To start with, the automation process with BPM software is the next step to be taken by organizations that have implemented Process Management. This is because, to be able to automate processes in a company, the Process Management culture must be mature.
At first, it is common for companies not to automate processes 100%. Many times, some activities that could be automated end up in partially manual routines due to conflict between business rules. Only after a period of adjustment and implementation of the Process Management culture is that we see the automation of these activities.
The main objective of BPM implementation is to define, execute, measure, analyze, evaluate, optimize and monitor organizational procedures generating metrics of all processes. Therefore, automating your company processes with BPM means that important information for strategic decision making is generated more precisely.
Some common cases of automation implementation
Automating a call center
Most companies have a mailbox to receive complaints, or any other type of mass emails. To automate it, we just need to implement a very simple intelligence, such as “read this mailbox”, based on rules informed by the user. The automation will classify the emails and, thus, the person formerly responsible for this activity will be able to perform more productive tasks.
Another example is in the industry area. We are already living through the fourth industrial revolution, called Industry 4.0, in which equipment is integrated to the company management systems. It is still very common for organizations to carry out inspections of their products on the shop floor using sheets containing checklists with the items to be verified.
After the checklist is filled, it is deposited in a box and moved on to its scanning/storage process. However, if we have to perform an audit, or track a specific day and time, this task will be quite costly. Now, if we implement a control process with BPM and provide the operators who perform this checklist with a mobile device, we would be already collecting information from the equipment in real time.
Let’s go a little further. Picture the following intelligence: when the operator informs that the amount of raw material is below a determined percentage, a process is initiated to the purchasing sector. How much time wouldn’t we have gained? Only the fact that the operator had to fill a purchase requisition for lack of material would be a long time lost in activities that could add value.
Automating accounts payable and storing invoices automatically
In the receipt area, every day at the end of the workday, it is necessary to input the invoices received and sent. Here we can make use of market technologies, such as OCR, to read scanned and automatically processed invoices. Or, if we receive the XMLs of the invoices, it is possible to automate their reception and validation.
We can now integrate this into BPM and trigger verification activities of goods received from the invoices that are processed. In addition, the system can notify affected areas, and the invoices (separated by supplier/customer/month/year) can be automatically organized in the Electronic Document Management system.
The examples mentioned are only a small part of the world of automated processes with BPM. Every day, BPM is becoming part of more and more organizations. As you can see, BPM not only provides a structured, transparent and organized process, but it is also an aid tool for knowledge management.
5 Steps to automate processes
We have listed below the steps for process automation with a BPM software:
1 – Talk to the process owners
Before automating existing processes, we must understand the business behind it, its rules and why it is the way it is.
2 – Identify the bottlenecks
After the implementation of processes, many activities that used to be manual become more efficient, but there is always room for improvement. For example, if an employee is absent, does the process stop?
3 – Plan the automation
What do we need to automate processes? Will development be necessary? Acquisition of new systems? Does the system with which I need to integrate allow this type of integration?
4 – Implementation
Time to implement automation. Conduct training with the users involved, explain the change and how it will improve their day-to-day. It is very important that the users involved understand the reason for and the benefits of this implementation. Remember that the worst enemy is a lack of understanding!
5 – Monitor
It is very important to monitor the behavior of the automations created. With monitoring, it is possible to get the necessary metrics to justify the possible expenditures generated and show the stakeholders the importance of these automations.
As the new tendencies of Machine Learning and Big Data grow stronger every day, BPM solutions are becoming increasingly important in the moment of automating processes, applying the concept of RPA (Robotic Process Automation).
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