Efficiency is a key objective for every company and within every department. The road to efficiency looks different for everyone, but digital transformation and automation are always part of the conversation.
A big part of the journey to efficiency is process automation solutions. When organizations implement process automation solutions, they can streamline workflows, eliminate manual processes, and revolutionize productivity.
While many organizations are keen to embrace automation, they are often unsure where to start or what course the journey should take. In this post, we’ll provide you with context regarding process automation solutions and how they support success.
What Are Process Automation Solutions?
Process automation solutions describe tools designed to automate rule- or logic-based processes. The goal of this automation is to remove manual work and increase the speed of the process.
Any organization, no matter the size or industry, can realize advantages when using process automation solutions. It may seem complex to deploy, however, it’s not as intimidating as many presume, and the barriers to entry are low. Adopting this strategy will prove vital to attaining digital transformation maturity.
The Benefits of Process Automation Solutions
The benefits you seek will depend on your specific needs and what digital transformation looks like to you. That can include a host of outcomes that will reduce strain on employees and accelerate processes.
Looking at big-picture advantages to process automation solutions, you can expect:
- Reduction in manual, repetitive work to digitalized workflows, speeding things up and minimizing errors
- Freeing up employees to focus on higher-level tasks that require human intervention and intelligence, which improves job satisfaction
- Aggregating data from disparate systems so that it’s secure, accessible, and actionable
- Adjusting processes quickly as trends or other factors demand change
The Real Cost of Automation vs. Manual
It seems obvious that automation is more effective than manual work. There is a tendency for some to equate automation with minuscule tasks or screen scraping. That misconception buoys the attractiveness of keeping things human-driven.
Unfortunately, that’s not scalable or sustainable. Automation removes these transactional tasks from the worker’s process flow, empowering them to do more and driving efficiency across the enterprise. It’s a redistribution of human time and labor that drives toward efficiency and success. You’d not be able to meet the ever-changing needs of your industry without embracing automation.
Where and How to Apply Process Automation Solutions
To reap the benefits, you have to start with where and how you’ll use intelligent automation. Keep in mind that automation isn’t a Band-Aid for a failing process. It’s a long-term optimizer of a process that’s already defined but needs to be improved or digitally transformed.
Here are a few examples of process automation solutions in action:
- Streamline and digitize purchase orders and other procurement processes, eliminating manual entry and automatically routing to appropriate approvers. As a result, you can remove friction from the process and delays on critical assets, materials, technology, and more.
- Remove administrative tasks from clinician workflows so they can spend more time with patients and ensure data consistency—and often better patient health outcomes. When physicians can concentrate more on patients than technology, this could lead to better results.
- Automate logistics data relating to scheduling, tracking, rate lookups, and load capture. In doing so, you’ll relieve shipping professionals from repetitive tasks.
Requirements for Successful Process Automation Solution Implementation
The advantages of automation have been heralded for many years. This promise of results has enticed many businesses to claim this success. A McKinsey study found that 66 percent of organizations pursued it in 2020, up 9 percent from 2018. The research also revealed that most companies deployed business process automation and robotic process automation (RPA) solutions.
However, there’s a struggle to meet these goals, resulting in lots of failures. In fact, 30 to 50 percent of RPA projects fail. Further, the McKinsey study confirmed that only 61 percent of respondents met automation targets.
What can you do from the start to carve a path to success with automation solutions?
- Create a Center of Excellence (CoE).
- Define your end goals.
- Make automation a strategic priority.
- Focus on the people just as much as the technology.
- Develop an operating model that’s scalable.
- Establish change management for adoption and buy-in.
- Consider the interdependency of processes.
What often holds a business back is simply the safety of doing nothing. However, that creates a disadvantage and allows competitors to work smarter. Consider all those successful companies that failed to pivot and innovate. After all, they weren’t too big to fail. They were too big to evolve.
Process Automation Solutions Are the Heart of Digital Transformation
Your organization can succeed in its automation initiatives and digital transformation when you strategize and plan for success. Automation for automation’s sake won’t deliver the advantage you hope, and you’ll end up automating the wrong things.
Get a clear picture of how to approach process automation solutions by viewing our webinar, “Six Sigma and the Age of Digital Transformation.”