The digital age has introduced all kinds of software that can be used to help your company do even more with its resources. While this is all well and good, finding which type of software is worth your time and money can be a fairly intimidating task. Fortunately, business process automation software has proven itself time and time again and produced some very impressive results for all types of companies all over the world.
Automation is all about taking tasks away from exhausting human resources and allowing software and sometimes hardware to handle them instead. One popular example would be the machines and software that are used in auto-plant assembly lines to construct cars, replacing the people who were once needed. Not only can those people then be reallocated for more demanding purposes, but it also frees the process from possible human error. Generally, automation means improved quality and quantity of production.
When it comes to automation software, the applications are basically geared toward digital processes that don’t need people driving them. Email can be organized, for example, so that spam, internal and urgent messages all end up in specific folders. Reports can be generated and delivered to specific staff members based on everything from employee timesheets to productivity numbers to payroll.
Let’s take a look at some before and after scenarios that show how automation has made a difference in the past for businesses that may resemble yours.
Prior to automation software helping out, most companies go through stacks and stacks of invoices. It’s not rare for there to be hundreds of them per week. Each one has to be printed out and then delivered, by hand, to various staff members, often the same one going to many. In fact, the same invoice may need two, three, four or even more signatures before it’s considered complete. This is no way to handle such an important process in the digital age. Not only is it a waste of paper, it’s also a waste of time and lacks any real tracking.
Add business process automation software to the mix and all of a sudden these invoices are getting scanned into an ECM (Enterprise Content Management) system before being distributed to the requisite staff members electronically. With a folder structure in place, the required signatures get tracked for all to see. When the signature prior to yours is finalized, you get an email alert that notifies you you’re up. A link is provided as well to make for an efficient shortcut. Because the entire process is tracked, managers are able to go back later on and look for ways in which things can be made more efficient (e.g. the same signature may take longer because someone isn’t checking their emails).
You can even leverage automation to review the documents themselves. Any portions of the invoice that don’t require human attention can be auto-populated, while potential errors get flagged for further review.
A solution like this doesn’t just save time (and probably patience), it’s also going to save paper costs year after year too. Plus, it’s a good example of how speeding up a process doesn’t have to mean making it vulnerable to potential errors.
Let’s take a look at one more way automation software can play a role in improving a company. Most businesses are familiar with the drudgery of receiving and tracking applications. However, if you want to find the best employees, this is what you’ll have to do—“this” meaning hours of HR time, hand-written notes, filing and more.
Applying business process automation software means that you only handle electronic applications, as they can be immediately addressed once they’re submitted online. Keyword search can also be automatically run once resumes and cover letters are converted to standard form. Those that show certain keywords can be automatically sent along to appropriate department managers for further review, while HR professionals can look at the ones that didn’t hit and either forward or throw them out.
As with the prior example, processing can be tracked so that everyone involved knows when their particular task is up. The applicant themselves can also be auto-tracked so interested parties know where they stand in the process.
These are just two examples of how the right business process management software can make a huge difference in the way a company works. Chances are your company could benefit in countless other ways too.
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