Business Process Automation: The 4th Step to a Paperless Office
By now, you’re well on your way to a paperless office. You’ve scanned tons of back files, finding information doesn’t make you want to pull out your hair, and you’ve got some pretty solid integrations going. Congratulations! You’ve come a long way, but there’s still more to be done.
There’s a good chance you’re still spending too much time on low value tasks, like document routing and approval or data entry. But we’ve got good news – repetitive steps like these can be automated so you can free up your time to focus on more important initiatives. If you’re considering a business process automation implementation, below is a quick overview of some things you should know.
Which processes should I automate?
Redundant processes, for example accounts payable invoice processing, are usually ripe for automation. Anything for which a workflow can be created and set to follow a certain set of rules is worth looking in to. Other ideas are to automate approval processes, electronic forms processing, and document routing.
What are the benefits of process automation?
Automating business processes can generate a wide range of benefits. You probably won’t be surprised to know the most common and substantial ones are saved time and money, but depending on the process in question, there can be many more – improved customer service, better relations with vendors, improved compliance, getting a leg up on your competition, and higher data accuracy, to name just a few. There’s all kinds of opportunities to fix a big variety of problem areas in your organization with business process automation, and this is a chance to get creative with your solutions.
What makes a good implementation?
The quick answer is good planning and good communication. It’s smart to start slow, with a single process or even part of a process, and to pick what will give you the biggest payoff as opposed to just the easiest project. Choose software that will allow you to accomplish your goals without requiring a team of programmers and a truckload of custom coding. A good rule of thumb is “If it requires an army of programmers to build, it will require an army of programmers to maintain,” and you want to be able to make changes to your workflows yourself.
Within the 5 Stages of Going Paperless, business process automation is a stage with one of the biggest returns and the most diverse and expansive range of benefits. With so many solution options and ways to implement them, automation provides tons of new opportunities to drive efficiency at your organization. For more information on business process automation, watch our webinar recording below – “What does Paperless Really Mean – 5 Stages of Efficiency.”