The concept of business automation is using technology to perform repetitive tasks rather than human labour. The term stems from the automotive industry in the 1940s, after which the automation of data-driven enterprise tasks developed in the 1960s.
While business automation is not new, it now covers all aspects of a business - from basic workflow to more complex processes. Hyperautomation is an evolution of traditional automation to include new applications such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics and machine learning which predict future growth trends and help advise budgets.
With studies reveal that more than 56% of companies have four or more Hyperautomation initiatives in place, we find that an increasing proportion of our work delivers automation as standard. Yet despite the increased demand for automation in the software development projects we deliver, we find that there is a large degree of misunderstanding surrounding the benefits and risks of automating business processes.
How can automation streamline business processes?
Daily business operations, such as order management, inventory management, time planning and data recording can be automated which frees up employee time to work elsewhere within the business, and remove the risk of manual errors, double entry or loss of process knowledge if an employee leaves a business.
Even more complex tasks, such as software testing and product development, can be automated to free up team members, streamlining the human resources available to the company.
Automation can also benefit team collaboration with system integration; mutual business processes can be automated across the company. This allows every team member to work the same processes and operations while the simplistic tasks are automated throughout, leading to more efficient processes and greater visibility across a business.
How to customise business optimisation to meet business needs?
Business automation can, and should be, customised for the exact needs of your business, this means looking across your business to see where processes could be automated to save time, improve efficiency, maximise productivity or deliver better customer service. We work with clients and offer customised business automation as part of our bespoke software services.
For example, for internal operations within a large-scale manufacturing company, automated order and stock management, holiday requests and report generation are great ways to reduce time spent on administrative tasks.
Alternatively, for logistics businesses, stock levels can be automatically managed and shared with cloud services, saving time previously spent on sharing and editing multiple documents across teams.
How can business automation improve customer experience?
Customer experience automation (CXA) involves automating repeated tasks within the customer lifecycle to allow the customer to move to the next stages without human interaction.
CXA systems, such as live chatbots guided by AI, interactive voice recording systems for customer calls or automatic email responses, improve the consistency of customer services as tasks will be performed quickly and correctly every time. By modernising your current software, new predictive automation elements can anticipate customer behaviours to help inform sales and marketing decisions and budgets.
However, it is essential to have experienced workers involved later in the customer process for a more personalised experience, such as when a product error needs to be resolved.
What are the financial benefits of business automation?
Business automation is essential to all modern businesses as it allows for unchallenging, low-value tasks to be completed by technology rather than employees. This frees up employees for more strategic, high-value roles, with the opportunity to bring more significant income to the business.
Automating important tasks helps drive business growth by ensuring that the core business operations are done with fewer errors and in a timely manner. Automation is also designed to reduce manual errors, which could cost the business more in the short term.
What are the challenges of automating processes?
Business automation can be applied to various tasks, which means that every application needs to match the right piece of technology, which can be tricky to work out. Choosing to team up with the dedicated resources of a bespoke software developer like Propel Tech can help you to narrow down your options and ensure that you don’t waste money on inefficient software.
Another challenge of automation processes is the initial start-up costs for the software to be applied. It is a significant investment for the company. Still, it will yield a substantial long-term Return On Investment, and it is essential to speak to an impartial expert like Propel to work out the best solutions for you.
How can Propel Tech help with testing automation?
At Propel Tech, we are a team of experienced software developers across many industries with experience in both existing and new technologies. We can discuss your business goals to find which elements of business automation will work best for you.