Business Process Automation Benefits for Real-Time Businesses
Thursday, May 8, 2014
The efficiency and speed at which work is carried out via the invention of the conveyor belt and the introduction of robots in factories are just two of the numerous business process automation benefits manufacturing organizations enjoy today.
As it stands, business process automation has gone beyond factories, and with the growing importance of the Internet in the way many companies conduct their businesses, the ability to respond to customer requests and buying patterns, or turn an aberration into a marketing win in real-time can score a huge differentiation edge. Differentiation, particularly in this highly competitive marketplace, is another of the many business process automation benefits companies can bank on.
One example is Oreo’s Dunk in the Dark Super Bowl tweet that got 10,000 retweets in an hour. A Super Bowl blackout and a perfectly-timed marketing move, and Oreo was the talk of social media town. And then, there’s the ability of retail companies to track customer purchases from a store as they happen. The extracted data is then used to offer the same customers special discounts or surprise gifts when they make purchases in another store within their family of retail outlets. More sales, happy customers – a win-win all around, right?
Business process automation benefits for real-time businesses – a rundown
If your business is highly dynamic and requires a quick turnaround to maintain the advantage you’ve gained over your peers, below are five business process automation benefits to consider:
- Superior visibility and control
Running a business is like driving a car. Without information to tell you what your business is getting into, or what direction the process is taking, how will you make the right driving maneuvers? Without visibility, you may find yourself stuck in a ditch, or worse, falling off a cliff. Process visibility allows you to efficiently work your way around business surprises that may otherwise leave you scrambling for cover.
- Smarter and faster decision-making
The retailer that knows how to incentivize its customers using real-time data fed by an automated business process is the retailer that wins in the customer retention arena. What customer doesn’t love discounts and freebies, particularly from stores she frequents?
- Reduced training overhead
When processes are automated, delays brought about by human error, especially those in training, are minimized, if not totally eradicated. Errors mean delays, and delays mean no good for business. Also, business process automation benefits the company in that repetitive tasks are automated instead of being carried out manually, decreasing delay percentages a notch further.
- Consistent product/service delivery
Customers remain loyal to a company because they have already come to expect a certain quality from their products or services. Another of the various workflow automation benefits is the company’s ability to produce consumer goods and/or services that adhere to strict quality standards.
- Ensures business runs like clockwork
Business process workflow automation ensures that a business runs the way it should. An automated shipment process may ask for trucks as soon as it realizes that goods are ready to be shipped. An automated invoice system sends an invoice request to the Finance department as soon as the details are verified, in the same way an employee request for vacation is approved once vacation credits are confirmed sufficient and that service level agreements won’t suffer.
Adaptive business process automation – the why
Running a business is, as well, similar to how you run your life. You make plans, and when you think everything is going all fine and dandy, life throws a curveball at you. If you don’t have a plan B to turn to, or you’re not willing to improvise, your chances of getting anywhere become nil.
Most business processes, such as in a factory floor, are pretty much static. Meaning, from point A to point B, the tasks and subtasks are already mapped. Even abnormalities, based on previous process results, are likely already expected.
Customer-centric processes, however, aren’t linear. Processes are defined based on customers’ goals, scenarios, behaviors and contexts. Because these are highly changeable and sometimes unpredictable, your processes must be adaptive. They must be flexible enough to map a different path depending on where the circumstances lead. Otherwise, keeping up – and eventually getting ahead – can be a royal pain.