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What Is A Best Practice When Approaching an Automation Effort?

June 13, 2022
Author
Inkit Team

Any management team might find Business Process Automation (BPA) an exciting, new buzzword when used in the business environment. 

However, AI and machine learning are some of the biggest drivers of growth in an evolving marketplace. 

Automation ensures the best business processes align with management and the goals of your company. 

Organizations that commit to business process automation will enjoy benefits such as saving time and money, fewer errors in their operations teams, and employees working on more meaningful, productive tasks.

However, approaching automation efforts isn’t as easy as it might seem.

To reap benefits from business automation, you need to approach it strategically.

This includes applying the right best practices, using SMART goals, and more.

And by the end of this guide, you’ll have a much better idea of how to approach any business automation effort.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How Does Business Process Automation Work? (BPA, RPA, And IA)
  • How Are Best Practices Defined When Approaching Business Automation Efforts?
  • How To Use SMART Goals When Approaching Automation Efforts?
  • 5 Business Processes To Automate Based On Best Practices

How Does Business Process Automation Work? (BPA, RPA, And IA)

In business automation, certain tech is used to automate repetitive tasks, allowing employees to focus more on valuable tasks. The goal of this is to essentially replace manual effort and allow employees to focus on more meaningful tasks.

This is based on concepts such as business process automation (BPA), artificial intelligence-driven automation, and robotic process automation (RPA)

What’s the difference?

  • Business process automation (BPA) - Focuses on automating workflows to improve an organization's efficiency and holistically streamline work processes. This approach takes an entire business process and automates it from start to finish.
  • Robotic process automation (RPA) - Helps organizations by streamlining departmental and individual tasks. This approach hands individual tasks over to software robots to streamline tasks.
  • Intelligence-driven automation (IA) - Incorporates tech like machine learning, natural language processing, structure data interaction, intelligence document processing, and more. This approach simulates types of human intelligence and automates higher-function tasks that require some level of reasoning, judgment, or analysis.
definitions for terms being used on the article

Source: Imagetek

A well-designed automation system can help businesses of all sizes streamline business operations and generate business growth. Automating all workflows within a company is necessary to maximize its benefit. Additionally, business automation is essential for keeping up with an ever-changing environment. 

Benefits of business automation generation  

Approaching an automation effort the right way offers you a lot of benefits, as you get to:

  • Apply intelligence: With machine learning and AI, you can make use of the data by automating your operations to make recommendations for action. This will enable your employees to focus on more strategic things.
  • Discover inefficiencies: It determines where automation can create the greatest impact by identifying operational inefficiencies. 
  • Automate core operations: The business automation process allows you to integrate key business processes, such as workflows, document processing, content services, and decision management into the operational areas of your business. 
  • Augment your workforce: You can automate your workflow by deploying automation tools and collaborating with digital workers to achieve higher levels of productivity or to provide backup when needed.

How Are Best Practices Defined When Approaching Business Automation Efforts?

Best practices in business and project management aim to nullify the mistakes and problems that can arise while performing different operations. It can make your work environment efficient, smooth, and better. 

To meet your business goals, you need to be well-versed with the best practices for your business guidelines. 

So, how are best practices defined under project management and business automation?

The goal of best practices is to reduce the risk of failure, streamline your workflow, and promote success. 

Most business best practices are there to help you:

  • Processes work smoothly and correctly.
  • Simplify the tasks by following the easy-to-do things.
  • Provide a reliable approach and practical course of action, based on previous trials and errors.

When defining best business practices and automation efforts, another important thing to keep in mind is SMART goals.

Here’s what that means.

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How To Use SMART Goals When Approaching Automation Efforts?

Often, teams are unable to accomplish their objectives because they do not agree on the definition of success. 

By setting SMART goals, you can ensure that you get a clear definition of success, and defined, and attainable objectives

SMART goals allow you to identify areas where priorities and resources aren't aligned as you move through each step. 

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

Specific

A specific goal needs to be effective and includes clear information regarding:

  • Nature of the project.
  • Steps to perform the task.
  • Responsible party.

Measurable 

Once you have specified the goals, it's time to quantify your objectives. 

Having a measurable objective, you can track the progress and time that it would take to achieve the goal. 

From measuring the advertising platforms to the number of products used in the project, and the rate of success, measurable objectives quantify everything. 

Attainable

If you want to realize your dreams, make sure they are realistic. 

Give a clear insight into your goals and consider if your team members can accomplish these goals or not. 

Relevant

Irrelevant goals make no sense. They would waste your time and efforts and leave you frustrated. 

It’s better to set relevant goals that help you in accomplishing your project.  

Time-bound

Estimating a time for each step to achieve and involving your team to set the time horizon is the key to achieving good results for a project. 

From setting initial points to making deadlines, everything should need to be in the specified time range. 

Check out some SMART goal examples to get an idea of what they look like practically.

Now, with all this in mind, let’s go over some real business processes and tasks you can automate.

5 Business Processes To Automate Based On Best Practices

No matter what size your business is, you can remove human error using business automation. 

It replaces manual labor in daily operations with automation and offers you benefits like reduced costs, improved efficiency, higher productivity, and more.

Here’s what you need to know.

1. Social media management

It's imperative to protect your brand when automating your marketing. Business automation in social media management helps you track and share content where it is valued most.

Automation can be used to manage communication from multiple platforms (such as moderate comments and answer inquiries) from one location. You can even customize the messages and let your customers give you feelings that you hear them the most. 

2. Customer support

Nothing better than automating customer support service to offer a great customer experience to your customers. 

Even though personal interaction is important when a customer has a problem, automation such as AI systems, chatbots, and help center guides can help a lot of frequent problems.

Incorporating business automation in customer support helps you enhance operational excellence and customer satisfaction by reducing the time that your team needs to spend on the phone. 

3. Invoice processing

Invoice processing can be improved more if automation is involved in it. 

It ensures that all manual tasks related to payment details, invoicing, and audits are held carefully and streamlined carefully with automation. 

See our full guide on invoicing software features to learn what other areas you can be automating here.

4. Facility management

Facility managers often have to handle everything from replacing leaky windows to handling heating and air conditioning repairs by using highly manual processes.

Automation helps them offer the appropriate service level, perform all the tasks quickly, and maintain audit trails. 

Moreover, it simplifies facility management and creates a safe environment for team members. 

5. Document generation automation

You can bring a digital transformation to your business by automating document generation.

Document automation tools allow you to automate the document creation process. Typically, this involves the following document management lifecycle steps:

  • Document creation.
  • Editing and indexing for search.
  • Sharing or delivering the document to the right person.
  • Active use of the document and collaboration.
  • Archiving.
  • Legally compliant document deletion or destruction.

How does template-based document generation help businesses when it comes to automation?

Creating documents automatically simplifies business operations, strengthens the platform's functionality, and provides several other benefits. Such as:

  • An organized and efficient approach to document management.
  • Higher efficiency by automatically creating documents based on customer data.
  • Helps you save storage.
  • Enhanced customer data protection.
  • And more.

And the best part is document automation is a possibility for almost all industries, as long as they regularly manage customer information. This includes insurance companies, healthcare, financial organizations, utility companies, and more.

Wondering if document automation right for you?

See our full guide on 5 factors to consider and what makes document automation possible.

document automation graphic representation

Conclusion

Hope this guide to business automation and best practices was helpful!

If you’re wondering where to go from here, you should take a strategic look at your business and identify areas, tasks, or departments that can be automated. Whether it’s a full workflow task or only a small part of it.

If you need more information on business process automation and how you can use document automation in your favor, be sure to also read:

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