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In this era of technology and high competitiveness, every business is looking for a way to elevate itself to the next level to keep up with the increased demand. And this is precisely where process automation comes into play.


What is Process Automation?

At its core, process automation is an innovative technology that can automate all the recurring tasks or processes in a business.

IT leaders worldwide say that automation helps their employees save anywhere from 10% to 50% of their time doing tasks.

The main goal is to replace the manual effort and significantly increase the organization's efficiency. It also creates a streamlined work process and reduces costs.

In most cases, automation is done with state-of-the-art BPA software solutions. These business process automation (BPA) solutions are usually complex to build, but they can be tailored to fit the need of a specific organization.

As each organization's recurring processes are unique, the BPA software can offer unique solutions that will work with other IT systems to ensure a streamlined work process for the business. These requirements are usually seen in invoicing purchase orders, data entry, HR tasks, and filling out information on on-boarding employees.

When manually working on these fields, the most straightforward error can eventually break down the company's workflow on a larger scale. Unfortunately, this can also lead to bottlenecks, Inefficiency, and the inability to meet the deadline.

Process automation technology aims to prevent these from happening. It helps the company deploys various sets of reusable automation strategy to ensure better control over the business process.

Automating any process through a process automation solution can lessen confusion, increase customer satisfaction and allow the employees to focus on other aspects of the business. Also, 51% of the automation initiatives taken worldwide are aimed at boosting the organization's efficiency.

Taking away massive resources from repetitive and tedious tasks helps any organization elevate to the next level.


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What are the different types of Process Automation?

Process automation in itself is a large-scale technology with vast implementation. As we have the flexibility to customize our process automation solutions to our specific needs, differentiating process automation into particular categories can be a bit tricky. However, when we look at the tech plug behind the automation systems, three essential parts jump out in front of us.

Robotic Automation

Whenever the word "robot" comes into play, the first thing that pops into our minds is a robot's mechanical parts. From the human like robots made by Honda Motor Corporation to everyday robot vacuum cleaners, The word robot holds a unique image in our mind. However, robotic automation is far from what we imagine robots to be.

In robotic process automation (RPA), there isn't any involvement with mechanical robots. Instead, there are software bots that are made using machine learning algorithms. These bots are designed to learn from experience and perform tedious tasks with tremendous accuracy. Over 50% of the leading companies use Robot automation or AI for at least one of their business functions.

As a result, the RPA technology can easily streamline processes like form checking and data entry. Moreover, unlike their human counterparts, they are not prone to getting bored and decrease efficiency while working.


This increased efficiency level eventually frees up the company's human resources to focus on other tasks requiring a higher level of intelligence. So even though the initial cost of a customized RPA software can be high, it can save the user a significant amount of time and money.

Related : A Comprehensive Guide to OCR with RPA and Document Understanding

Database Automation

Another significant type of process automation is database automation. With such an overwhelming amount of data being used every single day by any particular company, automating the database is vital.

That is why opting for a robust database is becoming the top priority of every organization. Keeping this in mind, companies usually invest in a database system that offers an intuitive UI. This enables the user to maintain and manipulate data without facing much hassle. But regardless of how easy to use the database's interface, managing data can quickly become frustrating and overwhelming.

However, the good news is that database automation takes care of these issues with ease. In addition, this form of process automation makes life easier for DBA, as they can focus more on tasks that resonate with tuning and provision.

Keep in mind that database automation is not just related to cloning databases. It also involves various system checks, reducing human error and highly efficient data manipulation.

Server Automation

Like database automation, server automation takes a lot of work out of the hands of IT admins. This process automation involves the deployment of newly made software onto the server, managing inventory, applying new patches, and much more.

Server automation can be done by both process automation software suits and point tools. Point tools are mainly targeted toward small-scale businesses that need specific aspects of their server automated. Moreover, these tolls are comparatively cheaper and easy to handle and install quickly.

On the other hand, software suits offer the user a broad spectrum of comprehensive server automation. They are significantly costlier than their counterparts. However, they can cover pretty much every aspect of server automation.

What is the difference between Process Automation and Robotic Process Automation?

Even though most people think they both hold the same meaning, there is more to it than meets the eye. One can argue that both of these techniques offer automation of a process that eventually increases the efficiency of the organization. But that is all the similarities both of them have in terms of functionality.

As we have discussed already, robotic process automation is the use of bots to complete tedious front-end tasks. But on the other hand, traditional process automation is vaster than that. Standard process automation solution deals with the various front end to data storage works; hardware used to emulate human work, system integration, and much more.

In most robotic process automation, the bots take input from their previous generation and teach themselves to work more accurately and efficiently. While in traditional process automation, system developers and engineers have to deal with the input and fact-check the output to ensure the system is working according to the desired design.

