You went to your favorite coffee shop to get a cappuccino. You were waiting patiently when you heard a loud voice.
“Where the hell is my order? I’ve waited for over 40 minutes for a goddamn cappuccino.”
It turns out the guy at the counter lost the paper on which he wrote this customer’s order. So, the order for cappuccino never went in, and this customer left the shop cursing them for the way they collected orders.
Won’t you agree with him on this?
Collecting orders is a crucial process for every business. So much so that they can’t afford to make mistakes here. But as you saw, doing this process manually isn’t the best option. There are similar other processes where your teams, however smart they are, can’t do it all by themselves while keeping it error-free and taking the least possible time.
This is where business process automation comes in. Business Process Automation or BPA is the use of technology to automate repeated processes crucial for a business’s day-to-day functioning and ultimately their growth.
And here, we’ll talk about the top business process automation tools you should use in 2021 to achieve those ambitious goals. That’s not it, as we’ll briefly explore the different processes that can be automated, how to select the process that needs automation and the immense benefits of such automations. So, we’ll practically cover all that you need to know about business process automation and its tools. Now, all you got to do is start reading!
What Business Processes Can Be Automated?
See, automation in organizations comes into the picture when there are tasks that need to be repeated at a fixed interval. It is also used to carry out one-off tasks that are complex and huge. But otherwise, it’s used to conduct a regular process repeatedly, with no error, and fast.
Almost every repeated business process can be automated using the right tools. To help you identify better, here’s the list of few such processes that can and should be automated:
- Email and other marketing campaigns.
- The customer communication process.
- The planning and campaign designing process.
- A major part of the recruitment process.
- The customer onboarding experience.
- The software development process.
- Automating for better team collaboration.
- Automating for result tracking and improvement.
- The employee scheduling process.
- Report distribution and storing.
- The problem ticketing and resolution process customer support team.
- The employee benefits enrollment and automated payroll process.
Top Business Process Automation Tools Of 2021
We’ve now addressed the question of what business processes can be automated. With that out of the way, here are the top business process automation tools that your teams should use in 2021 and beyond.
1. SurveySparrow’s Feedbot
Customer communication is an extremely crucial process for every business, we agree. But it’s also tedious and repetitive. So, using a communication automation tool like SurveySparrow becomes a simple decision, especially when they have Feedbot, their no-code website chatbot.
Apart from the Chatbot, SurveySparrow is an all-action omnichannel experience management platform that’ll solve all your customer and employee survey needs with complete satisfaction.
Pricing: You get a 14-Day free trial, post which you can choose plans starting from $19 going to a custom solution. Signup for free now: 14-Day Free Trial • No Credit Card Required • No Strings Attached
14-Day Free Trial • No Credit Card Required • No Strings Attached
2. Asana’s Efficient Collaboration
“What the heck! I’m just not getting who’s doing what. Can everyone stop doing their work for 5 minutes and jump on a quick call?”
With the remote work culture in full swing, a lot of employees are facing this issue. They just don’t have the clarity on what they need to do. And if your teams are also facing this, you need Asana.
With Asana, you can structure every work efficiently. It’s one of those business process automation tools that give you a list that you can use to allocate work individually, track deadlines, and prioritize urgent tasks. This list is visible to all your employees, and they would know exactly what they’re supposed to do and when. So, no more confusion.
Pricing: It’s one of the most pocket-friendly business automation tools you’ll ever find! Asana’s basic plan, which’s good enough for new businesses, comes for free, while the premium plan is $13.49 when billed monthly.
3. Bpanda’s Planning And Visualization
When you’re working on launching a campaign, you want it perfect, don’t you? No mistakes, no weak spots.
This is exactly where Bpanda comes in. It’s one of those business process automation tools that gives you interactive flowcharts to map out the entire campaign or a process, allowing you to find weak spots. Since the flowchart also maps out your vision about the campaign, your teams would know all about it. They’ll give feedback and share knowledge, allowing everyone to be on the same page.
