Every company wants to operate efficiently. Achieving this, however, can be challenging without a clear vision, defined processes, and the right technology.
Operational efficiency is a broad term that includes various components. At its core, it is about executing tasks and workflows in the most productive possible way, eliminating waste. Achieving operational efficiency can result from many initiatives and strategies, and process automation is at the top of the list. When organizations leverage automation, operational efficiency is a natural byproduct.
Below, we explore how process automation works and some of the best ways to use it.
What Is Process Automation?
Process automation solutions streamline a system to decrease errors and accelerate speed. It removes the human element from the process, which can help improve quality, reduce costs, and simplify workflows.
A variety of processes can be automated. Those that provide the highest value are high in frequency, access a large amount of data, and have few exceptions. Some examples include:
- Manage the application process for recruitment by using digital robots to manage the repetitive tasks of data collection..
- Accelerate accounting payments by matching invoices to purchase orders to verify their accuracy and forward it to payment.
- Strengthen compliance practices with automation capabilities that validate information, generate reports, check compliance, and trigger processes as needed.
These are just a few examples of what process automation looks like in action. With all the benefits they bring, why are some organizations still resistant to deploying automation?
Why Are Companies Still Resisting Automation?
Some organizations believe there are too many obstacles and challenges to leveraging automation solutions. They have concerns that deployment may be too costly or that they won’t have the framework to support automation. Others worry about pushback from employees who might see automation as a threat to their jobs.
Those are myths that need debunking. The reality is that delaying automation advancement only creates more costs.
Breaking Down Automation Myths
Organizations continue to accelerate adoption of process automation across all industries. Delaying adoption is a delay in the leverage that can be achieved, which greatly reduces the ability of an organization to compete on a level playing field. Your workers and workflows will continue to be bogged down by repetitive tasks that don’t use your resources effectively.
However, myths persist and require a new perspective.
Myth #1: Automation Is Too Expensive
Deploying automation is an investment, but it’s more cost-effective than you might think. Additionally, it’s proven to reduce costs overall because it speeds up workflows and reduces the need for human labor.
Myth #2: Automation Requires a Sophisticated Framework
Whether your business is stacked with modern technology or still retains legacy machines, automation is within reach. RPA, for example, is ideal for leveraging legacy systems when platform upgrades are not a consideration. Process automation is flexible and designed to fit your needs. Additionally, with the right partner, you don’t need any expertise in automation to achieve success.
Myth #3: Employees Will See Automation as a Job Threat
According to research by the McKinsey Global Institute, 60 percent of occupations have at least 30 percent of activities that can be automated. When organizations adopt automation for these tasks, their employees have more time for higher-level work. Not only will this shift improve productivity, but it will also improve job satisfaction.
Automation isn’t a threat to workers. Rather, it augments their efforts. It could displace some jobs altogether, but that opens opportunities for new roles that elevate workers from taskmasters to decision makers.
Some common activities around data offer a good illustration of this point. Workers spend copious amounts of time collecting, processing, and aggregating data. If those often-tedious data-related tasks are left to automation, employees can focus instead on analyzing data and using it to make better decisions.
The future of your organization will be highly dependent on operational efficiency, and process automation gets you there faster.
Process Automation Elevates Operational Efficiency
If you want to optimize processes that are manual and rules-based, automation is the solution. Monotony is a breeding ground for errors and wasted time, money, and resources.
With automation in place, you can realize significant benefits, including:
- Cost reduction: By reallocating labor, automation creates savings in that wages pay for higher-level work and waste is eliminated from processes.
- Improved productivity: Eliminating repetitive tasks supports greater productivity, and your software bots are constantly working on completing processes faster and with no errors.
- Data collection for insights: Automation collects data throughout every process, providing you with valuable information that you can use to improve operations in many areas.
- Greater visibility of processes: Automation helps you identify roadblocks in processes and provides a way to address them.
- Improved compliance practices: You can leverage automation to create your audit trail and give you another level of oversight.
You’ll reap these advantages and many more by prioritizing automation in your operations.
Operational Efficiency and Process Automation: A Perfect Pair
Process automation can deliver operational efficiency wins regardless of your industry, department, or needs. Applying it to tasks that keep you from being efficient is the ideal solution for many modern business challenges.
Learn more about how they work together by downloading Leveraging Intelligent Automation to Increase Operational Efficiency.