A wonderful article by Erin Carson for zdnet.com on BPA
Source : http://www.zdnet.com/article/business-process-automation-where-it-works-and-where-it-doesnt/
I especially like the article because it also focuses on areas where automation is not as necessary or may not work. Something that is not discussed in this community about BPA.
Technology is the enabler of business process automation (BPA), and can be automated workflows to the point where human intervention is not necessary. Automation can save time and money, delight customers no longer have to wait in line for a person to help with a transaction, and oppose human error.
But not all BPA is a good choice for automation, so it is incumbent upon companies to determine which BPA are most suitable for automation and which are best handled by humans. How companies select BPA to automate?
Companies begin to look at the strategic and operational drivers for process improvement in their organizations and industries. For example, in the global market today, almost every company is feeling the pressure to get products to market quickly and to be first to market whenever possible. In a highly competitive pricing environment, companies are also under pressure to economize its operations to improve margins, as it is not always possible to raise prices.
Consequently, companies are looking to automate business processes that are operationally time and resource intensive, subject to human error, and can be accelerated by improvements in automated processes achievable through the machines and technology. If the business process automation product to market faster, improve revenue collection, or reduce operating expenses so margins may improve if prices should remain flat, the better.
AREAS WHERE BPA is to produce the best results
routine and repetitive tasks
assembly work in manufacturing, software updates Task status automated project management and automatic security monitoring and facility closures, time tracking, and automated process flows for filling orders, management inventory, shipping, invoicing purchases and are examples of routine and repetitive business processes that are predictable and controllable through automation. By reducing manual labor in these business processes, tasks can be performed evenly and with a drastically reduced possibility of human error. Human resources are also released to do a job that requires more critical thinking.
difficult decisions that the non-addressable equipment
A good example is the service credit or a loan at a bank branch or back office. A customer comes in and wants to be qualified for a credit card or a loan. An employee in loans that have the loan application process down, but only has a limited background in underwriting automation software used in the process of loan approval to run a check of financial analysis and customer credit. Almost instantly, the loan officer is able to tell the customer the amount qualifies for a loan and what interest rate and other conditions.
Meanwhile, in the service area bank card, processing employee is automatically notified on your desktop for fraud detection software whenever a potentially suspicious pattern of fraud arises. Encloses the card immediately and call the cardholder.
Without the help of automated decision making, or the loan officer or employee card service would be able to act on these business scenarios so quickly. The company saves money; which reduces the risk of an employee to take a decision on the credit that might not be in good condition; and pleases the customer, receiving an immediate response.
tracking and sensor-based alert
Companies are beginning to take advantage of Internet technology objects (IO) as sensors and networks to boost automation. The goal of business is to achieve end to end visibility of critical business processes that occur outside the walls of the company. Examples include placing sensors in cargo containers that support that track the movement of containers and issue alerts container whose seals are broken, or when the temperature and humidity environmental conditions malfunction containers transporting drugs or food products.
employee self-service portals
From anywhere and at any time, employees can now make changes to their investment options, 401k other elections of human resources, and even take online training courses to further their professional development. The system records these changes and track progress without the requirement of a coach or HR person to facilitate the process.
Manual tasks that are risky or could cause damage
Increasingly, companies want to avoid sending employees to dangerous or hazardous work. Automation contained in trucks unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and robots can perform and report on many of these tasks. The work could be the purpose of seeking a difficult and treacherous patch of rough terrain, or to enter a highly radioactive installation, or walking miles of corridors of concrete in one day of storage after day – when a robot can walk and collect orders for you.
IT back office processes
the data center operations overnight batch processing and highly automated in most companies. This eliminates the need for most IT operations staff overnight, with only the staff is put into action through automated alert processing if a situation requiring human intervention occurs.
The benefits of searches of computerized databases that use large volumes of data, as well as traditional records are beginning to be recognized for their ability to replace the functions that were previously and laboriously made by staff. Among the repositories of research being threaded with automated business processes are records of crime, legal jurisprudence, research in life sciences, weather and climate research, insurance and databases for risk analysis financial, pieces manufacturing / engineering cross-references and health and vital records.
This has been incorporated into business processes ranging from the purchase order and order processing budget approvals. electronic applications, signatures, approvals and archiving are orchestrated in a paperless workflow from end to end.
WHEN automation is not a good idea
Companies with more proficient understand when automation BPA can get in the way of vital business processes. A rule of thumb is to think very carefully before introducing automation of its processes for the customer.
A customer could appreciate the ability to automatically book a hotel or a travel reservation without having to wait to speak to a human agent, but is considerably less complicated appreciates the automation calls that are related to several layers, drill-phone trees down, and sometimes a disconnect the phone at the end of the process. In the customer’s mind, this is the company telling him not to be coupled with unless the customer intends to buy something.
Decisions that humans need to make are not suitable for full automation. For example, last year, I visited with the CIO of a European processor major credit cards. The company had automated data center in the event of total system failure and disaster recovery. Despite this fully automated capacity, the CIO insists that the wrapper business processes around automation includes a final human decision that could bring a senior executive of whether to push disaster recovery and button failover .
Some companies have introduced automated voice and visual based on discovered that sensory and / or translation of automation mechanisms are unable to grasp and respond to all varieties of information coming from the physical environment is expected to interpret. translators natural language (eg English to Spanish) are a good example. Enunciation and translation are not always perfect, so run the risk of introduction of miscommunication that might fail in a business process.
Optical sensors in automated vehicles may miss vital environmental cues, leading to accidents. In these cases, the optical automation environments must be well circumscribed operates so that less information is left to interpretation.
Read the full article : http://www.zdnet.com/article/business-process-automation-where-it-works-and-where-it-doesnt/
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