July 18, 2022
For many of us, automation still conjures up images of automobile assembly lines or old reel-to-reel films highlighting the marvel of modern industrial food production. For others, it also brings up understandable fears about job security and wages. While it’s tempting for business reporters and bloggers to liken automating business workflows to the Industrial Revolution, the analogy is flawed and often unhelpful.
The goal of process automation isn’t to replace office workers with AI. It’s to remove repetitive and, well, robotic tasks that humans typically find less rewarding, and instead, let staff devote their time and attention to work that is more engaging, and where human insights and skills will be of more use.
At Marco, we are happy to use our own experiences in Business Process Automation (BPA) as well as Business Process Management (BPM) to validate this point. We have both automated and/or streamlined certain processes that used to eat up a lot of our specialists’ time without adding a lot of value for our clients. Instead of reducing our highly skilled staff, on the contrary, we’re actually growing our team more strategically to give our clients even better service while cutting costs.
As a technology company, we’re used to scouting the path ahead and providing a technology roadmap for our clients. It’s a pleasure to report that our journey as a company has been worth it. Change can be scary, but if the result is a win for your clients and your stakeholders while boosting job satisfaction for your employees, then there’s no good reason not to do it.
What is Business Process Automation?
BPA is the use of software to automate repetitive and time-consuming business tasks. BPM, on the other hand, is focused on optimizing processes throughout an entire organization. BPA and BPM can work together to boost efficiency, but BPM is more over-arching and is not reliant on automation software.
What’s Enterprise Content Management?
Software that helps organizations automate their processes is often referred to as Enterprise Content Management (ECM) tools. There are many software manufacturers that have created powerful BPA tools, including M-Files and Hyland.
BPM VS. BPA VS. ECM
This can get a little confusing, and on behalf of all technology enthusiasts everywhere, I sincerely apologize for all of the acronyms. To review --- BPA is the use of software tools to automate workflows, and ECM software is the tool that provides the automation. BPM does not rely on software automation but boosts efficiencies through optimizing processes throughout your organization.
Got it? Good.
How Can Enterprise Content Management Software Help?
Beyond generally making your organization more efficient, when used correctly, BPA has many more specific and tangible benefits.
1. Boost Job Satisfaction and Performance
This isn’t earth-shattering news, but as it turns out, human beings don’t like to be bored, and it saps their creativity. If you free your staff from endless hours of busy boredom and instead provide more stimulating and challenging work, they will be able to put their creativity and knowledge to better use.
2. Improve Service
If a client has a problem or a need, does red tape stand in the way of your staff addressing it quickly? BPA can help your organization be more responsive and provide more attention from a real human being sooner.
3. Save Time and Money
With BPA, your organization can accomplish more in less time. As time is essentially money in business, saving time saves both.
4. Reduce Errors
When your brain is bored and goes into auto-pilot mode, it’s easy to make mistakes. Human error will always be with us, but reducing mindless tasks also helps reduce mindless errors.
5. Make Problem-solving and Project Management Easier
Especially when organizations get larger, it can be a task in itself to track down the right person or the right file. With BPA, that’s automated, and so is tracing projects, providing updates, and establishing deadlines. Instead of monitoring progress and constantly providing updates, managers can use more of their time to build relationships, provide mentorship, and drive better results.
6. Gain Insights
Not only are computers good at completing repetitive tasks, but they’re also good at compiling and analyzing huge amounts of data to provide you insights about your business.
7. Reduce Stress
Neither you nor your staff will have to worry about projects and communication falling through the cracks. Instead, you’ll rely on a system to keep projects moving and notify you when something requires your attention.
Finding the Right Ecm Solutions for Your Business
Enterprise content management systems allow for flexibility and customization, but there’s no single ECM tool that’s right for every organization. Our ECM specialists are on-hand to provide you with a custom recommendation as well as insider tips on how to get the most out of your new software.