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Blog | Feb 1, 2024

8 Magical Business Process Automation Examples

Business Process Automation Examples
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8 Magical Ways Automation Levels Up Business Processes

Findings of an Everest Group enterprise survey, Scaling Automation across the Enterprise, reveal that Leaders achieved 2.3x higher RoI and 3.7x more cost savings than other enterprises. Truly transformational outcomes are possible for those enterprises that have progressed in their automation journeys.

We’re here to show you how automating business processes can change the way your organization works, for the better. No beating around the bush, no vague promises, just straightforward information on how you can seamlessly integrate these transformative practices into your business with real examples.

What Is Business Process Automation?

Before we get into it, let’s get on the same page. Business process automation (BPA) is simply the use of intelligent automation (IA) solutions, such as business process management (BPM) or robotic process automation (RPA), to automate and orchestrate business processes. It applies process automation software to prevent your typical business process bottlenecks, like manual errors and slow data input.

The benefit? There are plenty, but ultimately, it can mean that your employees have more free time to focus on higher-value, human-driven work. There is a lot to learn about business process automation, such as the types of process automations and its relationship with business process management (BPM) and workflow automation. If you’re interested in learning more, you can do just that in our business process automation guide. 

So, without further delay, let’s get into eight of the most impactful examples we dug up from a range of sectors and industries.

8 Business Process Automation Examples

1 — Employee onboarding

Getting the right people on board is just the beginning of the human resources (HR) journey. There can be loads of tasks concurrently happening in the background of an offer: gathering information, training, software and equipment setup, system access and document verification. Any hiccup in the onboarding process can stretch out employee onboarding, leaving both new hires and HR staff feeling frustrated.

Fortunately, with automation, this process becomes easier for both new hires and HR staff. You can set up simple workflows for tasks like document submissions and training checklists and establish consistent procedures. Not only is this saving time for HR and new hires, but it’s also ensuring compliance by systematically collecting and verifying required documents. 

Success story: This healthcare organization removed manual onboarding tasks

A New Zealand-based healthcare group was onboarding their new staff through a digital system. But the information it gathered had to be manually transcribed into other systems — it was an inefficient process … until intelligent automation came along.

Now, when their system captures relevant information from new staff, a digital worker automatically distributes it to relevant systems. That’s right: no more manual processes. Their digital worker cross-checks everything and puts it in the right place.

2 — Claims processing

Tackling insurance claims traditionally can be a real headache — it's time-consuming, error-prone and often needs multiple revisits. Doing it manually can eat up precious time and resources for staff, especially when dealing with several claims in an hour or a day.

That’s why claims processing is actually one of the best candidates for automation. Intelligent digital workers can quickly assess and verify information on a claims form, upload all this information to your database and follow workflows to ensure the claim goes to the correct place to be processed. This ensures more accuracy, fewer errors and expediting claims reimbursements.

Success story: Reducing claims process time from 60 days to 3 days

Select Health, a non-profit health insurance plan, found that employees often had to manually intervene during claims processing because of inaccurate information like an old address or inaccurate tax identification numbers.

Now, with the help of SS&C | Blue Prism Chorus, employees have optimized their workflow. Only one claim is processed by an employee, and the rest are auto-corrected and paid without human intervention.

3 — Customer support

It’s never fun to be stuck on hold, enduring that never-ending elevator music for what feels like an eternity. All you wanted was a straightforward answer to a simple request. So, what if you could spare your customers from that frustrating experience?

Customer support is a vital aspect of any business, but more often than not, the volume of queries can be overwhelming for your support staff, which is where automation can be a real lifesaver. Digital workers can help your customers find exactly what they’re looking for, providing instant responses to frequently asked questions or transferring more complex issues to human agents. This ensures that customers are getting the support they need, all while lightening the load on your employees.

As an added bonus, digital workers can also offer 24/7 support. So you can rest-assured your customers are getting the support they need when they want.

Success story: 80% reduction in average call handling time

Telefonica Spain looked to intelligent automation to improve customer service and call center efficiency. Digital workers helped process several calls each day to enable call center agents to focus on higher-value work.

4 — Patient referral

Coordinating patient referrals is crucial to provide comprehensive and timely care. While there are already business processes in place that provide patients with an easy way to book specialist appointments, there’s a further opportunity to utilize automation to improve how we monitor and manage them.

Digital workers can automatically validate non-clinical data, prioritize based on relevance and cut referral time to accelerate care. Healthcare organizations can reduce any backlogs with automated bookings while also auditing the referral pathway to ensure key treatment milestones are met. Staff no longer have to spend hours manually coordinating appointments and can work on more valuable tasks.

Success story: Hutt Valley delivers e-referrals with 100% accuracy, saves $527,000

The Hutt Valley District Health Board (HVDHB) in New Zealand had a lot of manual work slowing down their e-referral processes. The team turned to an SS&C Blue Prism digital workforce to manage their e-referral registrations.

