Business Process Automation – Why is It Worth Using BPA in Your Company?
Business process automation is not new. Already in 1913, Henry Ford invented the first moving assembly line for the mass production of cars. A lot has changed since then. Nowadays, thanks to rapid technological development, automation is an absolute must-have – especially in the field of communication.
Today I’m going to show you the benefits, types, and stages of business process automation (BPA). I’ll also give you examples of how it is used in the field of communication. But before this, let me start by shortly introducing the idea of BPA.
What is business process automation?
To put it simply, business process automation means technology-enabled automation of repeatable, day-to-day tasks. Companies use BPA to accelerate business-related processes.
Such automation increases business performance because companies can save money on routine, time-consuming tasks.
Business process automation enables employees to concentrate on more demanding and creative activities. Repeatable tasks can be effectively performed by an appropriate system, e.g. an automated communication system that uses chatbots and voicebots.
Most companies use different types of business process automation software for specific in-house departments.
BPA allows you to automate:
- communication with clients, employees, business partners,
- and many more processes.
BPA is by definition supposed to help companies run a larger number of projects with a lower number of employees. It allows companies to save time and devote it to tasks that are more important from the perspective of business development. The goal of BPA is to centralize the management of processes and, most importantly, to support employees in their everyday work (but not replace them). It is also supposed to improve organizational workflow, minimize operational costs, limit the number of human errors, provide better customer service, and so on.
BPA often comes along with automation that uses artificial intelligence (RPA – robotic process automation). It combines the business potential of companies with the work of virtual assistants and humans. The goal, however, remains the same. Employees should focus on more creative and demanding tasks, leaving repetitive and time-consuming activities to robots (such as chatbots and voice assistants).
The benefits of business process automation – examples
Business process automation is gaining more and more popularity because it brings companies substantial benefits. Let me show you several examples of BPA used in the automation of communication processes.
1. Transparency of all processes
While looking for communication processes that are worth automating, you’ll get a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t. You’ll see who is responsible for specific processes and at what point they could be accelerated. After seeing the bigger picture, it’ll be easier for you to choose an appropriate automated communication system. You’ll also gain the knowledge necessary to create a Proof of Concept to test your design.
2. Improved workflow
Business process automation improves everyday work because employees don’t have to perform so many repetitive tasks. This allows to save a lot of time. Moreover, thanks to dedicated systems that enable businesses to centrally manage chatbot and voicebot content, companies gain insight into their automated communication processes. Consequently, they can eliminate unnecessary tasks and increase employee productivity, relieving them of routine, onerous activities.
3. Standardized communication processes
Automation eliminates human error, which is one of the most frequent causes of low business productivity. This gives you greater predictability – on the one hand, you gain control over automated communication processes, on the other hand, you can always improve your system by adding new functionalities that are adjusted to the needs of your users.
4. Giving structure to unstructured data
The automation of communication processes usually involves unstructured data – pieces of information that are scattered around different company departments and are hard to standardize and store in one place.
The reason is simple. Unstructured data is subjective, random, and difficult to organize. But this type of data also fuels important business decisions made in companies.
Unstructured data can come from social media, company intranets, and different departments – from customer service, marketing, HR, to sales and purchase. Unorganized information is difficult to format and put inside an Excel-like structure of columns and rows.
Types of business process automation that focus on communication
I wondered some time how I could categorize business process automation in relation to communication. I decided to go with three types, dividing BPA according to the level of complexity.
1. Basic automation
Involves simple tasks, usually the most repetitive, which don’t require advanced integrations or a complex chatbot or voicebot structure.
|UNIQA’s chatbot gives clients access to the information they need at any time of day. Because it works on Messenger, it’s always by hand. The chatbot not only improves customer service but also constitutes an important step towards the automation of the customer support process.|
2. Integrated automation
Involves more complicated communication processes where important data is stored in different places. They require integrations with enterprise-class systems or clients’ CRM software.
|The Wroclaw Airport chatbot finds air connections, notifies users about flight status updates, finds transport and parking spots, shows where airport visitors can go shopping or drink coffee. It knows answers to hundreds of questions and is constantly learning. Because it’s integrated with Skyscanner, a popular flight search engine, it also helps users to plan their travel.|
3. Advanced automation
Another step in the development of automated communication solutions. It involves using artificial intelligence, including machine learning and natural language processing, to enable machines to learn on their own and respond as effectively as humans, without having to engage a moderator.
|On a page designed for employees, the Jeronimo Martins chatbot offers automatic help in issues related to registration and logging in. After users pass this step, the chatbot answers frequently asked questions concerning the workplace health, family, and education programs, the submission of proof of income or prepaid card documents. If needed, it also offers information about dates of employment, prepaid card numbers, and decisions related to workplace support programs.|
The basic rule of automated communication
Every company is different. It has its own worked out procedures and systems, it makes business decisions on its own. We know that business process automation, especially in the field of communication, needs to reconcile conflicting interests of different company departments. It also requires you to cooperate with different service providers, adjust your product to the needs and behavior of users, and often implement integrations with external systems.
If you’re in the process of choosing the best way to automate in-house communication processes, focus on tailor-made solutions. Implementing a system that fully meets the needs of users entails a lot of preparation and an experienced team that has both technical and creative skills. When looking for a contractor, pay special attention to his work experience. Remember that launching a chatbot or voicebot doesn’t take several minutes, but it also doesn’t take entire 6 months. It is a complex process that lasts from 5 days up to several weeks, and it’s not measured by a scale of difficulty.
After gathering all the necessary information, the KODA Bots team is able to provide a prototype finished in even 90% so that it’s ready for NLP testing. It is the result of an in-depth analysis of queries and organized information architecture. This is possible thanks to our unique technology, which we’ve been developing according with the needs of our clients.