Pricing: Bpanda comes with a 30-Day free trial post which you’ll get to know their pricing based on the requirements.
4. IBM’s Business Process Manager
“Nobody knows the future.”
A pretty common notion, isn’t it? Well, with IBM’s Business Process Manager, you have a good idea about the future of your campaigns and processes. It’s one of those top business process automation tools that give a full life cycle detail. So, you can plan, develop, and test unique processes using its appealing interfaces and design tools.
Once you’ve tested the processes under different scenarios, it’ll give you a report based on your set parameters.
Pricing: It comes with a 30-Day free trial, and the pricing would be revealed at the end of your trial period.
5. Monday’s Do-it-all Automation
If out of the multiple business process automation tools, you get one that handles multiple business processes with excellent efficiency, won’t you put your money on it?
If ‘yes’ is your answer, we’ve got Monday for you. You get to choose from 200+ solutions that include project management, CRM, sales, software development, HR & Recruitment, and IT using Monday. And trust us, in multi-faceted automation tools, we’ve chosen Monday after hours and hours of research. So it’ll do a damn good job for you.
Pricing: Their basic bundle starts at $24 a month. Super affordable!
6. Orchestly’s Standard Operating Procedures
If you want to do everyday work with complete efficiency, look no further than Orchestly. It’s one of the most powerful business process automation tools that do routine works like approving content, streamlining the onboarding experience, and giving product recommendations super efficiently. Once you use Orchestly, you’ll start seeing massive improvements in no time.
Pricing: It comes with a free version with ample features, and the business plan starts from $7 per user per month.
How To Select A Business Process For Automation?
You’ve read till here, so you know the top business process automation tools that can change the way your team works. But that’s the outcome. Yes, it’s the outcome of using the right process automation tools. And this outcome would come when you’ve chosen the right process to automate.
From our experience of servicing clients with diverse requirements, we think there are five steps to follow to determine which business process really requires automation. Let’s look into it.
#1 Track the importance
Tracking the importance of a process in your business’s functioning is the first step to do. Why? Because you’ll understand exactly where is it impacting the business and its growth. Once you and your teams have brainstormed on this, it’s time to move to the next step.
#2 Check On Your Team
Once you’ve assessed how crucial a process is for your business, it’s time to check how your team handling that process is doing. You need to conduct surveys to understand how they’re coping with the process, from start to finish. Are they finding the process tough? If yes, where exactly? And what are their thoughts on making the process easier?
After you’ve feedback on these questions, you’ll know exactly where the problem, and your concerned team’s views on it.
#3 Analyze The Problem
After knowing about the nagging problem in a business process, it’s time to analyze how critical is it. Is it related to poor management? Or lack of technical support? Or is there something else? This is the step where you need to gauge why the problem is coming. Because when you know about this, you can figure out whether automation tools would solve it.
#4 Employee Satisfaction
You now know you need an automation tool to solve a persisting problem in a crucial business process. But before searching for it, know what your employees working on this process are thinking. How satisfied are they by your decision to use automation? Tell your employees beforehand if an automation tool would take over their work. Don’t keep them in the dark, especially in times like this. Your employees are way more important than an automation tool. Remember that.
#5 Availability Of The Right Tool
If your employees are satisfied and fine with incorporating an automation tool for a business process, you need to find the right one. You can’t just pick the first tool you see. Use and then choose – That’ll help you make the right pick, eventually. And since most business process automation tools offer free trials, using and then choosing won’t be a problem.
Benefits Of Automating A Business Process
Mckinsey conducted a global survey in 2018 to determine the percentage of organizations that have started the use of business process automation. From the survey, it was found that 57% of them had not only started automating business processes but were already thinking about scaling up. Big organizations were leading the charge here, with 40% agreeing that they have exciting plans to scale up this automation.
