It’s an adage as old as the Greeks – “change is the only constant.” Thanks to Heraclitus, who famously penned the phrase, the past year and a bit has ignited our love-hate relationship with the philosopher and upended many of our businesses and home lives in ways that we would never have imagined possible before the turn of the decade.
In the business environment, as we adapt to the hybrid workplace, executives have worked quickly to keep employees safe, whilst adopting work-from-home policies and environments to keep the wheels of commerce turning. The greatest focus has been on streamlining processes to support top-line revenues. These accelerated efforts towards business efficiency have unveiled the top five business processes that seem ready for automation this year.
#1 – Sales: efficient, paperless contract management
Contracts define and regulate business relationships. But inefficient contract management can put undue stress on the sales team. Poorly executed contracts can yield increased non-compliance, inaccurate information, and delayed sales. Automation transforms the contract lifecycle, boosting productivity, increasing compliance, and improving the bottom line. Autogenerating data-driven contracts, which are quickly and efficiently routed for review, redlining, and approval, streamlines contract processes from start to finish.
- Improve information flow between systems and sales teams—speeding contract creation and approval and increasing accuracy.
- A centralised document repository improves data and analytics, maximizes control, and vastly improves forecasting.
- Operate on and enforce the latest terms, conditions, and policies, improving compliance.
#2 – HR: accelerate recruiting, onboarding, and provisioning
Recruiting staff can be expensive and time consuming. Follow that with onboarding and provisioning and doing all of that in the remote workplace, and recruitment becomes complex and tedious. By mapping and automating repetitive onboarding tasks, new hires can automatically complete the process of starter forms, approvals, equipment, accounts, software licenses, and more. With out paper trails, digital processes automatically capture appropriate permissions and archive them when the time is right. Authorised users have the correct access for security and privacy compliance. Computer equipment, phones, and software licenses, are automatically assigned, followed by unified user management, mailboxes, and directories.
- Map, automate, and optimise onboarding so new hires can hit the ground running.
- Effective onboarding processes keep new hires well informed about company goals and initiatives.
#3 – Finance: reduce workloads, saving time and money
In today’s highly digitised world, invoice processing remains largely paper based. Manually processing invoices slows everything down, creating cash flow issues, introducing errors, and frustrating vendors. Robotic process automation (RPA) can quickly and accurately extract data from invoices. Each invoice is automatically routed for review and verification by Accounts Payable, disputed or approved, then paid by finance staff. Mapping and automating invoice processes improves compliance and accuracy and streamlines and expedites payments. Digital workflows will connect with your existing ERP systems, and deliver accurate data to Accounting.
- Prevent late payments that result in missed discounts and drive late fees. Automated invoice management prevents forgotten invoices, backlogs, and missed due dates.
- Remove tedious, time-consuming manual processes that can result in human error. Fewer mistakes mean great confidence in the data.
- Know who’s approving what, when, and why—and keep a record of it, automatically. With a complete data trail, you’ll sail through audit season.
#4 – IT: prioritise and resolve support issues faster
When employees experience IT issues, they need solutions, fast. Too often, though, lost tickets and slow responses get in the way, triggering multiple requests, frustrating employees, and hampering productivity—only adding to the original problem. Automation can streamline help desk support for speedy resolution. With well-mapped help desk processes, and by identifying where automation can eliminate busywork and repetition, your team could quickly triage and route support requests, from initial notification through resolution. Digital workflows also store documents and projects where workers can find them easily, streamlining file management and supporting faster, more accurate responses.
- Solve IT problems, and get employees back to work, with fewer delays.
- Real-time data offers insight into incident numbers, time to resolution, and user satisfaction.
- Remote-accessible process applications handle tickets on the go.
#5: CX: Capture customer input to improve customer experience
Today’s most successful companies are those that use technology to deliver exceptional, highly responsive customer service. Customers expect to be able to interact with organisations online quickly and easily or through any mobile device. If that requires more than a few clicks—or forces customers to wait for hours on hold—the chances of losing that customer skyrocket. With easy-to-use, mobile-responsive online forms, digitisation can enable automatic data capture, storing critical customer data and feedback.
- Conditional formatting and validation show customers only the fields they need to fill out, ensuring that the right information is collected the first time.
- Capture customer data for use in process automation and improvement.
- Build and customize forms, no code required. Just drag controls on to the canvas, define your rules, and publish.
Process management and automation go a long way toward calming – or at least managing – the change we face today. We help our clients change critical business workflows into digitised performance outcomes to support and enable business continuity and innovation. Simply. Have a look through our website to see more about what we do for our customers, reinventing the way they work to face the new realities of the market.
Source: Five key processes that companies are automating now – Nintex