It always starts with a small business. A few people, simple procedures, everything arranged from desk to desk, quickly and without downtime. The company is growing, the number of employees is growing, as are the customers. To meet the growing number of orders, new procedures are introduced, and new methods of customer service are developed. It works for a while, and then … new products are no longer enough. Then what? Is there any rescue? Maybe business process automation?
Business process automation is supposed to connect and simplify company processes. It involves moving existing procedures and processes in a company to a computer program, application, or intranet. Its purpose is to transform and transfer to the digital form of company processes so that the work was simpler and could be performed and more accurately. Automation of business processes can apply to both internal activities carried out in the company (for example, arranging work schedules) and activities for the client (for example, invoicing or recording hours worked for the client).
The X company is housed in a large building that it shares with other companies. X has many guests – contractors come to meetings, clients appear, collaborators from other branches, suppliers. Each time an employee of the company arranged a meeting at the reception desk, separately booked a room shared with other companies, chatted in front of the entrance before the meeting, made sure that the guest entries and exits were in the book of entries … A lot of issues to be covered, right?
It can be simpler. In this case, business process automation can consist of creating and implementing an application that will allow all companies operating in the building to book rooms and keep a guest register together. Shared intranet? Calendar in Outlook? Or maybe a combination of these things and an electronic book to enter and exit the building? There are many possibilities, but one goal – to transform this multi-stage, not very coordinated process into a logical sequence of activities carried out from behind a computer.
When it comes to change, there is always one question: but for what? It works, we’ve been working this way for a long time, we don’t need business process automation. Could it be?
Can any of the disadvantages of business process automation be mentioned? Maybe a few: the need to change the way of thinking and a critical view of the organization of the company, choosing the right technological solutions … Do they outweigh the advantages of this process?
In the next episode of the series, we will show examples of companies that have introduced electronic work tools to their organization.