The Covid-19 pandemic has caused many businesses to embrace digital transformation in a way that they had never considered before. With a large number of companies forced to ask their staff to work remotely as a result of the pandemic, systems and processes had to be put in place to allow this to happen.
However, this has had a knock-on effect. As companies realised that digital transformation is actually well within their grasp and not as complex or technical as they once feared, they are now looking for other ways that they can evolve their ways of working. A great example of this comes in the form of business process automation.
Business process automation (or BPA) involves putting procedures and processes in place that allow software and computers to take on repetitive manual tasks – the kind of things that have to be done, but are not usually enjoyed. This means that human employees no longer have to do this work and are freed up to take on more important tasks.
However, there has long been a misconception that BPA is only something that is relevant and beneficial to larger companies. Here we take a look at whether BPA is only something that works for big businesses, or if it is something that could work for SMEs and even startups too.
BPA – only useful at scale?
Some business owners believe that the cost of implement BPA means that it is only commercially viable on a large scale. And yes, it is true that there is an expense to implementing automated processes, but actually there are many ways that this can work very effectively for smaller businesses.
In reality, BPA is more about the specific goals of the business and the things that the processes need to do. Process automation can be utilised for a huge range of different uses, so as long as it is customised around your business needs, there’s no reason that small companies should not consider it an option for them.
Providing great customer service
An interesting example that could apply to smaller businesses is that of customer service. Many smaller businesses thrive on providing great products and services to a large number of customers while retaining relatively few staff. This can make customer service a more difficult proposition as there simply can be a lack of manpower and time available to deal with queries and issues.
This is exactly where BPA can be valuable. Utilising chatbot software equipped with artificial intelligence can allow smaller companies to offer the majority of their customer service without the need for human input.
Free staff for business-critical work
There are some elements of your business that are a necessary part of the working day, but may not feel particularly productive. Tasks like processing payments and invoices, readying payroll and backing up data are all things that take a great deal of time out of employees’ days. However, these are things that can be automated.
Your staff necessarily have limited time. When your accounting specialists have to spend their days processing invoices, it limits the other tasks they can take on. Automating a process like this can actually free up your accounts staff to take on far more valuable work for the company. And this is true no matter what size your business is.
If you are interested in having BPA integrated into your SME or startup business, the team at Document Options has years of experience. Contact us today and we can provide you with the information and guidance you need to get started on the path to process automation.