25 Jun Transforming the way your business works
When your business grows things need to change and there are different ways to enable that growth using technology to make life easier.
Let’s take a look at Business Process Automation (BPA) or digital transformation. This is the use of technology to automate complex or repetitive business processes. The outcome of using this is aimed at increasing quality, improving delivery and productivity and/or reducing costs.
BPA doesn’t change how the business performs its activities; the processes remain the same. BPA is evolution, not revolution, and it has limited scope for incorporating innovation into the processes. It’s more about streamlining and efficiency.
If innovative solutions are needed Business Process Reengineering (BPR) may be a good option, as this can introduce radical change to the way the business delivers value to its customers.
Where can BPA help?
Automation tools exist for many areas of business, both general workflow systems and more specialist areas such as sales and marketing. These tools enable automation to be customised to your business to deliver the solution you want, but the downside is that you can be tied to the company who owns the tool.
The tools market is evolving rapidly with the introduction of AI reducing the need for adaption of the tool to your environment. Although tools still tend to be specific for certain industries.
Automation tools work by enabling you to connect the different systems in your organisation via a data exchange layer. This provides a single user interface to your systems reducing the communication paths between the individual system and the people engaged in the business activity. Which is a technical way to say ‘they streamline your processes’!
There are also systems that concentrate on the automation of an area of business for example Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Marketing Automation. These often provide a serious completive advantage, as they enable your staff to spend a greater portion of their working day serving your customers, not your systems. They can seriously transform customer service by gathering customer information to enable a completely personalized approach.
There are social media management tools (Hootsuite, Buffer, etc.) and data management tools (MailChimp, AWeber, Constant Contact) and many more subscription or purchase based options available online.
The question is – do they all work together? Some do, some don’t. Our advice is that before you set off to automate your business processes you plan your strategy and choose systems that talk to each other – or get a system that is designed specifically to meet your business’s needs and will evolve and grow with you.