Digital process automation brings innovative software and technologies together to expedite manual operational tasks. Automation eliminates the manual effort needed to manage paper documents. Instead, digital process automation streamlines these tasks for greater efficiency and improved outcomes. While advances in automation might have seemed far-fetched just a few years ago, today, they’ve become standard practice for many organizations.
Agencies are opting to automate their processes to increase productivity levels, enhance the customer or constituent experience, and properly allocate their most valuable resources.
Why is automation important?
Automation is incredibly important for modern offices, given that it significantly reduces time and energy expended, while also providing an opportunity to focus on more essential, value-added objectives. It does this by standardizing common business processes, establishing greater security parameters, and supporting maximum operational efficiency.
On top of completing manual tasks much faster and with fewer mistakes, automation is trusted to deliver high-quality, consistent results that provide useful insights that might have otherwise been overlooked. Process automation is the gateway to a more efficient, well-rounded workplace, and one that prioritizes the experience of its employees and customers alike.
12 benefits of automating processes within your business or organization
The benefits of automating processes are wide-reaching, from more collaboration between colleagues to streamlined compliance for your ongoing retention schedules. And the best part? Almost all operational processes have the ability to be automated, which means your agency has tons of room to improve and move beyond its manual routines.
1. Increased productivity
Whenever complex or cumbersome manual processes are reassigned to digital solutions, multiple tasks can be managed simultaneously. For example, instead of a 1) records request and 2) records retrieval process that could take weeks manually, digital forms with an automated records request and retrieval process are lightning-fast and can happen in tandem. Automating your most challenging and time-consuming tasks means work is completed quickly and with notably less mistakes.
2. Stronger security
If your agency is still using physical paper for its recordkeeping, you may not realize the security risk this poses for your office. Paper documents are much more vulnerable to being stolen or corrupted, as well as being ruined in a flood, a fire, or other unforeseen occurrence. With that said, automating processes enables additional security measures that safeguard your most confidential information. Digital Process Automation technology helps you store content digitally and protectdata using multiple layers of security such as password-specific logins and verified user access.
3. Streamlined compliance
Compliance is an important component of any successful organization, as it ensures you’re in line with regulations mandated by your agency’s governing body. If your agency fails to comply with these regulations, such as retention schedules for particular documents, the repercussions can prove both costly and inconvenient. Fortunately, process automation benefits also extend to compliance measures.
By digitizing and automating processes you’re automatically creating a record of the details associated with the process. Having this information automatically stored is incredibly useful during potential records audit.
4. Greater operational efficiency
Because digital process automation is largely hands-off, there’s no need to continually check whether one task is progressing to the next (i.e. the system handles all of this for you). What’s more, DPA also has the capacity to identify and correct errors or bottlenecks within your operations, which contributes to greater efficiency and far less effort needed from your employees. And when your agency is running more effectively — thanks to these automated, dependable processes — it translates to improved performance for the whole team.
5. Better collaboration
These days, the most productive offices are those who’ve made an intentional shift toward automation, thus simplifying their daily tasks and fostering better collaboration among participating departments. Another wonderful benefit of automating business processes is that you can send reminders and update the team on relevant to-dos, which makes collaboration between employees so much easier and more organized. Moreover, automations alleviate common frustrations and free up time for interpersonal interactions and idea generation.
6. Enhanced service delivery
Your constituents are an invaluable asset to your agency, and when you automate your processes via digital transformation, you’re indicating you care about their overall experience. Since digital automation eliminates tedious manual tasks from your agenda, you can turn your attention toward activities that provide a superior experience for your citizens. With the help of automation software, your organization can consistently meet its service goals, and guarantee fast access to whichever products or services you offer.
7. Significant cost savings
Every agency would likely jump at the chance to cut down on their overhead costs —and luckily, there are a number of financial gains to enjoy once you switch to DPA. That’s because when business processes are controlled manually, there’s a much greater chance for resources to be wasted. But with the efficiency of digital process automation, cost operations are noticeably reduced (which then positively impacts your profit margins, as well). In other words, automation utilizes your core resources in the most optimal and cost-effective way.
8. Reduced errors
Regardless of how skilled or seasoned your employees are, mistakes are bound to happen from time to time. To err is human, right? Slip-ups, delays, and inefficiencies are all too common with manual record keeping, and yet, you shouldn’t underestimate the impact of these blunders. That’s why it’s necessary to remove the risk of errors as much as possible, which is best achieved through process automation. Incorporating automation into your workflows can dramatically decrease the likelihood of any missteps and avoid redundancies at the same time.
9. Reliable insights
When managers can actively monitor the completion of a business process (and understand the required steps within that process), it’s considerably easier to make adjustments and secure better outcomes. By leveraging automation, agency leaders can really dig into these processes to gain reliable insights and analyze data at a deeper level. How these insights evolve will be entirely up to you, but they present an opportunity to pivot within your current policies or procedures to then hopefully improve your office environment as a whole.
10. Standardized processes
Manual processes have a tendency to get confusing, since there can be quite a few employees and stakeholders who are involved. Every person has their own habits and ways of handling things, not to mention additional tasks they’re attempting to oversee. This ultimately leaves room for discrepancies within your records, which few agencies can afford to deal with. The good news is, a benefit of automating processes is that it provides a shortcut to standardization, meaning more harmony in your workplace and ensuring no critical steps are missed.
11. Gained transparency
Automation software is great at offering visibility into your processes through customizable dashboards. For example, you can easily track a range of key performance indicators (KPIs) for your current or continued processes, giving you a better sense of office performance and revealing which areas are in need of improvement. When your team has access to this level of transparency, it’ll undoubtedly have a positive effect; employees can stay informed on their individual (or collective) assignments, and have more accountability for their personal progress.
12. Heightened morale
Team morale is sometimes an overlooked advantage of business process automation, though its influence can be pretty big. Automation relieves a lot of monotony from the workday, and promotes a ‘friction-free’ office where employees feel more effective in their roles. Similarly, approvals happen faster with automation, so workers aren’t left waiting around (or reminding their managers about these loose ends). And research shows when teams have more time to spend on the most rewarding aspects of their jobs, morale and retention increase exponentially.
How to automate processes with Image API
Generally speaking, process automation uses software technologies to automate monotonous tasks that would otherwise call for manual effort. While there are certainly different approaches to automation, a Software as-a-Service model continues to be a smart choice. A SaaS option, like Image API, has a user-friendly starting point, a low cost of entry, and a predictable investment over time. Image API is a low risk, high reward process automation solution that delivers measurable success for your organization.
To learn how Image API’s digital process automation software and services can increase the speed and scale of your agency, contact us today.
Common FAQs about the benefits of automating processes
What are the advantages of process automation?
The advantages of automating processes are wide-reaching, from more collaboration between colleagues to streamlined compliance for your ongoing retention schedules. Automation is incredibly important given that it reduces time, effort, and expenses in a big way. It achieves this by standardizing common business processes, establishing greater security parameters, and supporting maximum operational efficiency for your entire team.
Is automating processes expensive?
Software and management tools are pivotal for agencies who are looking to improve their operations across the board. However, if you’re worried you can’t afford to implement such software, consider whether you can afford not to. The truth is, many next-generation SaaS options, like Image API, have created automation software that’s not just affordable, but has all the features and functionality you’ll find with higher-priced programs.
What are practical examples of process automation within an organization?
While getting started with process automation might feel a bit daunting, it’s important to remember the extent to which this can transform your organization. Practical examples of process automation include things like employee onboarding, employee leave (and vacation) requests, claims processing, accounts receivable, and so much more.