Need to cut costs, increase the quality of work, and save time on manual, repetitive tasks? These business processes are perfectly suited to automation.
Coping with a worldwide pandemic, the rise of inflation, and the ubiquitous issues of a strained global supply chain have left business leaders scrambling to cut costs and improve efficiency for their organizations.
Business process automation — essentially enabling technology to drive manual tasks without constant human supervision — rapidly gained traction amid the pandemic and is now a popular choice for organizations positioning themselves for long-term success. In fact, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the global process automation market is expected to grow at 12.2% from 2020 to 2026, with over 31% of businesses already reporting a fully automated process.
Process automation can be highly specific in some instances, according to your industry and needs. Still, some business processes benefit from automation in almost any scenario. To help you keep up with a growing need to cut costs, increase the quality of work, and save time on manual, repetitive tasks, here are three common business processes perfectly suited to automation.
1. HR Automation
Starting a new position can be difficult for both the employee and the HR team. Traditional hiring is often plagued by inefficient, disorganized onboarding, and only 12% of workers report a positive experience with their onboarding process. Lack of structure, preparation, and consistent guidance leaves employees adrift in a new environment.
Through no fault of their own, staff in the human resources department must often overload employees with information during their first day or week. HR departments are notoriously understaffed and overworked, and your team may not have the time or capacity to help new employees adjust with a thorough, gradual onboarding process. So the timeline gets rushed, and from reviewing benefits, policies, and dress codes to creating employee accounts, manual onboarding leaves the newcomer scrambling to absorb everything.
In addition to problems with onboarding, already spread-thin HR departments must keep track of employee records, handle time-off requests, and manage payroll. HR managers lose about 14 hours a week from manual processes, leaving limited time to think about overall business strategy and recruitment.
Fortunately, much of this busy work can be streamlined. Automating business processes in HR provides a litany of benefits for your organization, employees, and even your customers.
Benefits of HR Automation
- Digitization of Documents: HR departments used to be littered with documents, pay stubs, tax forms, employment forms, and employee records. Now, digitization has made it possible to keep all documents neatly organized and up-to-date on a decentralized cloud that can be accessed anywhere with a secure passcode. Automation makes this even simpler with the potential to automatically contact employees to request missing information, periodically update their details, or let them know when new documents and policy updates are available for review.
- Efficiency and Accuracy: Even the best employees sometimes make errors. In HR, this can mean costly mistakes and delays in areas like payroll or scheduling. Implementing HR automation reduces the need for manual data entry, helping your team eliminate errors and deliver smooth, timely results.
- Lowered Costs and Increased Productivity: Managers who do not automate their HR processes report a 35% higher cost and 41% lower productivity. Reducing HR’s time spent on administrative work could lower employee stress and improve satisfaction as well, meaning a more motivated HR team ready to focus on work culture and staff engagement.
2. Accounting Automation
Remote and hybrid work is anything but temporary anymore. But for many teams in accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR), this presents a challenge. Manually managing billing and accounting information across states and even countries is nearly impossible, as organizing paper invoices, tracking order forms, and processing physical checks from vendors can’t be accomplished remotely.
In addition, manual accounting requires a huge amount of data entry and retrieval, resulting in far opportunities to make mistakes — the last thing you want when handling payments to or from valued partners. Automating business processes in accounting helps ease the worst of these pain points, resulting in more effective AR/AP workflows.
Benefits of Accounting Automation
- Reduced Human Error: 41% of accounting mistakes are a result of human error. Automation allows for financial data to be seamlessly tracked and managed, reducing the number of errors in invoicing, client onboarding, and bill pay by automatically completing accounting tasks without the need for manual calculations or data entry.
- Reduced Costs: By eliminating manual invoicing and billing workflows, you can reduce the number of costly labor hours required to process each transaction. This is no small feat, considering that AR decision-makers have estimated that an average of 11 working hours are spent managing a single invoice.
- Faster Payments: Companies that use accounting management software, specifically in accounts receivable, saw a dramatic reduction in Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) through automation. By making it easier and more efficient for clients to pay, clients paid 20% faster. This means more working capital available for your business and less uncertainty in your cash flow.
- Makes Remote Work Possible: Enabling accounting automation means that a physical, on-site presence is no longer required for your staff. This opens up your hiring pool across the nation and the globe, so you can find the absolute best candidates for your accounting teams.
3. Marketing Automation
Businesses now make their mark through a digital footprint. Connecting with customers through websites, emails, social media, and blogs has never been more necessary for the long-term success of an organization. However, only 51% of businesses utilize marketing automation. To get ahead of this curve and make the most of your marketing efforts, automation can help in the following ways.
Benefits of Marketing Automation
- Reduced Costs: Without having to manually manage marketing tasks, like sending emails manually to customers or posting on social media every day, employees have the time to flex their creative muscles and focus on future campaigns. Plus, marketing automation allows content to be scheduled out well in advance, giving you a clear picture of your campaign calendar and trajectory.
- Personalized Content: Marketing automation often goes hand-in-hand with detailed data analytics, allowing your team to better customize content and target certain segments of your audience. This provides opportunities to improve engagement, smooth the customer journey, and increase conversions and revenue by sending the right messaging to the right customers.
- Marketing Automation Never Sleeps: Especially in the realm of digital marketing, timing is everything. From targeting peak times to post on social media to identifying the right moment to land your email in client inboxes, marketing requires precision. However, it’s difficult for staff to efficiently structure their day around these times without interrupting other tasks or signing in outside of standard office hours. Fortunately, marketing automation allows your team to pre-schedule tasks, maintain focus, and enjoy a better work/life balance.
Automation Is Industry-Agnostic
While your business processes may be unique in some ways, every sector can benefit from automation — particularly in departments like HR, accounting, and marketing.
Automation is especially necessary in data-heavy industries, such as insurance, healthcare, and manufacturing. For example, in insurance, automation in business processes can simplify and reduce the time for claims processing, automate policy management, and ensure regulatory compliance. According to reports, automation efforts could save the insurance industry over $390 billion by 2030. Moreover, healthcare could save $16.3 billion annually, whereas manufacturing could increase revenue by $4.9 trillion by 2030.
Ultimately, no matter your industry, automation has the potential to cut costs, increase efficiency, and keep staff engaged by cutting out unnecessary busy work.
Process Automation with Populus
If you’re interested in implementing automation for your business, Populus can help.
Populus Technology has over 25 years of experience providing technology solutions to our partners. We help support their growth by managing partnerships and directing our clients to the best third-party vendors in the industry. We also assist organizations in updating and automating their business processes, even creating custom software solutions for unique workflows.
So if you need help transforming your own internal processes, Populus has the solutions you need. Just contact our team today to learn more!