The rise of Digital Transformation has prompted companies both large and small to pursue business process automation, better known as BPA. In fact, “process automation” and “workflow automation” have emerged as sort of buzz terms, yet many lack a true understanding of how business process automation works and what this technology entails.
What is Business Process Automation or BPA?
At its most basic level, business process automation (BPA) involves using technology to perform a process within a business setting. BPA may impact an entire process or just a portion of a much larger workflow. The overall goal of business process automation is to streamline, improve and optimize workflows, while allowing for improved scalability, reliability, consistency and overall quality.
BPA ought not be confused with business process management (BPM) — also known as deep digital process automation or DPA-deep — which refers not only to the technology, but also the human oversight and management of the workflows that an organization is seeking to automate. BPA, BPM and DPA-deep are certainly related, though. There’s also robotic process automation or RPA, which — as the name suggests — uses robotic technologies instead of digital processes to perform workflows and tasks that would otherwise be performed by humans.
Process automation can be utilized in any industry and for virtually any workflow that can be augmented with technology — which is essentially every workflow. Here are a few business process automation examples.
- A company within the transportation and logistics industry wants to automate their freight bill processing workflow and track freight shipments as truckers transport goods across the nation.
- A manufacturer needs to automate the workflow used to accept and process purchase orders, manufacture goods, and fulfill and ship out orders.
- An investment firm requires BPA software to gather data, generate reports from that data and then distribute the reports to clients via email.
- A company’s HR division needs to automate the process of collecting, analyzing and reporting on key performance indicators (KPIs) for employees. They’re also seeking to automate portions of the hiring process, with BPA software that can provide analytics on job postings in addition to sorting through applicants and identifying the best candidates for the position.
- An insurance company requires help automating the claims process, with workflows that include the intake of new claims, damage assessments, emailing settlement notices to policyholders and monetary disbursements to policyholders.
These processes differ greatly in terms of their nature and overall complexity, but all will see tremendous benefits from the implementation of workflow automation software — but only if that software is designed and developed in a way that accurately reflects the needs of the organization. This is why client engagement is so important during the discovery phase of the BPA software development project.
When Should You Use Business Process Automation for Your Company’s Workflows?
Business process automation may be a stand-alone project or part of a much larger Digital Transformation project, such as an initiative for scaling a company’s operations. Whatever the case, a thorough process automation assessment is critical for success as you strive to streamline workflows.
BPA is ideal for workflows with some or all of the following characteristics. And remember, you can opt to automate an entire process or just segments of a workflow.
• Complex – Business process automation can be extremely effective for highly-complex processes. BPA can be used to complete even the most complex process with absolute perfection time and time again.
• Consistent – Process automation really requires a consistent process. That’s not to say that you can’t have variables. It is very possible to have a process that “branches” at a certain point, resulting in two different outcomes. But those variables must be consistent.
• Repetitive – BPA is ideal for repetitive processes, especially those that employees find boring. Boring tasks are known to lower morale and they can even lead to accidents, injuries and mishaps.
• Fast-paced – Process automation uses technology that can be far faster and more efficient than what any human could ever hope to achieve. This is ideal when you need a process performed in a fast, consistent manner.
• Mission-critical – Business process automation is ideal for situations where you have a vital, mission-critical task that demands reliability and consistency. BPA excels in these areas, with technology consistently performing the process without stumbles or flaws as you would see in cases where humans are involved. Even the best humans are fallible.
A Collaborative Process for Business Process Automation Software Development
When it comes to business process automation, it’s important to remember that BPA is only as good as its developer. Poorly-architected process automation software won’t bring the results you’re expecting. Therefore, it’s essential that the client is involved in the business process automation software development process.
The client will have essential insights into the process that’s being automated; insights that an outsider may fail to appreciate. The development team needs as much information as possible about the actual process and all that surrounds it. Only then can they architect and develop BPA software that will not only meet but exceed expectations.
Automating Business Processes With Digital Transformation for a Great ROI
At 7T, we believe in a collaborative software development process that engages the client from start to finish. Our process and philosophy leads to a maximum ROI and immense client satisfaction. Business process automation software development is one of our many Digital Transformation service offerings, which also include enterprise software development for ERP and CRM systems (among others), along with SaaS development for web apps and mobile apps. We have extensive experience working with cutting-edge technologies and we help our clients to achieve goals such as scaling by delivering exceptional results that are truly transformative for our clients and their companies.
We’re guided by the approach of “Digital Transformation Driven by Business Strategy.” As such, the 7T development team works with company leaders who are seeking to solve problems and drive ROI through Digital Transformation. We then provide collaborative, multi-phased Digital Transformation solutions to clients in all business sectors, including SaaS startups.
Our offices are situated in Dallas, Houston and Austin, but our clientele spans the globe. If you’re ready to learn more about Digital Transformation-as-a-service or are seeking to develop an incredible UI/UX on a custom enterprise software platform, mobile app or another piece of technology for your organization, contact 7T today.