3 Steps To Automating Business Processes
Within every organization are important tasks that need to be repeated yearly, monthly, daily, and sometimes even hourly. Every business has processes to be managed. And so smart business leaders find ways to optimize workflows and build automation into them.
Business process automation is the process by which organizations leverage web applications to automate repeatable tasks in order to increase overall efficiency.
Every business leader should care deeply about business process automation (BPA), if for no other reason than this: the cost of not automating is incredibly high. Organizations that don’t invest in business process management and automation experience an inefficiency of effort that results in higher staff overhead and lower output, leading to a loss in revenue opportunities as well as higher rates of employee burnout.
Automating important workflows in your business will help you increase efficiency, drive down cost, and scale your business.
Here are 3 key steps to begin automating your business processes.
1. Think strategically about what processes need to be automated.
When your organization begins strategizing about how to automate business processes, it’s key to first define exactly which business processes ought to be automated first.
Which processes, if automated, would benefit you the most? What tasks do you need to optimize and scale? Certain processes will need to be a top priority in an automation effort, while others may not need to be automated at all.
As Alexandro Pando argues, “Not every business process is a good fit for automation, so each business must decide which processes are best suited for it. Processes that are time and resource intensive and subject to human error should be the first processes to be investigated for automation. If these can be accelerated with automated processes, then that permits more focus on other business practices.”
Tasks that could be automated may include sales and CRM processes, support ticketing, employee task assignments and leave approvals, as well as expense approvals. You may also consider automating certain aspects of your client onboarding process.
2. Optimize the manual process to make it as streamlined and simple as possible.
Once you’ve defined the processes you will automate and have prioritized which ones you will focus on first, you will then need to spend time observing these processes as they currently exist, documenting their inefficiencies and finding ways to improve them.
One of the worst things you can do is to automate a process before it has been optimized. Bill Gates has often been quoted as saying, “The first rule of any technology used in business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.” To put it another way, “you need to nail it before you scale it.”
As you look at your current process with a critical eye, you may begin to see extra steps that are unnecessary, or a doubling of effort across siloed teams. As you observe and document the process, begin to rethink how its goal could be accomplished. Identify where the process normally gets stalled and where errors are most likely to occur.
Refine your business processes to make them simple. As organizations grow, they don’t naturally drift toward simplicity; they tend to drift toward more complexity and inefficiency. And so making the process simple can sometimes be a more difficult task than we realized. But in order to experience the benefits of automating a business process, it must first be optimized.
3. Build software that automates your optimized processes.
If you stopped your improvements at optimizing your business processes to make them more simple and effective, your organization would already benefit greatly. Once you begin automating them, you take your business to the next level.
In order to automate, your organization is going to need process-driven applications that can effectively complete multistep processes according to your business requirements and relevant compliance regulations. Process-driven applications manage data, tasks, and workflows, executing work and disseminating necessary information to all the relevant stakeholders.
When you build automation into your workflows, you empower your employees to focus less on mundane repeatable tasks and more on doing what only humans can do--solve problems, employing creative solutions and interfacing with clients to augment a customer experience and make it memorably excellent.
Build automation into your enterprise applications with Entando.
Building automation into your business processes is a key part of improving your organization’s efficiency, increasing margins and enabling you to scale your business. That’s why we created a platform to help you quickly create user-centered process-driven apps.
Entando is the leading micro frontend platform for building enterprise web apps on Kubernetes.
Whether you are onboarding a new customer, managing a medical checkup, automating an order flow, or maintaining case management, Entando helps you automate your business workflows, simplifying approval processes for managers, reducing time in review for contributors, and speeding up the time to roll out an update.
Empower your organization to streamline case management with process-driven applications built using Entando and your choice of backend engine. Entando helps you to build powerful enterprise apps that increase the overall efficiency of your organization while offering an intuitive user experience for your employees, clients, and stakeholders.
Entando is completely open source with available enterprise support. Begin developing on the platform today, or schedule a call with us to see how we can help you build better apps faster.