Unlike RPA, business process automation deals with programmatic work, transactional tasks involving workflow, and exploratory work. Therefore, when DPA and RPA are deployed together, they complement each other to offer the most engaging customer experience and take care of time-consuming work that DPA alone cannot.


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When should you use process automation in your organization?

There are no hard and fast industry standards as to when you should use process automation in your organization. However, a good rule of thumb is to invest in a process automation solution when the initial investment saves you more than the investment in three years' time.

If your organization is going through a digital transformation to reach all of your goals, then it is the perfect time to use process automation.

According to research, 97 % of IT leaders think that process automation is vital to digital transformation.

In addition, if your company is going through a bottleneck situation where tedious system tasks and errors are keeping you down, then process automation can save you from this hole. This case is especially true for the companies working in the service industry. Over 24% of service businesses have some form of low code automation.

In everyday business work, there are multiple stages where data and information can get lost, misused, and missed. If your business runs into any of these issues or has a chance to face them, it is time to introduce automation.

Process automation software can be designed to completely remove the need for manual acceptance of purchase orders or data entry. All of these can be fully automated to keep any form of data loss at bay. Moreover, hardware systems can also help companies by taking automatic data into the server that can be later used according to specific needs.


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What are process automation use-cases?

Here are some of the real-world use of process automation that you as a business owner might be able to resonate with.

Vendor Management

A vendor management system can unite complex technology and systems through a single platform, including SharePoint, Oracle, SAP, and much more. Later it can be designed to let users worldwide access and utilize it when needed for vendor selection needs.

Employee Onboarding

If the organization has a structure that requires many employees to work with a short-term contract, BPA can come in quite handy. The automation will be able to handle the onboarding process swiftly, so the employees enjoy a user-friendly system. This can involve anything from the fast creation of an employee ID, ID verification to streamlining an automated payment system after the end of the contract.

In the work market 2020 report, over 54% of the business leaders thinks that automation will reduce the number of HR staff needed for hiring.

Credit Approval

Credit approval is another one of those processes that can benefit from process automation. Instead of having the customers manually fill out the form and waiting for a few weeks to get their hands on a new card, an automated system can do it within a few minutes.

There are many other sectors that automation can help, including the likes of,

  • Approval requests
  • Offering quotations
  • Complaints reporting
  • Loan processing
  • Auditing

Related : Invoice‌ ‌Approval‌ ‌Automation‌

What are the Key benefits of process automation?

As we already know, implementing process automation can offer broad-reaching benefits. For example, they help you collaborate with your colleagues better and help you reach your business goals through streamlining compliance. But the best news is that most of the aspect of the business has the opportunity to be automated.

So let us dive into why you should invest in process automation and the benefits they bring to the table.

Increased Productivity

One of the most significant benefits of process automation is the increased productivity of any business. According to Technology Partners, using RPA bots to handle tedious work can cut the turnaround time by up to 5 times. As a result, your employees will not have to utilize their precious time on tedious and recurring paperwork and documentation.

With over 80% reduction in error, process automation can do these tasks lighting fast and increase your business's efficiency and overall productivity. Surprised, take a look at Nanonets Customer Stories!

Cost Savings

Cost reduction is the second most significant benefit of process automation. As automation takes tedious tasks away from your employees, they can focus on another aspect of the business that requires human thinking. This, as a result, can save your organization a lot of money by quality tackling harder on-hand issues.

Automation also reduces the business owner's yearly wages for recurring tasks. This offers more opportunities to reinvest in the business, help it grow, and save money.


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Increased Customer Satisfaction

One of the biggest goals of BPA is to increase overall customer satisfaction. With an automation system in place, you can take care of your customers' queries faster than ever. This saves both your and your customer's time. It also applies to many other aspects of customer interaction, including payment systems, order processing, etc.

Moreover, good customer satisfaction can very quickly elevate your brand image in the digital space.

Increased Scalability

If your end goal is to scale your business to the next level, then process automation can do wonders. For example, when you are dealing with invoice issuing for 50 different orders, this might not seem like something tough to handle. But wonder if you have to do it for 5,000 orders?

This is where RPA can help you scale instead of bottlenecking your business and having to hire a massive number of employees for tedious tasks.


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Reduction in Manual Errors

Lastly, process automation helps you minimize errors by a significant amount. Regardless of how attentive and talented your employees are, every human is prone to making errors. Mistakes are bound to happen now and then. But sometimes, a small mistake can seriously impact the organization due to a butterfly effect.

Process automation tools like process Nanonets, Asana and more can minimize the error and help you take your business to the next level.


How Can You Implement Process Automation?