The digital workers now collect the e-referrals from specialist service queues and complete each registration. At 6 p.m. every day, digital workers open the target systems, search for unregistered e-referrals, complete validation checks, update demographic data and create the e-referral record. If there is any incomplete or incorrect information, the digital worker passes the e-referral to a skilled staff member to investigate. Once an e-referral is registered, a digital worker closes the loop and generates a referral letter for the patient and specialist.

5 — Appointment bookings

Much like patient referrals, appointment bookings represent another area where automation can enhance business processes. The traditional approach to scheduling appointments often involves a cumbersome back-and-forth, checking with multiple parties and facing the uncertainty of last-minute cancellations. This leads to wasted resources and an inefficient schedule.

With an automated system, individuals can effortlessly check real-time availability, choose convenient timeslots and instantly receive confirmations. This not only streamlines the scheduling process but also minimizes the chances of missed appointments or errors, making the entire experience more efficient and user-friendly.

Success story: NHS Trust processes its appointment bookings over 70% faster

Before the pandemic, the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) had roughly 440,000 outpatient appointments each year. During the pandemic, demand for appointments skyrocketed, which led to a backlog of appointment requests at the hospitals. Cancellations by patients and clinicians were frequent too.

The solution? Developing a simple desktop app that sends a text to each patient on the waiting list and points them to an online booking form. Once the patient fills out the form, digital workers pick up the booking request, enter it into the patient administration system and send a confirmation email, all without intervention from staff.

6 — Supply chain management

Business process automation helps improve coordination and communication within the supply chain. This approach streamlines the typical tasks associated with navigating the supply chain, such as real-time monitoring of inventory levels, initiating automatic reorders and efficiently scheduling machine maintenance.

To be more precise, let’s say your inventory system has said you’ve reached your minimum stock levels. Digital workers can automatically take that information and generate reorder requests. It can then send these requests automatically to suppliers, triggering the shipment of new stocks. Even better, smart automation can predict exactly how much stock you’d want to order.

This results in more agility and responsiveness. Manual tasks holding up your supply chain? Not with automation.

Success story: Manufacturer reduces inventory management effort by 35% with RPA

SS&C Blue Prism helped a manufacturer reduce inventory management efforts by 35% with RPA. They launched and scaled an automation program to help them manage the shift from old to new inventory with a central data repository to enable employees and digital workers to make informed decisions.

The data helps employees confirm their inventory is balanced, and then a digital worker goes into the ERP system and turns the old products off and the new products on through a series of transactions.

7 — Invoice processing

I think we all can agree that invoice processing is a time-consuming accounts payable process. Manual data entry and paper-based processes no longer fit the bill. That’s why this is another great business process for automation.

Automation helps streamline the process of receiving, validating, approving and paying invoices. It also minimizes errors and improves efficiency.

It starts with reading and analyzing data. IA technologies like natural language processing (NLP) convert unstructured documents into machine-readable formats. Then, this data can be analyzed, matched and validated against predefined rules, flagging any discrepancies for manual review. A similar solution can also be placed for purchase order processes.

Success story: Global retailer pays vendors twice as fast with invoice automation

Vendors of this retailer sent their invoices in a wide variety of formats and employees had to manually review each one, which could delay payments. To speed up invoice processing, the retailer turned to automation.

Now when an invoice arrives in the company’s central mailbox, it’s placed in a central repository where digital workers pick it up and further processes it.

8 — Data entry and management

Last but not least, this is probably the single greatest area for automation in your business processes — data entry and management. We strongly (very strongly) believe that manual data entry is an inefficient use of your resources. Beyond being time-consuming for employees tasked with copying and pasting information into systems, it is also highly susceptible to errors.

Stop! Intelligent and automatic tools are here to free employees from this type of process. Need to input new client contact information? Let digital workers effortlessly scan and update the database. Making updates to your sales prospect’s information? Automation can seamlessly handle the task.

By harnessing the power of automation in data entry, your business can not only save time but also significantly reduce the likelihood of inaccuracies, empowering your staff to focus on more meaningful and strategic responsibilities.

Success story: Retailer automates “impossible” journal entries with digital workforce

Thousands of employees at a high-end retailer work together to delight customers, collaborate with suppliers and support their peers. Like many retailers, budget challenges at this company have inspired creative ways to reduce costs. One effective solution is the company’s SS&C Blue Prism digital workforce, brought on five years ago to handle unsatisfying or inefficient tasks for employees — even a seemingly impossible-to-automate finance process.

Abracadabra Your Business Processes

Your wish? It's automation's command! Whether you require it for straightforward tasks like data entry or more complex endeavors such as predicting orders, automation has got you covered. Get in touch with us if you need more inspiration or examples about business process automation and want to find an automation platform that best fits your needs.

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