Examining 4 Key Benefits of Business Process Automation
MAR 06, 2018 20:22 PM
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Examining 4 Key Benefits of Business Process Automation 

by Anna Johansson
 
In today’s climate, small businesses must work harder and smarter if they want to compete with industry leaders. This can be difficult to accomplish, especially when you take things like limited budgets, overworked employees, and other constraints into account. So how do you scale easily and effectively, without compromise? For many businesses, the answer is to invest in business process automation. 
 
What is Business Process Automation?
 
As Techopedia explains, “Business Process Automation (BPA) is a process of managing information, data and processes to reduce costs, resources and investment. BPA increases productivity by automating key business processes through computing technology.”
While it takes on many forms and applications, modern BPA tends to address time-consuming responsibilities, so that employees can focus on critical, customer-facing tasks.
“The BPA process is geared toward implementing software applications to automate routine business tasks through initiation, execution and completion, while achieving enterprise-wide workflow efficiency,” Techopedia continues. 
 
4 Key Benefits of Business Process Automation
 
Every business is unique, which means the exact benefits one business yields from BPA could differ significantly from the next. Having said that, the following benefits tend to be consistent across the board.
 
1. Lower Costs
 
The most obvious benefit of BPA is the cost savings associated with streamlining time-consuming processes that require man hours from paid employees. But it’s not all about payroll maximization. Automation also leads to few mistakes.
 
“By substituting human vulnerabilities with the accuracy of a machine, you bypass the expensive costs associated with manual errors and inefficiencies,” entrepreneur Neil Miller writes. “Late payments, slow sales approvals, and payments for goods never received are all very expensive errors. Automation can also save lots of administrative labor costs.”
 
2. Enhanced Productivity
 
For small businesses, one of the constraints that limits the ability to compete with larger organizations is a lack of productivity. Whereas big companies have unlimited human resources and advanced technological infrastructures, smaller businesses are forced to work with much less. This limits output and stymies efficiency.
 
Strategically implemented BPA solutions afford even the smallest businesses with the fewest resources the opportunity to increase output. One great example of this is the use of job scheduling software, which increases batch throughput by automating production batch schedules. The lag time between jobs is minimized and, in some cases, businesses can shed hours from a single process. 
 
3. Greater Insights and Visibility
 
Small businesses that implement BPA into their organizations typically report greater insights and visibility into what’s happening on a micro and macro level. This is particularly evident when you look at something like asset tracking software.
 
“A robust asset tracking software can help you lower administrative costs and burdens. Rather than rummaging around for assets each time, your employees can simply look an asset up online and view details relating to its availability and location,” explains Ali Syed, CEO of EZOfficeInventory, an asset tracking software company. “This way, you don't just free up time, but also lower the chances of equipment theft, loss, and misplacement.”
 
An indirect result of increased visibility is greater peace of mind – an intangible that doesn’t necessarily show up on a spreadsheet or quarterly earnings report. When business leaders are confident that they have deep insights into what’s happening within their business, they’re able to exhibit greater decisiveness in critical moments. 
 
4. Greater Consistency and Quality
 
As previously alluded to, BPA leads to greater consistency. This means businesses no longer have to spend as much time worrying about individual results and can instead focus on the big picture. On the customer-facing side of things, greater consistency leads to greater predictability, which eliminates frustrations related to quality. In other words, everyone benefits. 
 
Implementing Business Process Automation
 
Clearly there’s immense value in BPA. The question most small businesses have, is how do you actually implement into daily workflows and existing processes? 
 
For starters, you have to identify the right processes to automate. Simply saying you want to automate is like saying you want to increase sales. Great – but which products are you going to push, and what sales tactics are you going to use to reach more customers? In terms of BPA, determining what you’re going to automate is the first step.  
 
The next step is to choose the right solution. The specific tool you select will have a major influence on the outcome. There are lots of tools and products on the market and every company claims they are the best. Make sure you’re opting for the BPA solution that fits your organizational needs – in terms of specialization, capabilities, scalability, and affordability.
 
After implementing BPA solutions, you actually have to set goals and start to measure the results. It’ll likely take some tweaking and optimization before you experience a positive return on investment. But once you do, you’ll wonder how you ever did without it.
 
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