The process automation implementation requires you to follow certain steps to ensure the maximum yield. Here is an overall guideline on the implementation process.

Make a list of your automation requirements

The first step is to list what processes you need to automate in your specific business. In today's digital world, almost every aspect of a business can be fully automated with the right investment. That being said, not all automation does not offer the same return on investment or complexity.

So the first step is to figure out which aspect of your business will benefit the most from process automation.

Feasibility Assessment

After listing out which aspects of the business can be automated, it is time to think about to what extent automation will be feasible. Again, an SME and RPE expert should work together on this assessment and decide the level of automation before implementation.

User Experience

Gather experiences from the user and see what aspect of the customer side they want automated. A business needs to think from the user's perspective and see how automation can eventually help the employees and the customers in the long run.

Development

After everything has been adequately planned, it is time to start the development process. Developers can utilize tools like Nanonets to integrate their existing softwares and automate mundane processes like invoices processing, onboarding employees or more. In addition, there are various other process automation tools you will be able to find on the market.

However, each tool is specifically designed to focus on a unique part of your business. So it would help if you implemented the tool that resonates with your business requires the most.

Testing

Hold testing sessions and study the performance of the RPA tool in all possible scenarios. This will enable the developers to improve the system further and take care of any potential issues or bugs testing might find.

Deploying your process automation tools

Once the testing and reconfirming are done and you are happy with the outcome, it is time to deploy the process automation solution.

When should you use process automation in your organization?

With such a massive potential of BPA, the stakes are always high. However, certain challenges can make or break the outcome. Being aware of these challenges will enable you and your team to rise above them.

Keeping that in mind, we will shed light on some of the most significant changes for process automation and how to solve them.

BPA is not an answer to solving a lousy process

You need to understand that although business process automation can do wonders for your organization, what it is not capable of doing is repairing bad processes. If the overall process has a bad design, automating those processes will not help you out.

The solution to these challenges lies in mapping your processes before implementing processes. Make sure what you want to automate is top-notch and is entirely error-free to get the best yield out of your system.

Difficulty in scaling

Remember that scaling can stumble quite easily if you do not have a clear picture when implementing. For example, suppose your project is only designed to serve a specific number of users and does not have scalable infrastructure. In that case, it might be extremely difficult to scale in the future.

To solve these issues, you can switch to cloud platforms that offer you the ability to scale up as your business evolves.

Goal Management

Using powerful process automation tools can easily be tempting to tackle large and complex issues. But sometimes, this goal can be too much for the business, resulting in a demotivated workforce and frustrating workflow.

To solve these challenges, start small. Give your organization time to evolve and take on more significant challenges as time goes by. Being introduced to a potent BPA does not mean you have to use it to its maximum potential right away.

How to Find The best Process Automation vendor and RPA Tool for Your Organization?

There is more to selecting a process automation vendor than meets the eye. Process automation implementation can be a big commitment. And you should go through adequate steps to find the right one that suits your business goals.

Here are some of the tips on finding the best Process Automation vendor.

Understand the landscape

Automation is an emerging technology and therefore, most of the vendor tools are either evolving or a best fit for your particular use case. So before choosing your vendor, you need to research and understand the vendor landscape.

This includes everything from comparing your vendors to evaluating them in the field of technological innovation.

Choosing a PA solution that resonates with your requirements

Before choosing a suitable vendor, it is wise to understand which processes are excellent candidates for your organization. If you do not have the resources to pick the right pieces, you can order from various RPA consulting services to do that on your behalf.

Shortlist your RPA Tools

You can check out various RPA software rankings according to their objective and performance metrics to shortlist the top ones.

Reduce the list by selecting the ones operating in your area of expertise.

Most process automation vendors are breaking the geographical barriers rapidly. However, it is always good to start working with vendors offering services from your country. It will allow you to have in-hand expertise and significantly reduce implementation time and error.


Nanonets online OCR & OCR API have many interesting use cases that could optimize your business performance, save costs and boost growth. Find out how Nanonets' use cases can apply to your product.


FAQ

What is an example of process automation?

A real-world example of process automation will be your everyday customer support software. This software takes care of your complaints and offers you the answers you need to solve the problem.


Why is process automation important?

Process automation is a vital part of any business because it removes any form of the bottleneck which can cause time and revenue loss.


How does process automation work?

Process automation works by letting the software handle rule-based tasks automatically. This software handles the data in real-life scenarios according to the given instructions.

With all of your knowledge, we hope that your journey toward automating complex business processes becomes easier than ever. Stay tuned for more updates.'


Nanonets online OCR & OCR API have many interesting use cases that could optimize your business performance, save costs and boost growth. Find out how Nanonets' use cases can apply to your product.