Digital transformation has staggeringly reshaped the business community in India but the balance between the digital adaptations remains uneven. Knowledge-based
Do you want to make your business more efficient?
In modern times, business automation has become an essential feature of almost any and every organization.
Automating your business allows you to boost productivity as well as improve your efficiency. Moreover, with the introduction of machine learning alongside artificial intelligence, it has only grown in popularity.
In this article, we will explore business automation along with its different types and its importance.
What Is Business Automation?
Business automation refers to when certain technology is used to perform repetitive tasks. This allows your employees to be freed up for more important work. For example, focusing on strategic projects, collecting data to make informed decisions, etc.
Typically, business automation consists of business process automation (BPA), AI-based automation and robotic process automation (RPA). This technology allows you to streamline processes usually handled by human employees.
In the past, automation needed large mainframes and many experts to maintain. However, with cloud-based automation, its functionality is much more flexible.
Processes within your business that can be automated must satisfy the following criteria:
- They must be consistent across your company
- Post each completion they must be error-free
- They should be able to be repeated
Types of Business Automation
By automating certain processes, your business can eliminate repetitive tasks. Not only this, but you can also reduce time wasted on unnecessary manual labor and boost productivity.
For all these reasons, more and more businesses are incorporating automation into their regular operations. There are 4 main types of business automation, they are:
1) Basic Automation
Basic automation enables you to automate simple tasks easily. This type of automation requires little to no coding. Here, basic automation tools are used to digitiallary carry out repetitive tasks.
In this way, your business can reduce errors and speed up the pace of transactional operations. RPA is a good example of basic automation.
2) Process Automation
Process automation refers to the automatic management of business processes. This type of automation is carried out to ensure transparency and uniformity.
Oftentimes, it is handled by certain software that increases your business’ efficiency and productivity. Alongside this, it also collects valuable business insights. Some examples of process automation include workflow automation and process mining.
3) Advanced Automation
Advanced automation combines the skills of machines and humans to interconnect different systems across your organization. It relies on machine learning, analysis and natural language processing paired with unstructured data.
As such, advanced automation can support more complex processes. Specifically, it encourages knowledge management and specialized work-based decision support.
4) Intelligence Automation
Based on AI, intelligent automation revolves around your machines being able to ‘learn’ and make their own decisions. This is possible by learning from the situations they encounter and then analyzing them.
For example, take customer service. Here, virtual AI-enabled assistants help reduce costs while simultaneously encouraging smarter customer interactions. Thus, leading to a more positive customer experience overall.
Why Is Business Automation Important?
Automation is an effective way to streamline your operations and drive business growth. This is true regardless of the size of your business; be it a large enterprise or a small business.
Automation was designed with the idea of replacing human labor with machine labor. As a result, you can then utilize those human resources more effectively elsewhere in your business.
To get the most out of automation, your business needs to embrace it consistently across all workflows. This can range from simplifying internal processes to creating more efficient digital customer experiences.
However, automated solutions are not without their faults. Not all of these solutions possess the technology needed to completely automate your operations from end-to-end. This can result in higher costs being incurred, point solutions and an inability to scale.
How Do Business Automation Tools Work?
Generally, BPA tools are designed to reduce the manual labor that goes into daily business processes. Every business operation stands to benefit from business automation.
Moreover, by using automation, you can eliminate the need for any manual labor. Alongside this, you can also simplify individual steps of many different processes. For example, automating preliminary steps in the employee hiring process.
By doing this, you’re able to save valuable time and other resources. These would have otherwise been unnecessarily spent on conducting interviews for every application.
Furthermore, you’d also be replacing paper and PDFs with properly digitized data. In this way, automation makes key processes involved in your workflow faster, cheaper and error-free.
You can even bring these processes onto one or multiple technology platforms. This allows your business to analyze data over time and develop better reporting capabilities. As a result, you are able to make much better, more-informed decisions.
4 Common Uses Of Business Automation
Automation is extremely useful in streamlining processes across your organization. Some of these include:
1) Marketing Activities
Take email marketing automation. Here, automation can be used to send out emails based on a client distribution list on a predetermined schedule. This allows you to reduce costs that would’ve been spent on running the campaign manually.
Additionally, your marketing efforts can be tied in with your CRM system. Then, you can even target customers on social media platforms with automated messages.
2) Sales Processes
Sales automation tools allow your sales team to be more efficient. By using them, they spend less time on logging details and focus more of their time on closing sales deals.
Moreover, these tools allow for repetitive tasks in the sales process to be automated. For example, qualifying leads, prospect assigning, creating sales forecasts, etc.
3) Human Resources (HR) Activities
HR management systems enable you to automate various HR tasks. These include interview scheduling, onboarding, application processing, employment offers, payroll management, etc.
With the use of analytics, these systems can even give you insights into your workforce productivity.
4) Finance and Accounting Activities
The automation of accounting and financial planning functions free up time for more important tasks. You can focus on better analysis, strategy as well as collaboration with your stakeholders.
For example, take accounts payable management. If data capture is automated, then invoices can be automatically matched to related documents and approvals then routed. Thus, reducing data errors and preventing fraud.
5 Benefits of Business Automation
Incorporating automation into your business can bring with it many benefits. Some of them include:
1) Saves Valuable Time and Lessens Errors
Perhaps the biggest benefit of automation is that it can save you a great deal of time. Typically, many employees spend a lot of time on administrative tasks. As such, this leaves them with less time to do their actual projects and duties.
With business automation, your employees can complete their tasks much faster. In addition to this, automated tasks also greatly reduce chances of errors.
Despite your employees being highly skilled or experienced, errors are of course, inevitable. However, with the use of automation software, these mistakes are very unlikely.
2) Reduced Costs and Increased Process Efficiency
By automating your tasks, your business can reduce the cost of operations. This is because less resources will be wasted. In place of manual processes, BPA uses resources efficiently to boost your profits.
Furthermore, by automating tasks, you can improve your employee performance and communication. This boosts the efficiency of your business and market competitiveness.
3) Improved Customer Service
When comparing your business with your competitors, customers primarily value quick responses and time convenience. Automation allows you to give more accurate and faster services to your customers.
In addition to this, it enables your customer service team to obtain relevant information faster. This in turn boosts your customer satisfaction and loyalty.
4) Better Document Management
Manually managing and keeping track of your documents can be very messy, time-consuming and often prone to errors. As such, having an effective document management process is a must.
Business automation software allows you to carry this out in a standardized and systemic way. With automation, keeping track of your important documents becomes effortless. In fact, because they’re so well organized, you can easily access them whenever you need.
5) Increased Transparency and Scalability
By automating your business, you can improve your visibility and transparency. You can use customizable dashboards to ensure your teams are always on the same page. This could be in regards to duty changes, task assignments, etc.
This is especially useful when you want to encourage accountability in the workplace via process performance reports. Remember, when your clients increase, so does your employee’s workload. This increase in workload can lower employee productivity unless you hire more workers.
However, with automation, you don’t have to compromise on efficiency or productivity. This is because automation is very helpful in improving and maintaining your scalability.
As you can see, business automation is an integral part of any successful organization.
BPA tools help businesses across the globe by automating repetitive tasks. By doing so they free up your employees to focus on more important tasks.
Not only does it allow you to lessen employee workload, but it’s also an investment to boost your profits. For all these reasons, it’s worth incorporating business automation into your business.
With just a little bit of automation, your company is sure to become more productive and much more efficient!