency which means more time can be spent making strategic decisions.
Business Process Automation Software
There are many popular programs and platforms that businesses can use for automation. We’ve summarized our top 10 choices for business automation software (plus a powerful third-party app).
UiPath is a robotic process automation tool that enables businesses to automate repetitive tasks and processes by using software robots.
Automation Anywhere is another robotic automation process tool that provides features for business process automation, data extraction, data processing, and more.
Pega Systems offers business process automation software that businesses can use to design, manage, and optimize their processes.
Microsoft Power Automate, known formerly as Microsoft Flow, allows users to create automated business flows between different platforms and services.
Zapier is a workflow automation tool that connects different apps to automate workflows which can make data flow between two different platforms seamless.
IBM Business Process Management is a comprehensive platform that can be used to design, implement, and optimize automated business processes.
HubSpot provides a Customer Relationship Management platform that businesses can use to automate marketing, sales, and customer service processes.
Nintex is a workflow automation solution that allows businesses to integrate with other business applications to automate processes and workflows.
Kissflow is a low-code platform that assists businesses with project and case management as well as automation of business workflows.
Finally, Salesforce is the world’s leading Customer Relationship Management tool, businesses widely use this platform for automation processes for sales, marketing, and customer services. If a business is looking to extend their Salesforce experience they can navigate to the App Exchange and download the trusted third-party app, Titan. This no-code tool uses an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface to create custom flows and processes can can be implemented to benefit the business.
Business automation can help businesses save time and money when it comes to repetitive rule-based tasks, businesses need to evaluate each tool before making a final decision. Technical expertise required and ease of use should be taken into account as well as specific business needs. Implementing automation software requires planning and vigorous testing to ensure the process benefits the business instead of becoming a hindrance. The automation tool should also seamlessly integrate with current business platforms and software to ensure additional costs are not incurred to create custom integration to make sure the tools function correctly.