Business process automation (BPA) refers to the use of technology, such as workflow automation, robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI), to perform repetitive tasks that would otherwise have to be completed by knowledge workers who could be completing higher value work.
From accounts payable to HR to customer service, business process automation can enhance the efficiency of your organization while reducing costs, increasing process accuracy and consistency, and improving employee satisfaction. In fact, Zapier found over 90% of knowledge workers believe automation has improved their work lives.
But can your organization gain benefits like these with automation technology? Here are 5 signs it can.
1. Poor Turn Times
Are your processes slow? Do customers become frustrated with poor response times? Are your employees wasting time on mundane, manual tasks? Automation can help accelerate standard business processes and shrink the amount of time it takes you to complete bigger projects.
Take your mailroom process as an example. Manually sorting and distributing incoming mail can be tedious, time-consuming, and error prone – and result in unnecessarily poor turn times organization-wide. Fortunately, you can digitize your mailroom by replacing your manual process with an automated one. Outsourced digital mailroom solutions streamline mail management by quickly scanning and disseminating mail to employees – wherever they’re located.
Business automation technology can also accelerate accounts payable tasks. With a combination of workflow automation and business process management services, you can reduce invoice processing time – from receipt to payment – from 45 days to only 5 days.
2. Unhappy Customers
According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, customer satisfaction in the U.S. has been decreasing since 2018 – yikes. It has dropped by 5% between 2018 and 2022, which is the steepest recorded drop in 28 years.
Fortunately, business process automation can help improve customer satisfaction rates by shortening turnaround times.
With the right solution built on workflow automation and document management software, employees can access client information quickly while speaking with customers. This accelerates problem resolution, enables employees to address customer issues during the first interaction more frequently, and, ultimately, helps create a better customer experience.
3. Staffing Challenges
But what about your employee experience? How satisfied are your team members? Is your employee retention rate low? Are you understaffed?
When it comes to business success, maintaining the resources you need to effectively complete your work is critical. It can, however, be difficult to achieve in today’s current climate. There is, after all, a labor shortage that can be attributed to a surplus of jobs, lower-than-average labor force participation, and not enough qualified workers to fill open positions. According to a February report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, even “if every unemployed person in the country found a job, we would still have 4 million open jobs.”
On top of this, the majority of people who are working aren’t happy doing it. Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report reveals that 44% of employees feel stressed at work, 40% feel worried, 21% feel angry, and 23% feel sad. And dissatisfied employees typically don’t stick around very long.
Implementing automation technology can help you overcome these staffing challenges by streamlining repetitive tasks, such as invoice processing and new employee onboarding, and consequently, reducing stress and other negative emotions in the workplace. It increases productivity, job satisfaction, and, in turn, employee retention. Not only that, but you also won’t need to hire new employees just to handle increasing volumes of clerical tasks. Automation software can handle the work for you.
4. High Costs
Between inflation and the great debate over whether or not the U.S. is nearing recession, reducing costs is top of mind for organizations. And, luckily, business process automation can help yours improve financial stability.
Automation technology reduces operational costs for organizations by minimizing the amount of time employees waste on repetitive tasks. This improves employee satisfaction and, therefore, retention (goodbye high voluntary turnover expenses!) as well as productivity levels (goodbye high labor costs!).
AP automation, for instance, has been shown to decrease processing expenses from an average of $15 per invoice to just $3 or less. That’s an 80% cost reduction.
5. Poor Cash Flow Visibility
If you can’t estimate how much cash needs to be paid out over the next 30, 60, or 90 days at any given time, you’ve got a cash flow visibility problem and may under- or overestimate the amount of credit needed to plug the gap.
That’s where automation technology comes in.
Document capture software with optical character recognition (OCR) technology helps ensure that your system is updated with all inbound invoices, so you have an accurate picture of what payments are due and when. Visibility means you won’t miss opportunities to take advantage of things like early payment discounts.
Is It Time to Prioritize Automation in Your Organization?
From increased efficiency to improved accuracy, enhanced productivity, and more, automation offers numerous benefits for your organization.
If your teams experience high levels of manual labor, repetitive tasks, error rates, and/or hefty processing costs, automation technology can help. However, it’s important to carefully consider the type of technology that will work best for your teams and existing software.
At MetaSource, we can help you identify the right automation and outsourcing solutions to achieve the benefits you deserve. To learn more, read our guide, Is It Time to Prioritize BPA in Your Organization?, or contact our team today.