There are those who will tell you that business process automation (BPA) can be used effectively in virtually any area of business. But, the truth is, like any approach it has its limitations. That’s why we feel it’s important for people to understand when and where BPA is most effective.
Great Uses of Business Process Automation
While every company’s operations are different, in general, BPA can have a positive impact in areas like:
- Document management. Countless hours can be saved by turning manual paper shuffling into highly efficient, automated processes. What’s more, BPA can greatly improve accuracy as well.
- Loan processing. While human decision making is essential at certain stages of a loan application, other aspects can be handled efficiently and effectively by algorithms and automation.
- Overnight batch processing. Business processes that run overnight and manipulate large amounts of data are great candidates for automation.
- Self-service portals. If you are allowing customers or employees to access and edit information wherever and whenever they like, it’s ideal if the processes involved in managing that access are automated.
- Any repetitive business task. Places where humans are asked to perform a task over and over are notorious process bottlenecks and areas prone to errors as a person’s focus begins to wane.
Places Where Automation is Not Advised
As powerful as BPA is, it is not appropriate in every business scenario. Some of the areas where it should not be used, or used with great caution, include:
- Customer-facing applications. In some cases, customers appreciate well-designed automation. However, in others, what they really want is to talk with a human being who can help them solve a problem.
- Decisions with multiple factors. BPA can help with many kinds of simple decisions, but when multiple factors must be weighed in the course of reaching a conclusion, that’s a job for a human.
- Situations where the data is imprecise. For example, natural language interpretation gets better all the time, but it is still a challenge given the potential differences in things like pronunciation and intonation.
See Some Great Examples of Business Process Automation
Don’t miss Charles Weidman, Buddha Logic Founder and President, and Julia Tenser, Channel Manager Western Region at PSIGEN in our live event titled “Business Process Automation Solutions in Action.” The session will take place in the Denver area at the Cherry Creek Office Evolution facility from 4-6 p.m. on 1/18/18. The event is free but attendance is limited and registration is required.
About the Author
Charles Weidman is the Founder and President of Buddha Logic. Charlie has over two decades of experience in the design, development and implementation of enterprise content management, business process management and enterprise resource planning solutions. He founded Buddha Logic with the idea that well-architected digital document capture and management processes are both beautifully simple and powerfully logical. Find and connect with Charlie on LinkedIn.