Regardless of your career or skillsets (database / software developer, data analyst project manager, business analyst, network engineer, etc.) you are ultimately hired to support or enable a business goal (e.g. increase sales, lower business costs, deliver a service, etc).
With that in mind, business process / workflow automation is both key and integral to achieving key business goals like improving communication across business units, reducing costs and operational inefficiencies, improving product / service quality and reliabillity and much more!
Before we delve further into this topic, let’s first review why your company / organization will need you at some time or other to participate in business process / workflow automation tasks or projects …
Minimizing the Costs of Manual Errors / Operational Inefficiencies
When you automate your business process or workflow, you also reduce or eliminate the costs of manual / human errors as well as the operational inefficiencies which are inevitable in any manual system.
For example, inventory restocking delays, late payments of vendors or supplies, slow sales approvals or even payments for goods never purchased in the first place are expensive errors that may occur when a business process is not automated.
Please keep in mind that, manual tasks, are usually performed one-at-a-time and because of this, they can only be completed at a slower rate than automated tasks.
Simplifing Processes Or Reducing the Cost of Economic Efficiencies
When you automate a business process, you harness the power of information technology to reduce / lower the cost of doing business.
Using Information Technology (IT), repetitive / redundant tasks can be more easily identified and then centralized at one location.
This may for example, include, centralizing payroll/HR tasks/activities at one location which in turn lowers both employee head-count and administrative overhead costs.
Another powerful enabler of centralized Information Technology is the internet.
Using web applications and/or corporate websites, many-a-company has successfully migrated high-cost business functions (Sales, Marketing, Customer Relationship Management, Customer Service, Live Help, etc.) to an online environment.
Finally, cost savings may also be found through outsourced / remote work that’s both powered and enabled using the internet, email and other online cost-saving communication /collaboration Information Technology tools.
You Increase Reliability and/or Improve Quality
One of the goals of many a business / organization is to build a base of repeat, loyal, satisfied and happy customers.
With this in mind, the key to building a repeat business is having consistency in both what a company offers and how the company deliver it!
Customers are typically loyal to a business when they trust that they will have a consistently good experience each and every time they patronize the business.
A case in point is fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s! Customers repeatedly return to the company’s restaurants because they know that their Mac will taste the same every time regardless of the franchise outlet that they visit.
With that in mind, consistency and reliability in product development and/or service delivery cannot be achieved without the consistency that comes from business process / workflow automation!
Why? Because automation ensures that every business task is performed in the same way, which then leads to a consistently reliable results.
This guarantee of quality and consistency coupled with time and efficiency savings means that your business can start developing higher quality and more reliable products or services with little or no increase in production time and costs … when you automate your business process and/or workflow.
So, here is some homework for you …
“what business process / workflow automation opportunities does your company need to support or facilitate it’s business goals and/or objectives?”