What do people mean when they talk about automating business processes? And more importantly, how can that automation help boost productivity?

Having rules and processes in place is essential for the smooth running of an organisation. They're also necessary to comply with laws and regulations. But sometimes, these internal business processes can be very lengthy and cumbersome – businesses take nine days on average to process a simple expense claim. This takes time, energy and plenty of patience.

But the pace of business process automation is increasing. Collaboration and productivity platforms are enabling people to simplify and accelerate all these routine tasks. Hello efficiency and productivity!

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What exactly is business process automation?

What exactly is business process automation?

Business process automation (BPA), also known as workplace automation or business management automation (BMA), does exactly what you might imagine. It's the automation of workflow processes through technology that helps businesses boost productivity and cut costs.

Specific tools can automate all sorts of processes, from employee onboarding to customer service or document approval processes. Those recurring tasks in your organisation that an automatic process would complete more quickly using a selection of software and app integrations to get the result.

Many of these "back office" processes used to be employee or paper-driven. But organisations are catching on to the advantages of automation and they're investing in business process management tools to facilitate it.

Why work automation works

Why work automation works

The payoff for business process automation is plentiful for both employees and employers.

  • Workflow software keeps track of everything. Want to know if an order is on its way? Need to keep on top of your team's timelines? You can keep up to date with the status of any process by using BPA tools
  • Employees can put their skills to better use when workflow automation takes over more menial, recurrent daily tasks. No one needs to wait around for approvals or to move documents from one pair of hands to another. The system keeps on top of everything for you
  • Automating routine processes can reduce blame and boost accountability. Managers can see where processes are becoming problematic and keep a tab on assigned responsibilities. This leaves less space for blame, and more for efficiency and success
What are the best business automation software and tools?

What are the best business automation software and tools?

To help streamline your business processes and heighten efficiency amongst your team, you need the right tools.

Great software for business process automation involves lots of drag-and-drop visualisations, document sharing platforms and visual flow-charts. The good news is that you don't always need coding knowledge.

The first thing to consider when choosing your BPA tools is how you'll use and what you'll use it for. That way, you can tailor your choice in terms of functionality and degree of complexity.

It's also vital to look at integration. Chances are, your organisation uses a whole stack of business tools already. In a world where app overload is a thing, it's important to consider the tools that will make people's life easier and not harder. What software do you already have and how will your new tools work with it?

Platforms such as Workplace place a big focus on integrations. As well as enabling better collaboration with tools such as groups and chat, they also integrate with any existing packages that your organisation uses such as Sharepoint, Hubspot or Jira. You can also use bots to automate processes directly in Workplace (or build your own custom bots).

And that can open up new levels of smart working. Where your work-flow charts, documents and your collaboration platform integrate seamlessly together. Business process automation that helps you get more work done.

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