Business process automation (BPA) has stepped into the spotlight in recent years –and for good reason.
Typically consisting of document capture, workflow automation, and robotic process automation (RPA) software, BPA solutions help organizations transform inefficient, manual processes into streamlined ones. With BPA solutions, you can increase productivity, save time, reduce costs, ensure business continuity, improve your bottom line, and enhance customer satisfaction levels.
However, there are obstacles standing in the way of organizations achieving these benefits. According to a Deloitte survey, lack of a clear vision and strategy is a top barrier keeping businesses from reaching their full automation potential. Let’s dive into how to develop a clear vision and successfully implement BPA in your organization, so you can attain the benefits above.
Identify the Departments That Could Run More Efficiently
It’s not realistic to automate all departments at once. Process automation requires a strategic approach with careful planning to ensure you’re following the right steps and post-implementation tests to ensure the automation solution is working as it should. Only once a solution has proven successful with documented results should it be rolled out to other areas of your business.
But how do you decide which department to start with? Simple: ask your employees. Their familiarity with the ins and outs of the departments gives them the best insights into what’s working and what’s not.
Ask the head of each department to meet with their team to discuss the pain points they face as they do their work. Then, meet with the department heads to discuss the unique challenges and identify which department could benefit the most from business process automation. Your ultimate choice will likely depend on multiple factors, such as:
- What’s best for employee productivity and morale
- What will save your business the most money
- How your company can gain and maintain a competitive advantage
Determine Which Processes Are Causing Pain Points
Once you’ve identified which department to start with, you can go back to your list of pain points and begin digging deeper. Consider which process each pain point is associated with. For example, if a department is struggling to pay invoices on time, the issue could be that manual data entry is taking too long, or it could start where invoices are received, in the mailroom and email inboxes.
Get your employees involved to ensure you identify the correct process. Ask them to conduct research, be honest, and map out the entire operation, including bottlenecks and weaknesses – not how it should ideally proceed.
Taking the time to determine which process – and which steps of that process – is causing your issues is key to resolving them. Business process automation technology can be used to solve many business dilemmas, but the way it’s used should be very unique to not only the problem at hand but the process it’s occurring in. This makes this step critical to implementing BPA properly.
Identify the Tasks that Can Be Automated
Not every step of a process is a good candidate for automation. Here are a few common processes that slow businesses down and can easily be automated:
- Processing and routing paperwork
- Entering data into systems
- Receiving and distributing mail
- Collecting information via paperwork
- Responding to simple customer service queries
Need a better visualization of what process automation looks like in practice? Here are a few real-life examples of smart ways to incorporate automation into a business.
Optimize Mail Management with Automation
Visiting Nurse Service of New York CHOICE Health Plans (VNSNY CHOICE), a homecare agency and health plan administrator with over 40,000 members, had a paper-based mailroom process and, as a result, was struggling to efficiently manage incoming grievances and appeals. VNSNY CHOICE had to open, sort, and distribute all paper grievances and appeals forms by hand upon receipt. This manual process was slow and inefficient, making it nearly impossible for the organization to comply with tight turnaround requirements. Providing proof of when claims were received and responded to was also a major challenge.
VNSNY CHOICE chose to address these bottlenecks by outsourcing their grievance and appeals mailroom to MetaSource. Now, all grievance and appeals forms are received at a dedicated P.O. box monitored by MetaSource. MetaSource preps, scans, indexes, electronically timestamps, and sends the digitized forms to VNSNY CHOICE via SFTP – all within 24 hours of receipt. With a mailroom automation solution, the company now quickly handles cases, easily maintains compliance standards, and saves money on storage.
Streamline Invoice Processing with Accounts Payable Automation
EōS Fitness, a rapidly expanding gym chain, had considerable growing pains, particularly in its accounts payable department. EōS became burdened by stop payment fees, late payment fees from vendors, and an excessive workload from reissuing checks and manually checking vendor addresses in their ERP system against the invoices.
EōS implemented MetaSource’s digital mailroom and workflow automation solutions to digitize invoices and seamlessly distribute, review, and process them. The results? Savings on late fees, stop payment fees, and AP staff labor.
Take the First Step Toward Business Process Automation Bliss
Are you ready to give automation a go? Don’t do it alone – partnering with a trusted BPA company will help you get things done efficiently without costly interruptions. The right partner will address all your automation needs, whether you require document processing services or the convenience of a digital mailroom.
With over 30 years of experience, MetaSource is a global leader in digital transformation, bringing the right mix of technology, expertise, and services to help you streamline business processes and achieve your goals. MetaSource offers various BPA and content management solutions, including document capture, document management, workflow automation, robotic process automation, and e-forms.
Contact MetaSource to find out how to easily implement automation, so you can find success. You can also download our free guide, 8 Must-Have Qualities of a Great Business Process Automation Partner to learn more about how to select the right provider for your company.