In the era of growing competition companies have to continuously search for newer and more effective methods and tools which will allow them to reduce costs and, at the same time, increase the effectiveness of undertaken measures. A helping hand is offered by modern technologies, the use of which allows improving the functioning of the whole enterprise and increasing productivity of its employees. One of the most important ones is the Business Process Automation. What does this concept mean and what advantages does implementation thereof bring?
Business Process Automation – what is it and how is it helpful for companies?
The concept of Business Process Automation (in short, BPA) encompasses particular measures undertaken in order to replace, improve or accelerate work performed by a human. Furthermore, more technologically advanced approach of Intelligent Process Automation (IPA), which includes in the process automation additional elements of Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), more and more often appears in the BPA context.
Automation of tasks hitherto performed by a human allows unburdening employees from performance of repeatable, monotonous and time-consuming tasks, minimising the risk of errors, which occur especially during work with a large amount of data, and directing their attention and engagement to the areas of enterprise functioning which are key for its development. Thus, due to the implementation of Business Process Automation employees can fully devote their time to tasks requiring knowledge, experience, critical thinking and creativity.
Business processes and division thereof into core and back-office
Moreover, the flow of tasks, documents and information between persons can be automated. Therefore, process is a key concept in Business Process Automation. A business process, also called a business model, defines a series of interrelated measures or activities, which are aimed at solving a specific problem or achieving a specific final result. Business processes occur in each enterprise and organisation irrespectively of its size and scale of activity and are, in principle, divided into two groups.
The first one being core processes, presence of which is necessary for proper functioning of an enterprise. Whereas, the company’s work is supported from the inside by back-office processes, exclusion of which does not result in the company’s suspension and only hinders functioning thereof. However, it is worth being aware that the division of processes into core and back-office is very fluid and depends on the characteristics of a specific business. In one company a given process can be, in fact, included in core processes, whereas, in the other, it will be included in back-office processes.
How does Business Process Automation support companies in process management?
Business processes are present in each company irrespectively of its scale of activity, industry and size. Efficient management of all processes occurring in a company is key for ensuring the company’s proper functioning. It allows full use of the activity’s potential, employees’ engagement and addressing continuously growing needs of services’ recipients. Business Process Automation is currently present virtually everywhere, since each and every industry can benefit therefrom. Implementation thereof is undertaken by companies from such sectors and industries as, among others: production, forwarding, telecommunications, services and many others. Automation is executed through the agency of modern BPA IT systems, which allow effective and intuitive process management in the company.
The Business Process Automation’s implementation in a company is related to many significant advantages generating benefits both, to large and small enterprises. BPA allows saving employees’ time by directing their attention to factors significant from the point of view of the company’s development. Whereas, all routine, monotonous and repeatable activities will be performed automatically by IT tools. Thus, the company can fully use their employees’ potential and generate even better working results, gradually increasing its productivity and competitiveness in the industry. Furthermore, implementation of automation allows eliminating errors that often occur during manual performance of activities by a human and thus, improve the company’s functioning.
Business Process Automation allows optimising workflow in the whole organisation, which results in a significant reduction of the amount of time needed to perform particular tasks and draws the company nearer to the achievement of its business objectives. Having a full insight in particular processes and available at hand documentation, which allows tracking all steps, allows swiftly locating the error, correcting it and finishing the task at the same time improving the whole process. Whereas, the access to analytical functions offered by good BPA tools gives full insight in the process, allows diagnosing so-called bottlenecks and identifying key information from the point of view of the enterprise, which results in making relevant decisions regarding directions of its future development.