Businesses often stand in the way of improving their efficiency

As businesses continue to adapt to the many changes the market has experienced over the past few years, they’re realizing that processes that had worked for decades aren’t keeping up with the new pace of business.

“In some cases, companies made micro changes just to get through the chaos of COVID and the market shocks that followed,” says Lauren Hanna, Vice President of Sales at Blue Technologies. “Now that they’re on the other side, they’re questioning whether to go back to their old practices, continue to make patches where processes break down, or take a hard look across the enterprise and make deeper, more lasting changes.”

Smart Business spoke with Hanna about business process automation and how companies are applying the technology to move their company forward.

Where can business process automation be applied?

Business process automation, at its core, means doing more with less. Automating certain basic functions allows a company to repurpose its staff, finding better roles that utilize their unique skills and giving them room to grow. For the enterprise, that can lead to getting more done during normal work hours and maximizing individual talents.

Key areas, such as fulfillment, are typically top candidates for optimization. Follow the process from the order to its reception by the customer. Look at how much of it involves the manual keying of data or handwriting order slips, steps that could be restructured within an automated system to eliminate errors, speed up the process and free-up time for personnel to complete more meaningful tasks. For example, if every sales order means manually adding customer data into the ERP system, then referencing the name in that system to manually enter it elsewhere, business automation software could capture that information at the point of order and then automatically add it everywhere else it’s needed, reducing costly mistakes.

What roadblocks exist in implementation?

The best way to determine what to optimize through business process automation is to take a deep dive into each area of the business — sales, for instance — and ask, ‘Why are we doing it this way?’ Looks for redundancies or legacy processes and scrutinize them to determine if they’re necessary and, where they are, to find ways to get better results. However, doing that takes both time and the right people together in an organization having the conversations necessary to identify enterprise-wide opportunities. Those resources — C-suite executives, directors, key employees — are critical when developing new processes, but can also be tough to deploy because of time constraints.

Also, change can be difficult. There is comfort in existing processes, but change doesn’t mean losing all that you’re used to. It means building on foundational processes to evolve and stay ahead of your competition.

How can companies identify what technology can help?

There are many ways to introduce efficiencies into a business using business process automation. That’s why it makes sense to work with a partner who specializes in business process automation versus one that specializes on a specific software or department. There are companies that only focus on one solution or one department of the business. For instance, a company could optimize its HR department using a particular technology, then, when it’s successful, they try to implement that same change within other departments. This does not look at the company holistically and can lead to companies not realizing the full benefits that are possible with such a change. Further, the costs can be hard to determine until its clear what needs to be automated and how best to do that. The right partner can help address many of these challenges.

Optimizing a company though business process automation requires preparation. And once the prep work is done, companies still need to go through implementation and change management before the benefits are fully realized. The right partner can help a company manage the whole processes and get enterprise-wide change done fully and efficiently. ●

INSIGHTS Technology is brought to you by Blue Technologies, Inc.

Lauren Hanna

Vice president of sales

216.271.4800 ext. 2252

Connect On Social Media
Learn more about optimizing your company through business process automation.