BPM & RPA: Intelligent Automation’s Dynamic Duo
Manual administrative tasks are time-consuming, tedious and prone to error. These tasks range from data entry to onboarding and payroll across industries and departments. They’re not just boring – any errors lead to costly rework, non-compliance and other issues that slow down business progress.
There are numerous examples of workflow automation. Here, we’ll focus on the benefits and how they can help your organization boost productivity and efficiency.
But first, a quick summary.
Workflow automation uses rules-based logic to automate end-to-end processes without requiring human intervention. It optimizes business processes and improves daily activities.
Automation software such as intelligent automation (IA) is what you’ll use to automate your workflow. Its capabilities range depending on which software you choose, but typically, IA software will incorporate robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI) and business process management (BPM), among other cognitive technologies.
ServiceNow RPA and SS&C Blue Prism IA have partnered together to create even better workflow automation software. ServiceNow gives customers easy account creation, seamless connectivity and consolidated workflow automation tools in a single platform for better IA scalability.
10 Workflow Automation Benefits
Combining a strong workflow with process automation creates a robust automation you can scale across your enterprise. Let’s dig into the benefits of workflow automation.
With more efficient resource allocation, you can reduce your reliance on expensive or outdated legacy systems requiring manual work. That frees your team members to focus on revenue-generating activities. And since automation processes are more consistent and reliable, your organization will spend less money fixing mistakes or dealing with regulatory fines.
For example, an insurance company specializing in accident claims would require claims adjusters to manually enter details from paper documentation, verify accident details, contact witnesses and so on. IA enables digital claims submissions, meaning the claim is automatically added to the system. It can also flag any potential fraud or anomalies, which will save the broker additional costs from false claims.
A lot of time-consuming manual processes take up employees’ time when they could be doing more valuable work. Rather than using your human resources on slow and error-prone data entry and form filling, put digital workers to these tasks and redeploy your people to fulfill more strategic roles. This will save time and save your people a lot of headaches.
For example, the human resources (HR) process of hiring new staff can take hours of sifting through applications, qualified and unqualified, and finding those matching the job description. This costs a lot of time and resources when your HR staff could be doing other work. Digital workers can automatically scan through mountains of applications and highlight those matching the job description, routing those to an HR employee. They can also flag any missing details and alert the applicant.
No human is perfect. Errors are bound to happen, especially if you’re spending day in and out doing the same tedious tasks. But digital workers run with 100% accuracy and flag any issues or inconsistencies, helping you take preventative measures to avoid future slowdowns. Workflow automation is crucial to reducing errors, which also saves money.
For example, a hospital with a high volume of patients can get overwhelmed with keeping track of treatments, medications and patient history. Paper prescriptions can be hard to read, and manual administration tasks are prone to errors. IA enables electronic prescriptions, which can be passed directly from the doctor into a digital system and added to the patient’s medical records.
With a workflow automation system in place, your team spends less time on repetitive tasks, which can be exhausting and hard on morale. If they’re given opportunities to focus on career growth and upskilling, they’re likely to be more productive.
For example, let’s say an employee submits an approval request to their manager. Manually, they must fill it out, send it and await a response. When automated, the approval process is streamlined so the employee can fill out the request online, where it’s automatically submitted, responded to and forwarded to the right department.
An automated workflow system keeps you in the loop so you can track the progress of your automated processes as they run. It helps define roles and responsibilities, delegating tasks to the right people. Finally, it tracks how your people and automations run to give you accurate reporting and auditability. You can see where delays tend to occur and make improvements as you go.
For example, a manufacturing company might want better transparency in their supply chain and production process to save time, money and resource allocation. Without automation, they rely on manual data entry and reporting, where employees collect information from various sources and put it in spreadsheets. IA captures real-time data and inputs it into the relevant system, generating an instant report with accurate data metrics.
With your employees wasting less time on manual tasks, they can refocus their efforts on better customer service. Automation can go further with AI-powered chatbots or virtual assistants capable of answering customer queries at any hour of the day and flagging extenuating issues to a human service agent. That means your customers are getting better service even faster.
For example, let’s say a customer wants to track their order. They log into a system and are automatically greeted by a chatbot. They input their order number and receive an instant response telling them where it is, when it’s expected and if there are any delays – all without contacting a human agent.
A lot of employees can feel bogged down by the same repetitive tasks taking up all their time. But with IA, employees can be driven by goals rather than to-do lists. Automating workflows evolves their job roles so they can focus on more interesting work. You can even encourage them to think up new ways automation can improve their jobs.
For example, in loan processing, a digital worker can analyze data alongside an employee and give insights to help them make their decision faster. IA shortens the lending process by digitizing documents and streamlining the time to the final result.
Most workflow automation software allows you to run multiple tasks simultaneously on one unified platform. It organizes them into one system rather than multiple project boards and communication streams, so there’s no confusion or delays. This may improve efficiency, but it also simplifies workflows and reduces wait times.
For example, let’s say an IT department handles a large volume of support requests through email, chat and phone calls. Manually, they need to spend time sorting, prioritizing and responding to these requests. However, using an automated workflow system, people can submit their requests on a service portal and get notified when the ticket is picked up. Meanwhile, the system has trackable requests prioritized and sent to an available support person.
Workflow management systems connect people, software and systems. An example of this is BPM, which orchestrates your entire automation workflow, ensuring you have the tools to connect everything. This connectivity helps maintain consistency, prevent human errors and retain real-time insights into processes as they run.
For example, a marketing agency has multiple ongoing client projects. The agency’s team needs to communicate effectively to ensure projects are completed on time and meet client expectations. With automated management software, projects are tasked to the applicable people and progress is tracked, ensuring deadlines are hit and teams can collaborate on one unified platform.
You can model your workflow automation to fit with your business guidelines and industry regulations, ensuring any sensitive or confidential data is handled securely. You can also set user access to those required for the process. With IA, you set the parameters.
For example, risk management and fraud detection are critical in banking and require timely, accurate data analysis. Digital workers can analyze your data and detect any anomalies that may indicate fraudulent activities. IA is also ideal for Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks.
Overall, workflow automation can significantly improve an organization’s operations by optimizing processes, reducing costs, enhancing productivity and delivering a more streamlined experience for both employees and customers.
Knowing the potential benefits should help you decide how and where you want to implement workflow automation solutions in your organization. Consider where you’ll see the best results and calculate the potential return on investment (ROI). This will help you build your business case and gain buy-in from everyone in the business.
Looking for a workflow automation solution that works for you? SS&C Blue Prism is here to help.
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