Digitization and Process Automation
Everything that happens inside a company goes through some process and, over the years, certainly, the amount of information, resources, volume of activities performed increased considerably. A way to improve dynamics within your company can be with process automation. With it, when correctly implemented, it is possible to reduce expenses and increase productivity while maintaining quality and without overloading anyone.
However, to define which processes can be automated, is important to evaluate the following points: level of standardization, execution frequency, volume per transaction, automation evel, amount of effort involved. This information can be collected performing a process mapping. (To learn more, read the article “Process Management” on the blog).
In a recent survey by AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management), 75% of respondents consider process automation “important” or “very important” for your company. This is due to the need to always be more efficient and competitive. The data shows that users are realizing this but still need to help to carry out the actual automation.
But… Do you know the difference between process digitization and process automation? In this article we will differentiate these two concepts and then go deeper into the topic of process automation, how to implement it and its benefits.
Digitization x Process Automation
The digitization of processes means executing an activity in its entirety without the paper usage, being possible to visualize all the activities and data in a digital way. With the processes digitized, we enter the automation stage. Automating a process means making it more efficient using technologies such as Reality
Augmented and Big Data
Some situations in processes are still quite common, such as: repetitive standardizable manual activities at high frequency, consultation with different sources, report generation, information requests. These situations show how human capital is sometimes underutilized in corporations, allocating much of their time to
So, automating processes is basically optimizing fundamental parts of your business by technology, reducing errors and improving productivity. So automation is able to reduce the time and work required to perform routine tasks, appearing as strategy to make your resources yield more. It basically consists of a tripod:
It is essential to establish the objective and purpose of the operation and then analyze the process and identify which steps or activities can be automated.
To define the technology, it is necessary to understand the real objective of automation, estimate what will be the gain versus the investment and analyze the complexity of solutions according to the need and willingness to change.
Every transformation can cause resistance to change, so it is important to engage people, clarify the benefits, the purpose and prepare them for the new operation and management reality with the introduction of technology. HR has a key role to play in minimizing impacts for employees, and also to help leaders outline new hiring profiles.
Before technology implementation, your company needs to spot the right opportunities to automate and identify inefficient workflows, waste and errors, because correcting these and other flaws is essential for automation to lead to improvements.
This work can be done with a partnership between the business area and the technology team. The business area is responsible for designing the ideal process, without waste, while the technology team will reproduce the workflow in an automated way and with possible controls to mitigate operational errors.
Knowing these points of attention, let's go step by step on how to to successfully automate your processes:
1. Map all processes;
2. Design the ideal future processes;
3. Select the appropriate solution;
4. Set an implementation schedule, usually starting with the simplest;
5. Conduct training sessions with those involved to resolve all doubts and so that the
solution is used to its fullest potential;
6. Constantly monitor to determine the results and benefits of the new
implementation through, for example, performance indicators (to find out more
read the article “Indicators Management” on this blog).
If your implementation follows all these steps carefully, you will reap the following
● Increase in productivity;
● Cost reduction;
● Greater data reliability;
● Process standardization;
● Centralization of information and control;
● Optimization of decision making, making it more assertive;
● Increased competitiveness.
However, to ensure that these results are achieved, we can follow some tips:
● Assemble a support team to be responsible for guiding others about the
● Document all actions and changes;
● Start with the simplest processes so that the transition to more complex processes is smoother.
However, while automation brings several benefits to those who apply it wisely, it can also generate frustrations if the process has not been properly studied before implementation, as the person may end up automating a step that will not bring the expected financial return and then we will not be able to see in practice the changes that we intended to promote through automations.
People want to make processes faster and more productive without even knowing them. But this is like shooting yourself in the foot, because if your process has an error, when automating, it will keep having this error, you will just make it automatic. So, to avoid situations like this, know the process before automating it!