Over the past few decades, technology has continued to have a greater impact on how business is conducted, and how they operate as organizations. As time has passed, businesses have modified and altered their processes, with some moving on process automation. Every technological iteration introduces new techniques and newer terminologies that are used in the business sphere.
Business Process Automation (BPA) is one such term that has been coined in recent years and focuses on process and efficiency improvement through digitization. A digital workflow for repetitive tasks is created, and then automation is implemented. This is especially important in customer assistance tools, where predesigned FAQs, or even a service that gets customers in direct contact with customer service representatives via chat, can make a considerable difference to customer experience.
Automation in the Restaurant Business: An Example
Consider Marlo, who runs a trendy restaurant business, and is having trouble managing reservations. On peak days, his servers mix orders for both food and drinks, and people who want to take away food have to wait for a long time to get their orders fulfilled. Marlo then automates his reservation system and takes it online, allowing patrons the choice of which slot to choose, and his manager to assess how many diners to expect.
His Restaurant starts to use customer-facing displays, from which they can place orders themselves, thus leaving his servers free to tend to his patrons’ needs. His kitchen now uses an integrated kitchen display system to keep the front of the business connected to the back, and he has his inventory management system automated and connected to the internet, to reorder ingredients as soon as they hit a certain level. He also integrates his system with an online ordering service to facilitate those who cannot come to his restaurant to eat. The result? A highly automated system, that runs without delays or issues.
Efficiency and Accuracy
Process Automation not only aids companies in enhancing efficiency but also in expanding the range of issues they can address within a given timeframe. Furthermore, firms can use their human resource in areas that do require a human touch.
Automation also improves a process’s accuracy immensely, as doing tasks manually may lead to steps being missed, or not being performed precisely. When the workflow for a certain process is automated, there will never arise an opportunity where a document is misplaced or a step is missed.
Process automation is also a cost-saving tactic, saving businesses from expenses in terms of salary, training and errors. These three factors, among others, when translated into finances, save a business a lot of money.
Opportunities for Adaptability
Furthermore, process automation, especially the processes that impact customers directly and have some bearing on their experience is adaptable, allowing firms to scale new solutions catered to the target market.
Considerations for Automating Tasks
Businesses can assess what processes need automation according to two criteria
- Can the process be completed without intensive human intervention?
- Is this process a recurring one?
If the answer to both these questions is in the affirmative, then a business would do well to automate that process. If even one of the answers is negative, then it would be far more beneficial for a company to complete that task manually. An example of an automated process would be e-commerce apps, which contain all the facilities that a customer might need in a single resource, including troubleshooting, as well as sales support.
Technology has truly altered the business landscape to favor both businesses as well as customers. Businesses are also growing increasingly customer-centric with every passing day, and are using newer means to facilitate clients. Applications and website integrations for businesses who want to automate some of their business processes are no longer a choice or luxury but now a necessity, if the business wants to grow. Let us use technological advancements to our advantage, for using the correct technology at the correct time can make all the difference between success and failure.