What is Business Process Automation?

Business process reengineering and automation: sounds fancy, but what exactly does that mean?

Business process automation involves leveraging technology to transform and streamline a manual process so that it becomes more cost and time-efficient. It takes an everyday business process, such as filing documents or onboarding new employees, and moves all physical documents and related workflows from filing cabinets to one centralized, web-based system. Basically, business process automation is the answer to the thought we’ve all had at one point or another: “there has to be a better and easier way to do this.”

What does this actually mean for your company? How can business process automation help you? There are endless ways that a company can automate their processes, and to be honest, only you and the members within your organization can determine what processes should be automated to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

In order to give you a better idea of how business process automation can be applied to a real organization, we’ve included two examples of how we have helped our clients automate their business processes, and what it means for their day-to-day operations.

Automated a Hospital's Financial Reporting

Before:

 

A Boston-based hospital network had an extremely inefficient reporting process in compliance with the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA). Under the TEFRA law, the hospital is required to have physicians complete semi-annual reports on the typical amount of hours they work, and how those hours are spent. The hospital was using a manual paper-based form distribution process, where hospital administrative staff would hand out and then collect the necessary forms back in order to manually compile all the information and create reports. This process was inefficientvery time-consumingand provided little visibility into reported data.

 

After:

 

With the new web-based application, the collection and reporting processes of the required TEFRA forms were streamlined and made easier overall for hospital staff to complete. The custom application provides an electronic way for physicians to log and report hours, and for hospital staff to easily generate the required reports. Now, instead of filling out a packet of forms, physicians can log in to the system and quickly submit their responses. By automating this process, overall response rate and visibility into the data increased, while decreasing the amount of time and effort needed to collect the information.

Reengineered Contract Management Process

Before:

 

The legal department of a global consumer goods manufacturing company was utilizing manual and paper-based contract management processes. The legal department found that its employees were investing too much time collecting the necessary information to draft and effectively review agreements, and manage contracts throughout the contract lifecycle. The department was experiencing a lack of visibility into contracts after execution, and was unable to successfully create the necessary business knowledge from its contracts.

 

After:

 

Using a customized Microsoft SharePoint platform, the client can now develop, proactively manage, and optimize strong, long-term business relationships. The system contains a complete contract repository and a robust contract creation and approval process. By creating and implementing a custom contract management system and automating the once lengthy process, the client streamlined its contract management processes in order to allow the legal department to respond to, proactively manage, and optimize contracts and obligations more effectively.

In addition to the two examples above, we’ve helped clients across industries and sizes automate processes to manage their volunteers, members, studies, projects, legal cases, inventory, employee collaboration, and much more.  We hope these real-world applications give you a better idea of what it means to reengineer and automate business processes, and how it can help your company.

Considering hiring an experienced consultant to help you with business process automation?

Streamline your company’s processes for increased efficiency. Talk to a consultant today to get started!

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