Business process automation has become crucial in today’s world. The advent of the Internet and the rapid growth of technological innovations have enabled its wide adoption across industries. When COVID-19 struck, people needed to stay home. Fortunately, technology allowed many businesses to continue their operations. At that point, those who didn’t have a plan to automate yet had no choice but to adapt quickly to keep their organisations running.
Automation brings efficiency and streamlines workflow by eliminating laborious and repetitive processes. It also aids in easy storing, sharing, and access to information needed in the day-to-day running of a business. In turn, it brings faster returns through lower operating costs and faster lead times.
However, it does come with its share of challenges, and a lot can go wrong in process automation if it’s not correctly executed. Here are ways your business process automation can go wrong.
- Choosing The Wrong Software
Picking the wrong software for process automation can have consequences. Apart from wasting time and money, your business automation needs still won’t be adequately met. This can cause more challenges in service delivery, training, and integration with other business processes.
Imagine you need invoicing software for products, and you end up with one for offered services. The software won’t satisfy your business needs as required, and if it isn’t customisable, you’ll need to find a replacement. The best practice is to find the best tool for the proper process from the start.
For instance, if you’re to automate using the services of a call centre in the UK, don’t rush for any software only to find out later it doesn’t fit your business. Instead, take time to understand how the process works and the advantages it can bring to your company. Pinpoint areas that could benefit from automation, and understand precisely what you need the software to do.
Get your team to share the challenges they face and work around those issues to find the most suitable software for the call centre. Before committing to an app, ensure that it’s a good fit for your business.
- Not Having a Clear Automation Goal
Automation plays a significant role in business growth, but you need to ensure that you have a well-laid out end goal for your projects to be effective. Automation alone won’t help in guaranteeing productivity and effectiveness unless there’s a strategy governing the process.
In the same way you develop strategies for other business processes, such as advertising and marketing, process automation also needs a plan. Identify business areas that automation is most likely to be beneficial if introduced. They include areas with report generation, customer queries or orders, invoicing, and other repetitive functions.
- Failing To Consider the Users
Another way automation can go terribly wrong is when you fail to consider or design the process based on where you’ll be using it. The whole goal of automation is to help employees with their daily tasks, not the other way around. That means that automation should be more focused on the team rather than the automation tool.
Additionally, make sure to effectively communicate and prepare the employees before introducing process automation to avoid causing anxiety. A rapid change may create discord in the business as employees worry about how automation will impact their roles. This may negatively affect their productivity and morale.
Ensure to include your team in the automation process to help them adapt to the changes more easily.
- Failing To Consider Integration with Other Platforms
You should ensure that the automation tool can be integrated into your current platforms and infrastructure. For instance, automating a helpdesk without considering compatibility with the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) can be a mistake. When choosing an automation software, ensure that it can integrate into your existing technology framework seamlessly.
At best, all your tools and software should work together and not against each other. The safest thing to do is to take inventory of your current tools and evaluate how the new ones will merge into the system. If the software doesn’t integrate with the existing platforms, the automation won’t give optimum results.
- Failing to Test Automation Tool Before Launching It
Always test your automation tool to ensure that it functions correctly. This will help you avoid making apparent blunders that may occur if you don’t adequately test it before launching. With testing, you can identify issues with the tool or how the employees understand the system. You can set up the automation tool as if fully launched and experiment with it in low-risk workflows.
This way, you’ll get to see it in action and identify anything that may need changing before officially launching it as part of your systems. Besides, testing also gives employees time to learn without pressure.
Failing to plan for process automation will lead to an adverse impact on your operations. If you rush into it without a clear strategy, many things can go wrong.
Avoid the mistakes discussed above by conducting proper research on how process automation can improve the general running of your business. However, even when properly incorporated, it’ll take time for you to reap the benefits of automation, but you will eventually.