As the name already “delivers,” process automation consists of making a procedure previously performed manually operational, using technology and integration established between data and systems.
This is a crucial step in business management — regardless of the sector in which it operates and the size of the organization — as it provides more efficiency and competitive advantage in the market and delivers more excellent value to customers.
The undeniable truth is that we live in an era of digital transformation, and in this scenario, the search for tools that optimize everyday practices grows daily. How about understanding automation more deeply, for example, which processes it applies to and how it works, among other relevant points? Read on!
What Is Process Automation?
Complementing the introductory concept, it is possible to define process automation as a technique that involves transferring activities manually conducted by the workforce to machinery, equipment, instruments, etc. Thus, the machines become responsible for the execution of automated tasks.
Through it, it becomes feasible to reduce waste, costs, and time spent in processes. At the same time, it is possible to minimize failures, raise productivity levels, and exercise control over the company’s operation in real-time.
The Main Objective
In general, the primary purpose of process automation is to improve organizational activities’ flow. To make understanding more accessible, let’s go to a practical example.
Imagine that you want to keep a record of the leading suppliers that meet your company’s demands. When preparing it in a non-automated way — that is, manually —choosing, for example, to request company data by email, there are great chances that some essential information is missing, which will be “lost” in this means of communication. Interaction. In addition, of course, there is the possibility that your order will be “forgotten” amid so many other daily demands.
On the other hand, if this request is automated, all the data necessary for the preparation of the registration will be completed without any possible noise in the communication.
What Are The Processes That Can Be Automated?
The excellent management of a company without the use of management systems and integrated software, when the focus turns to efficiency and productivity, is almost impossible. After all, with the automation of processes, organizations — in general, not just technology — have started to complete various tasks with just a few clicks.
The fact is that, in a simplified way, automation implies the removal of bottlenecks that generate inefficiency in business operations. However, this true optimization potential extends to several areas, contrary to what many managers believe, including, for example:
- The activities of the sales sector — since it is feasible to adopt tools that entirely or partially dispense with the interaction between potential customers and humans;
- The activities of the marketing department — with the adoption of technological solutions that optimize lead capture and retention initiatives ;
- The preparation of proposals — which is especially applicable to commercial teams that want to reduce the complexity of prospecting worksheets;
- The elaboration of contracts — since it becomes possible to create, print and file all bureaucratic documents with more security, efficiency, and, even so, flexibility ;
- Activities in the financial sector — in which automation becomes a great ally in ensuring a clearer view of metrics and more accurate financial control.
How Does Process Automation Work?
When it comes to the automation of business processes, through the control and analysis of operational activities, it should be noted that there is a continuous search for improving the flow of tasks. In this case, the goal is to repair any gaps and flaws and achieve the strategically set goals.
To this end, it is worth pointing out that, amidst the stages of process management, automation is present, above all, in the following three:
- Implementation — occurs when software that maps, automates, executes, and monitors the processes is used to insert them modeled and using electronic forms. In this stage, in general, priorities and those responsible are defined, and training is conducted for all those involved to ensure that professionals fully understand how the tools work;
- Implementation and execution — automation is present when the process mapping is put into practice, with the execution of the tasks themselves;
- Monitoring — involves monitoring the processes, verifying that they are being carried out by what is expected, and following up on the established goals and objectives. This step becomes much easier with an already automated process, as your information will appear in a system with significantly higher reliability. Thus, monitoring can be automatic, and alerts can be submitted in critical cases.
What Are The Main Advantages Of Process Automation?
Although we have already mentioned some benefits related to the automation of business processes, the most significant advantage is probably the optimization of the day-to-day activities of an organization. This is because when daily tasks are carried out more dynamically, in a shorter period, and more precisely, even the staff satisfaction level increases.
This, in turn, directly influences customer service. Even considering this second group, it is also interesting to note that customers become more satisfied with the brand when there is more agility in processes, fewer errors, and faster deliveries and returns, among other benefits from this automation process. Therefore, it is a win-win.
How To Select Processes For Automation?
A final point worth mentioning is the selection — and maintenance of the processes to which automation will be applied. In this case, it is interesting to follow a step-by-step, which involves:
- Carry out an organizational mapping to achieve a systemic view of the entire operation;
- Analyze the selected processes and their potential;
- Establish a schedule and define a team responsible for implementation;
- schedule training sessions with all participants in each of the stages;
- Maintain continuous monitoring.
Process automation, as we have seen, can be summarized as a combination of everyday activities and technology — which is essential, especially in this digital transformation era — with applicability in different areas of a company. Thus, both the flow and the control of the work are improved.