The Path to Efficiency: Leveraging AI and BPA for Business Success

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Businesses are as good as the strategies and processes they implement to keep up with everyday hustle. Yet, many companies still end up with plenty of manual, repetitive, and time-intensive processes that can stifle growth, impacting stakeholder satisfaction. Such tasks can cause employees to feel tired & weary, leaving them with insufficient time for impactful work, which can reap from human acumen & insight, creating a positive impact on business.

Another brood is the seismic shift and evolution of customer and market trends. To compete fiercely, organizations must grasp every opportunity to enhance their efficiency and profitability, along with the resiliency and agility to adapt to change. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) and automation come into the picture.

It's no longer the point of contention whether improved process efficiency makes investing in sophisticated technology worthwhile, but can a business pace up without it?

AI & automation capabilities are not new, but recent technical advancements are pushing the boundaries of what businesses can achieve. Technology can churn out an exponential amount of work more efficiently than humans do, assist human cognizance, and even perform tasks that are beyond human capabilities. As a result, businesses become more nimble facing competition head-on!

What is Business Process Automation (BPA)?

BPA leverages software and technology to automate repetitive or manual business processes and tasks, fulfilling the organization's goals and needs. For instance, automation can be as simple as sending trade receipts to customers or handling intricate business processes like managing insurance claims.

According to PwC's Global Artificial Intelligence Study, the global economy is projected to grow by $15.7 trillion by 2030, and 45% of it will be attributable to AI & automation.

Business process management (BPM) is a systematic approach that identifies, analyzes, and optimizes business processes for greater efficiency. BPM was once considered a subset of BPA, as initially, it aimed to enhance back-end productivity by automating time-consuming & repetitive tasks. However, times have changed, and BPM has become a critical component of every digital transformation endeavor. The breadth and scalability of modern business process automation (BPA) systems are unfathomable, thanks to digital transformation fueled by AI & machine learning (ML). Advanced BPA systems can now be incorporated into both front-end and back-end applications, enhancing the efficiency of operations in business processes.

Types of BPM

Integration-centric: This style of BPM does not demand significant human intervention. These systems rely heavily on application programming interfaces (APIs) and mechanisms correlating data across systems, like customer relationship management (CRM). 

Human-centric: This style focuses on human interaction, particularly when permissions are necessary. A simple user interface (UI) with drag-and-drop functionality enables teams to allocate tasks to various roles, making it easier to keep individuals accountable throughout the process. 

Document-centric: This BPM is focused on a single document, such as a contract. When a company purchases a product or service, it must go through several paperwork and approval processes before reaching an agreement with the seller. 

What can be Automated?

BPA is better suited for repetitive tasks with structured processes, sequences, and regulations, ensuring seamless & timely competition of critical processes and minimizing unnecessary disruptions. While sometimes ad-hoc requirements are inevitable, a structured and well-designed business process is the first step towards achieving higher efficiency by eliminating unnecessary operations and activities. Coming to what can be automated depends on the nature of the business, but the following use cases should provide you with a basic idea. 

Recruitment: Automating the recruitment process can speed up various recruitment tasks, such as sifting through resumes and profiles, conducting assessments, shortlisting candidates, and following up, enabling you to identify and hire the best candidates. Beyond recruitment, onboarding, offboarding, timesheet approvals, workforce scheduling, and leave requests are some HR processes that can benefit from automation.

Customer Service & Experience: It is common for customers to move to a competitor if they encounter problems or delays. Customer care agents may identify commonly requested concerns for chatbots to answer, reducing the team's workload and allowing them to provide better, more personalized service to customers with complex issues. Transcript data from customer support centers and chatbots may also assist in automating operations and provide more tailored responses to clients. 

Finance & Payroll: Companies can use automation to streamline purchase order entries from different vendors, allowing swift goods procurement, payments, and even credit reminders. Additionally, automated procedures can help firms expedite routine payroll tasks and payments to consultants and suppliers, dampening employee workload.

Benefits aside, Deloitte's State of AI in the Enterprise, 5th Edition, reveals that more than 50% of businesses tried incorporating automation in 2023. 

What are the types of Process Automation?

With intelligent automation solutions becoming ubiquitously available and multiple layers of automation intricately linked together and built upon each other, it becomes increasingly important to understand the underlying processes leading to automation.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA): While it may not involve robots, it refers to software systems & bots specifically designed to imitate human actions to execute repetitive business processes. RPA systems integrated into business can read & modify data and perform a variety of rule-based activities. 

Intelligent Document Processing (IDP): IDP relies on AI to comprehend, identify, and interpret language & formatting inside semi-structured & unstructured data in the same way a human would, allowing automatic data processing that is beyond the capabilities of RPA and optical character recognition (OCR). 

Workflow Automation: Often mistaken with RPA, which is inaccurate. It's the process of ensuring that the flow of processes, records, and information across the line of businesses operates autonomously in line with stated business rules, and it refers to individual tasks inside a workflow. 

Hyperautomation: This is not a technology by itself but rather a deliberate endeavor undertaken by the organization to discover, evaluate, and automate as many business and IT functions as feasible and promptly as possible. Businesses can achieve hyperautomation by integrating various technologies like AI, ML, RPA, ERP systems, etc.

Low-Code/No-Code Automation (LCNC): LCNC is a software development methodology that employs visual interfaces and pre-built components to enable the quick design and deployment of applications & workflows, allowing someone with low programming expertise to automate processes based on their substantial relevant subject-matter knowledge. 

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Author

Assim Gupta

Sonal Sharma linkedin-icon-squre

Content Manager

Introducing Sonal Sharma, a seasoned content manager with over eight years of experience across dynamic industries such as technology and education. With a flair for crafting diverse content types, Sonal is dedicated to delivering captivating stories that resonate with audiences. Collaborative by nature and driven by deadlines, she stands ready to enrich your content strategy with creativity and precision. In her free time, she enjoys walking her dogs and watching crime documentaries.

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