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How to Streamline HR Processes with Business Process Automation

Manual processes aren’t just tedious and time-consuming: They can cost your business time and money due to bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and human error. Business process automation (BPA) uses software to perform some of these tasks, freeing up your team members to focus on activities that require human insight or intervention.

Business automation can involve everything from artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to low-code or no-code process automation tools, and may be part of a larger digital transformation initiative at your organization.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how to use business process automation to streamline workflows, reduce human error, and cut down on time spent on manual tasks.

What Is Business Process Automation?

Business process automation is a method of using software to automate key tasks. You can use business process automation to streamline everyday tasks such as data entry, account generation, automated email or SMS notifications, form-filling, and more.

BPA is distinct from business process management (BPM), which refers to a broader, big-picture approach to business operations. BPA is often used to streamline tasks, although it can be used alongside other automation techniques, including:

  • Robotic process automation (RPA) is used to complete tasks that don’t require much human decision-making. These processes are narrow in scope and rely on simple “bots,” or software robots, rather than customized software.
  • Intelligent automation (IA) uses advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze data and make higher-level decisions.
  • Workflow orchestration involves synchronizing multiple workflows so they all fit together and can be managed simultaneously.

Business process automation software may use an application programming interface (API) to connect directly to third-party software apps like a CRM or ERP platform.

Business Process Automation Use Cases

BPA software can be used in a wide range of departments, from human resources (HR) to accounting. Any part of your business that involves repetitive tasks can benefit from automation technologies. Here are just a few common use cases for BPA software.

Improve the Customer Experience

Marketing teams can use BPA software to optimize email and social media campaigns, while customer support agents can use chatbots and self-service knowledge portals to resolve cases faster. BPA can also be used during the customer onboarding process, such as by automatically verifying a customer’s ID against a database.

Manage Employee Relationships

New employees can benefit from employee onboarding automation during the recruiting and hiring process. Instead of attending in-person sessions to undergo training and fill out forms by hand, businesses can request documents through an online automation platform, providing new employees with a streamlined user experience.

Manage employee relations on an ongoing basis by automating benefits enrollment, disciplinary processes, leave of absence requests, and other HR tasks.

Automate Insurance Claims Processing

Keeping track of business insurance claims can help you track ongoing issues and prevent workplace safety incidents. From commercial insurance claims to workers’ comp, BPA tools can streamline communications with stakeholders, reducing the amount of time it takes to conduct an investigation and resolve claims.

Pulpstream’s claims management platform allows you to administer any type of claim and review claims analytics to identify safety issues and other business risks.

Optimize Business Operations

Automation solutions can ensure a consistent supply chain with automated billing and inventory management. BPA software tools can generate new invoices from templates and send out follow-up reminders for bills that haven’t been paid.

Companies can integrate payment portals directly into invoices, making it easy to get paid promptly and track the status of payments in real-time.

When to Use Business Process Automation

Business Process Automation: managers reading a document

Not all workflows are a good fit for business process automation, and some tasks may still need to be done the old-fashioned way. Tasks that only need to be done once in a while, or that require significant human input, are best done by hand. Here are three ways to know whether a process calls for automation:

  • It requires multiple employees to complete. Tasks that require approval or input from multiple employees can be processed more efficiently with BPA. For example, purchase orders can be automatically sent to the vendor as soon as they’re approved, eliminating additional steps and unnecessary delays.
  • It requires a paper trail. Some businesses require documentation to ensure regulatory compliance. Automated workflows can create a consistent record without the need for hard copies or disorganized spreadsheets.
  • It consists of multiple repetitive tasks. Data entry, inventory management, and other recurring tasks may not require human input, and may take time away from more important responsibilities. The higher the volume of tasks, the more likely it is that BPA software can help improve your team’s efficiency.

5 Benefits of Business Process Automation

When done right, business automation has the potential to transform your operations and increase profitability. Here are five benefits of BPA in action.

1. Reduce Errors

Business process automation can cut down on manual errors during data entry and other routine tasks. In particular, robotic process automation can be used to perform calculations and enter data into forms and spreadsheets so employees don’t have to copy and paste data manually.

2. Improve Customer Satisfaction

BPA systems can improve customer satisfaction by integrating CRM software and customer support tools into a seamless customer experience. Customers can expect faster response times, more accurate information, and more personalized support via automated chatbots and customized marketing campaigns.

3. Scale Your Business

Scaling your business is easier when you have standardized workflows in place. BPA allows for a more efficient onboarding process, enabling new employees to get up to speed more quickly and master complex tasks.

Even complex business processes can be streamlined with the right BPA solutions, allowing you to deliver consistent products and services as your company grows.

4. Eliminate Bottlenecks

Some of the most common bottlenecks and inefficiencies are avoidable with business process automation. Sending out invoices, approving purchase orders, and processing insurance claims can all be streamlined with automated workflows.

HR tasks like recruitment and leave of absence management can be handled more efficiently, freeing up employees to focus on more human input.

5. Empower Employees

While enterprise-level CRMs can have a steep learning curve, no-code platforms like Pulpstream make it easy for teams to automate business processes even without a coding background. Your employees can simply drag-and-drop tasks in the user interface to create the most effective workflow for their needs.

How to Get Started with Business Process Automation

Business process automation can take some time to put into action, so it’s important to have a clear idea of what workflow issues you want your system to address. By setting practical goals, it will be easier to know whether your BPA rollout has been a success. Follow these three steps to get started.

1. Assess Your Existing Processes

Process mapping or creating a workflow chart can help you visualize inefficiencies in your existing processes. You can see how many manual tasks go into a workflow and identify areas for BPA to step in. Review case studies of other businesses to find out how they put BPA software to work for them.

2. Compare BPA Platforms

Process automation platforms vary widely in terms of what features they offer and how easy they are to use. Pulpstream’s cloud-based platform is fully customizable and can adapt to almost any industry, while its web-based portal and mobile app allow you to access the interface from anywhere on almost any device.

3. Explore Integrations

Your BPA solution will be more powerful if you can connect it with software that you’re already using, such as your payroll or scheduling software. Pulpstream integrates with platforms like Workday, Salesforce, DocuSign, and ADP, so you can keep what works and get rid of any legacy software that’s no longer serving you.

Optimize Your BPA Workflows With Pulpstream

Team discussing something

Business process automation tools range from simple software bots that perform basic data entry to AI-powered software that can analyze data and make decisions for you. You can use it to automate the employee onboarding process, streamline leave of absence management, process business insurance claims, and more.

Pulpstream’s workflow automation platform makes it easy to eliminate time-consuming processes with no-code software that anyone on your team can use. Regardless of your industry, use case, or level of technical expertise, you can create automated workflows that reduce inefficiencies and enhance productivity on your team.

Request a demo today to see Pulpstream in action!