But why so much emphasis on automation? It’s because automation has so many benefits that probably outweigh any of its downsides. These business process automation tools have become more important in the remote work culture, as they’re continuing to help businesses stay on their growth trajectories. Keeping this new normal in mind, let’s talk about some of the massive benefits you’ll get after automating a business process.
Productivity Would Shoot-up
This has got to be the most crucial benefit that comes with automating any business process. The processes that earlier used to eat up most of your team’s time would now be done in a matter of a few minutes using automation. So, now your teams would be left with a lot of time to carry out other important tasks that could add to your business’s growth further.
Overall Efficiency Would Increase
When the employees are completing the daily processes in just a few minutes using automation tools, they’ll have ample time to think and brainstorm about innovation and new strategies. And not just thinking, they’ll actually get the time to test and bring changes. This would increase the overall efficiency, as every business process would keep getting better and more efficient with time.
A Platform For Hit & Trial
Continuously evolving and getting better is the most important aspect of any business’s growth, and business process automation tools can help you big time here. Let’s say you go with IBM’s Business Process Manager to automate different business processes. With this tool, you also get to design and test new processes to find weak spots and understand what else can be done to make it a success. Ain’t that impressive?
We’re sure that one of the prime reasons you went for a process automation tool was to bring the errors down to zero in your business process. Like humans, your employees are bound to make mistakes. But when a business process is crucial, like customer support, even minor errors can have massive repercussions. So, going error-free is one of the biggest benefits you’ll get using the right business process automation tools.
When we were discussing Asana, we discussed how difficult it sometimes becomes for employees to understand who’s working on what unless there’s an efficient project management & collaboration tool in place. And the collaboration of teams is often important for processes that can have an enormous impact on your business’s growth. So, the ability of your teams to collaborate and contribute better is one of the most crucial benefits of automating a business process.
As a leader, never micromanage your employees and teams. But you need to see and have control over what’s happening. You get this control by using project management automations. Using this, you get to see how your teams are handling their tasks, how are they collaborating, and what work are they prioritizing? This allows you to guide them better without making them feel that you’re micro-managing them.
When you relieve your employees from the same monotonous work by using business process automation tools, they get a tremendous morale boost. So now, if you allocate more challenging work to them, instead of feeling intimidated by it, they take it in a positive stride and feel satisfied that they’re doing some quality work. And trust us, when employees feel this satisfied, the result they deliver is incredibly amazing!
Improves Customer Satisfaction
This is one of the most effective benefits of using automation for not just business owners but for customers too. As when business process automation tools like chatbots are used to improve communication with the customers, it improves their satisfaction as well. They now know the communication would be quick and fulfilling to solve all their queries and requests. And when you’re gunning for growth, this increase in customer satisfaction means a heck lot.
Avoiding Unnecessary Expenditure
Running a business is a costly affair, at least until you’re making substantial profits. Especially after the covid-19 pandemic, business owners now understand the importance of trimming down unnecessary costs. Costs that come up from using paper, inks, dedicated systems for individual employees and infrastructure are all cut down using the right business process automation tools. These cost reductions lead to massive savings that can fulfil bigger goals.
Your customers want to buy one of your newer services. They contact your customer support team for this. The team replies, give demos, clarifies their doubts, and then finally… they come along. But steps like contacting customer support and discussing features could’ve been automated easily using a scheduling tool and chatbot. It would have saved a lot of your customers and your support team’s time.
In 2021 and beyond, going tech-savvy using the right business process automation would make the biggest difference in your business’s growth trajectory.
So what’s the takeaway?
The business process automation market is on a rapid, almost exponential rise, more so after the rise of remote work culture. Organizations now understand they can’t achieve their growth goals without spending on automation tools to make crucial business processes efficient and error-free.
Now the ball is in your court because we discussed everything that you need to start. You now need to select the tools based on your business’s needs. We hope you do that quickly and start using these as soon as possible. Until next time…