How to Automate Business Processes | Genie Automation

How to Automate Business Processes

Many companies are talking about automating business processes, and with good reason. Businesses face fierce How to Automate Business Processescompetition for customers, and being as efficient as possible is not optional. If you don’t automate to improve, you’ll lose business to someone who does!

Business automation allows you to reduce the human interaction in certain business processes, which increases efficiency and reduces errors, and is essential to succeeding in today’s marketplace.

Why Automate Business Processes

Automating business processes gives your company a large number of benefits. Some of the key wins you get from automation are:

  • Improved Communication. Automation allows you to streamline your communication process significantly. Rather than using individual emails and memos to pass on information, you use a much more reliable project dashboard. Everyone can see key information, and assigned tasks are clear.
  • Accountability. One of the most important elements of automating a business process is that you assign tasks to specific owners. Those people become responsible for completion. Because everyone can see who the owner is for each step of the process, transparency and accountability are improved dramatically.
  • Minimized Costs. When you automate business processes, you remove cumbersome, repetitive elements from the hands of your employees. As a result, you have better efficiency and far fewer errors. Even better, a key process won’t be delayed if an employee gets ill or takes a vacation!
  • Process Improvement. Part of automating business processes involves identifying each step that is currently taken to accomplish a task. Many times, you discover a lot of waste or unnecessary elements, and you’re able to improve your overall process on the spot.

How to Identify Business Processes to Automate

Knowing where to start is key to having a successful automation program. There are lots of options, so simply pick one and move forward. As parts of your business processes become automated, the gains you get will increase momentum and enthusiasm toward doing more.  Here are places to look:

  • Paper-Heavy Processes. A place to start is to automate away paper. Very few employees enjoy handling paper, so you should have good buy-in. Also, paper is highly manual and prone to mistakes or getting misplaced.
  • Wasted Time. Do you have business processes where employees waste time looking for forms, information, or figuring out who is the next person in the process? This wasted time is frustrating for everyone, and a process like this is a prime candidate for automation.
  • Processes Too Reliant on One Person. This is probably not the place to start, but eventually you’ll want to automate any process that is too reliant on one person. Your company cannot afford to have delays, hang-ups, and lost sales because someone is on vacation, distracted, or ill. The problem is that the person in this process probably has a lot of personal satisfaction in controlling it. Find a way to make automation a win-win for the key employee in these types of processes.

Start the Automation Process

Once you’ve identified business processes that are ready for automation, it’s important to follow a step-by-step plan to make sure that the automation is implemented correctly, and everyone is happy with the results. Here are the steps to start the automation process.

  • Document. The first thing to do in any implementation is document your existing manual process. You need to make sure you know what needs to happen in each step, and you can eliminate wasteful stages up front.
  • Identify Gaps and Inefficiency. As part of getting your employees to understand the benefits of automation, you have to be able to show the improvements that can be made. By pointing out gaps and inefficiency, you can see the gains you will make by automating.
  • Get Key Approvals. No business process exists in a vacuum, and any changes you make will need approval from stakeholders. Get those approvals, using the gaps and inefficiencies you found to make your business case.
  • Identify a System. Finding the right automation system can be a challenge, and you probably want to look for outside help. I’d be happy to help you explore your options and choose the right system for your process.
  • Create an Implementation Plan. Many automation processes are introduced over time. By creating an implementation plan, you’ll know exactly when your automation will be fully in place. An implementation plan should also include a communication strategy so that employees feel involved in the process, instead of pushed to the side.
  • Execute. Once you’ve made the plan and communicated the benefits, it’s time to put the automation program in place and reap the benefits!

Evaluating your business processes and implementing automation is vital to succeeding in today’s competitive business world. I understand that it can seem overwhelming, and that’s where I can help you. I’ll work with you to evaluate the best place to start gaining the benefits of automation, and help you create a plan to make it happen. Contact me for a free consultation session today!