Business Process Automation: Advantages and Disadvantages

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What is Business Process Automation?

Business Process Automation, or BPA, refers to the increasingly common type of software programs that are designed to handle various business-related tasks. Unlike more complex types of automation technology, BPA seeks to simplify what are usually complex operations, and complete them in a convenient and streamlined manner.

While BPA can be applied to a wide array of tasks, it is most commonly used to complete specific goals that would otherwise be overly time-consuming for humans to achieve.

Client Management

Many types of businesses work with a large volume of clients. Setting aside the time to organize all the important information for each client can be time consuming and often overwhelming. This can become even more unwieldy when client records include accounts under various division or departments, different purchasing entities, or numerous locations both in and out of the country.

BPA can be highly beneficial in several ways for dealing with different clients:

— BPA software can be used to provide automatic updates. This means that each time a client manager makes a change to the client’s profile, contract, or other such form, an update is automatically sent to each involved individual, whether the update concerns financial alerts or other types of important information.

— Taking on new clients often involves several different steps for numerous employees. BPA software can be used to create a consistent guideline for each employee. The guideline may contain contract forms, financial information, and other important details, so that each employee knows exactly what to do at the start of each new project. These guidelines, or templates, can be used as a collaborative tool for employees.

— Businesses will often request various documents from their clients. By using BPA software for document management, clients can upload and share each document, which can then be viewed by employees via email.

— BPA software can be used for creating a company intranet. This can be utilized as an online portal from which employees can view important status updates concerning various clients, access the company calendar, view information for upcoming events, and access data regarding any number of tasks. Employees can also use the portal for requesting time off, or finding information on business practices and employee policies.

By using these BPA programs for handling client information, employees can become far more organized and up-to-date, which can save time and company resources.

Customer Support and Marketing

Marketing has become far more complex, as there are an increasingly high number of platforms from which to advertise and promote a company’s goods and services. Whether it is through social media, email newsletters, or other online resources, leveraging each of these services can be daunting for humans alone.

BPA software can be used to automatically post newsletters, articles, and other important information to each platform simultaneously. The software can automatically implement email marketing campaigns by sending emails to registered clients. Without BPA software, these tasks would have to be performed manually, which would be time consuming and tedious for numerous employees.

In addition to marketing and advertising campaigns, BPA is also very useful for costumer support. The software can be used to track customer service calls, for example, and make sure each customer receives the requested help. Customer service calls and emails can also be added to a customer help list, which would automatically send alerts to employees so that no one misses a call.

While BPA becomes increasingly popular among business, it is important to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of using automated software.

Advantages of BPA

Minimization of Menial Tasks

In the past, the attention of employees was often split between serving clients and performing mundane or repetitive tasks, all of which are required to keep a company running smoothly. With BPA software, those menial tasks can be automated, leaving employees more time and energy to embrace and complete other important assignments.

Integration

With so many different departments and systems operating within a business, it can be a challenge to make sure everyone is in sync while completing different processes. By using BPA to create an integrated system, these processes can be completed automatically, which is more time effective and lessens the likelihood of human error.

Disadvantages

Complexity

While using BPA software for completing a wide range of tasks can certainly be helpful for streamlining business operations, it can also be intimidating and overly complex. It is important to work with an IT consultant, so the BPA software can be properly installed and used correctly by each employee.

Job Cuts

BPA software can be very useful in aiding employees with daily tasks. It can also be a factor in replacing employee positions, however. To help ensure the human impact of automated software is largely beneficial, it is important to consider how employees can be trained for other positions that are not controlled by BPA software.

The Future of BPA

While BPA may replace some jobs in the marketplace, it is also providing employees with the time and resources to undertake more important tasks, and sometimes even new work. As with any type of innovative technology, it is important to consider both the business, and the human, pros and cons before committing to BPA software.

Learn More

Our online MBA program at New Jersey Institute of Technology is designed to prepare motivated, tech-savvy management professionals with the business expertise and technical knowledge vital for success in today’s rapidly evolving global business landscape.

Recommended Readings:

Why Data is the Next Frontier of Innovation

The Ethics Behind Decision Analysis 

Sources

http://www.gartner.com/it-glossary/bpa-business-process-automation/

http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6522-business-process-automation.html

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-amp-disadvantages-office-automation-41058.html

http://www.business2community.com/customer-experience/benefits-challenges-business-process-automation-01655760#kivh15jmHPhmP8bU.97