In other words, it has a positive impact on productivity, performance, efficiency and results in the various corporate areas in which it can be applied. Thus, it is essential to take advantage of the right moment to invest, avoiding falling behind the competition.
To help your business with this, we have created this content. Continuing with your reading, you will discover the main information on the subject. Check out!
What is process automation?
It is a management strategy that combines technologies and methodologies in an approach that replaces the manual execution or control of tasks with an automated model , in order to optimize an organization’s workflow.
More than being useful, it also becomes a competitive advantage by improving the organization, ensuring the use of the best methods and solutions in order to facilitate the performance of actions, make the most of resources and ensure focus on what really adds value. So much so that more than 90% of the projects already demand its implementation.
How does process automation work?
In practice, making process automation work involves implementing advanced technology solutions, systems and equipment in workflows , so that they perform tasks, reducing or replacing human intervention.
For example, approving an online sale or issuing invoices can be done using parameterized software that identifies compliance with predetermined criteria and proceeds with the order without the need for an employee to get involved.
What types of process automation are available?
As seen, the automation of processes takes place in several areas of a company, mainly in view of the growth in the development of platforms that allow their use due to the acceleration of digital transformation .
- production: Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are applied in the manufacturing flow;
- marketing : management and execution tools send emails , post on social networks, segment the audience, indicate content, etc.;
- commercial : from customer contacts to data analysis are situations in which this strategy is useful;
- registrations and contracts: capturing, approving, generating and archiving documents or monitoring deadlines no longer require the attention of the team;
- human resources: whether selecting resumes or calculating payroll, this sector has a lot to gain from an automated approach;
- financial: monitoring metrics, passing on information to accounting, issuing invoices are just a few examples of the uses of this model in this business area.
What are the main application examples of this solution?
If the concept of process automation covers a wide range of ways in which it can be applied, the main examples of this are even more numerous, including:
- Robot Process Automation (RPA): software robots aimed at repetitive, low-cognition and highly parameterizable tasks, whose estimated growth in use is 27% by 2031 ;
- Cobots : robotic application created to ensure collaboration between technology and employees in the work environment;
- Business Process Management Systems (BPM): technological solution for modeling and managing activities;
- Programmable Logic Controller (PLC): system that controls industrial processes from physical sensors;
- Supervision and Data Acquisition Systems (SCADA): monitor data in real time in favor of efficient decision-making;
- Artificial Neural Network (ANN): performs analyzes simulating the functioning of the human brain;
- Intelligent Business Automation (IBA): holistic and inclusive management model that integrates several IT applications for monitoring on a single platform;
- Chatbots : virtual assistants equipped with Artificial Intelligence that carry out interactions viachat;
- Scripts : set of pre-programmed instructions that direct the user to the information he needs through a flow in which each answer leads to greater depth.
How to define which sectors to automate?
Faced with so many situations in which it is feasible to apply automation, it is even difficult to know which one to choose or where to start, isn’t it? However, in order to achieve maximum performance you need to work in stages.
To know what the first step should be, it is essential to map and analyze how all business processes work , identifying:
- duplicate or unnecessary tasks;
- conference actions;
- activities that do not add;
- improvement demands ;
- points with greater potential for evolution.
By crossing this information, it is easy to establish both priorities and the necessary resources . Next, it is important to assess the amount to be invested and define the implementation schedule .
What is the best time to invest in it?
In addition to knowing where to start, it’s important to understand the right time to invest in this approach. After all, as it involves machines and systems that are constantly evolving, timing becomes a key factor in achieving maximum utilization.
In this context, managers must keep abreast of the progress of these technologies and the new solutions, features and applications that emerge, so as not to fall behind the competition.
Another point to be considered is cash availability . Thus, if it is necessary to raise funds in the market, the ideal is to analyze what are the expected returns with the project, to understand the best way to enable the automation of processes.
What are the advantages of process automation?
When it comes to evaluating the returns to be obtained from automating processes, it is essential to take into account more than the expansion of results. Thus, it is the advantages that make this investment worthwhile. Such as:
- minimization of human errors and bottlenecks , due to the greater accuracy offered by the technologies in relation to the collaborators associated with the revision of the stages;
- increase in the volume produced , as the operation becomes more agile when carried out as quickly as possible and by eliminating unnecessary actions;
- expansion of both efficiency and quality by providing greater traceability, facilitating and standardizing execution, as well as creating a continuous work rhythm in which the end of each phase triggers the next;
- optimization of the use of resources , ensuring their best use where they are most useful;
- directing the team’s focus to tasks that really add to the objectives, since employees do not need to pay attention to those that are repetitive and bureaucratic;
- increased productivity and performance of the team, which expands its ability to generate value without increasing hours worked;
- availability 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, without interruptions or drop in production rates;
- better decision-making , prioritizing key points based on data centralization and access to information in real time;
- improvement of internal communication with the integration of the entire company and the connection between channels, making it possible to consult the status of the progress of the cycles without depending on colleagues;
- improvement of management , making it effective by allowing a high level of control over the business;
- growth in competitiveness reaching maximum business performance at low costs without ceasing to deliver refined products or services;
- improved public service , promoting processes that flow and solving customer problems quickly;
- greater flexibility and safety in the production line, enabling interruptions, customization and rescheduling whenever necessary;
- technological evolution with the update or substitution of the use of any legacy system in order to make the platforms in operation compatible with the new solutions.
What are the risks of not automating processes?
On the other hand, not investing in process automation, in addition to making the company fail to enjoy all these advantages, is also a path that implies risks for the business. Between them:
- communication problems caused by noise and misunderstandings in interactions that delay the smooth running of flows or generate unnecessary expenses;
- misalignment between objectives and practices , making it difficult to achieve goals or adopt significant improvements in the production model;
- disorganization and lack of standardization leading to a drop in quality associated with increased execution time;
- low rate of resolution both due to the non-identification of problematic situations and the lack of agility to respond to these demands;
- inefficient and ineffective decision-making due to the absence of concrete information to support the choices;
- high costs caused by slowness, errors, bottlenecks, rework and unnecessary actions;
- reduction of productive capacity and losses with tasks that do not add value to the final result;
- lack of control due to the great effort spent to monitor metrics and collect data;
- customer dissatisfaction with long waits and unresolved service;
- decrease in the quality of deliveries , making activities more costly and negatively impacting sales.
Process automation is an important tool for continuous improvement and business competitiveness , as it provides a significant evolution in workflows. More than that, this approach is able to minimize several problems in communication, management and operation, that is, it is a solution in which it is worth investing.