Business Process Automation: Becoming Automated

By Deena Stevens

Let’s start with this: What is automation? The definition would seem to be simple, but let’s look at it anyway. Automation is, “the technique of making a process or system operate automatically.” That definition implies that automation is not simple, and that’s true. But wherever I look—tv, books, magazines—the word keeps popping up, so I wanted to do a more in-depth examination of it.

There have been quite a few news stories lately about various business that are starting to test and implement self-driving trucks. It makes me nervous to think about being on the road with vehicles that don’t have a “real” driver. Then I think about all the real drivers who are distracted or make bad choices when driving, so maybe it won’t be too bad to have an automated vehicle next to me while I drive. It might work. Based on the amount of business willing to test and implement this process to save money, we’ll have to get used to the idea. And then I think about two automated trucks crashing into one another—it could and will eventually happen.

But since self-driving technology is becoming readily available, I guess it makes sense to automate the huge network of product delivery. And why not? Here at Onspring, in addition to providing great internal audit software and other GRC platform tools, we try to automate as many processes as possible. When I have a new task, the first thing I think is, “Will I have to do this again?” and, “If I do have to do it again, how can I automate it?”

Business Process Automation has many benefits—here’s a list of some of the many advantages automation brings to the table, and why I like it:

  • Quality and Consistency
  • Saves Time
  • Metric Visibility
  • Customer Consistency
  • Operational Efficiency
  • Governance and Reliability
  • Reduced Costs

One thing I’ve discovered is that to remain competitive, you’ll need to automate. If your company doesn’t automate now, it’s time to begin. I’ve put together a list of a few things to identify that will help you get started:

  1. First, pinpoint a process for automation.
  2. The process requires consistency across the organization.
  3. The process is repeatable.
  4. The process needs to be free from error, every time.
  5. Automate the easiest processes first. Pick tasks where there is no human value-add. Automation lets you avoid human error and save time in execution.
  6. Build a culture that embraces automation. This mindset is all about efficiency, making the most of your resources and maximizing results. Embrace the world of automation!
  7. Start with one business function, and once it is up and running smoothly, pick another. It won’t be long before every employee will be looking for ways to automate.
  8. Set targets and track results.
  9. Pick a good technology partner.

With automated processes in place, organizations save time and ensure best practices are implemented to improve overall operational efficiency. Using a GRC platform like Onspring can help you automate many, many different kinds of jobs. You can build custom workflows for repetitive tasks, create triggers to remind you when something is due, set up approval paths, auto-generate email notifications—our no-code platform makes a lot of things easy. The flexibility of Onspring’s no-code software, quite literally, creates endless possibilities.

The one thing Onspring can’t help you do is drive a truck. And while I haven’t seen a self-driving vehicle on the road yet, I’m keeping an eye out.

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