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7 Business Process Automation Use Cases

Blog: ProcessMaker Blog

Business process automation (BPA) is a helpful technology smart organizations are using to make more time for the work that matters. Using BPA, sales reps, customer service teams, accounting professionals, and HR executives alike can draw on software tools to handle the rote, repetitive, time-draining manual tasks that take up a large chunk of their day. BPA is an unbeatable strategy for:

Studies show that some organizations are so bogged down by manual and menial processes that employees are left with only one-quarter of the day to focus on high-value, revenue-generating activities. Organizations are using business process automation to turn the productivity tides in their favor. Here are some of the common tasks automated through BPA. 

5 common tasks organizations automate using BPA—plus two closer looks at how they get it done

Automation is a compelling tool for every department within your organization. Let’s see how two paperwork-addled departments, sales and HR, are taking advantage of automation’s massive time-saving potential. 

1. How sales teams are using chatbots

A recent study revealed that sales reps spend an astronomical percentage of their day toiling with administrative tasks. Instead of selling, they’re burning through two-third of their time on busywork like updating spreadsheets and gathering sales intelligence. 

McKinsey found that diligent sales teams can save valuable time by automating up to one-third of their tasks. This includes time-consuming functions like pricing, contacting, and lead nurturing, as well as post-sales activity like regular follow-ups or fulfilling orders for spare parts. By using automation to take care of these tasks, McKinsey estimates that organizations can uplift sales by 10%

Not all sales jobs are fully automatable—many still require the unmatchable je ne sais quois of the human touch to close the deal. But, top sales departments are turning to automation tools like chatbots to help them move prospective customers through the purchasing funnel. 

Chatbots can automatically reach out to swaths of pending opportunities in greater numbers than a salesperson has the bandwidth to connect with. Once a pending prospect hits a certain point in the funnel, a chatbot can reach out through text or email using a predetermined script. Natural language processing (NLP) tools help the bot understand the context and intent of customer responses in order to determine the next course of action. McKinsey estimates that an automation strategy like this one can free up 10–20% of the day for sales teams to focus their efforts on other high-priority projects or prospects. 

2. See how HR professionals are automating time-off requests

A joint team of time management experts in the United States and the United Kingdom found that employees waste up to 40 million hours each month dealing with complex HR systems. That adds up to nearly 20,000 staff members focusing full-time, 8 hours per day every workday of the year, on administrative tasks like time-off requests and expense reports. Even small businesses aren’t free from the paperwork burden—according to 45% of small business owners, they spend approximately one day every week sifting through HR issues. 

Keeping a manual record of an employee’s vacation days can be a daunting task—especially when team numbers bubble up into the hundreds or thousands. When a time-off request comes through, HR executives have to contend with: 

Managing this process requires lots of record-keeping, follow-ups, and paperwork exchanges. So, HR teams are turning to automation to help streamline time-off requests. Using automation tools, they can send and track approval requests—where managers can even approve or deny within the email body itself. Software systems can automatically track of earned and used time and even pass the information along to other teams like accounting. 

Another plus of using automation to shore up this paper trail-intensive process? Employees can log in to a company dashboard to look up their available vacation time before they even contact HR. 

Gartner estimates that nearly 50% of organizations will use automation in their HR departments by 2022, giving human resource teams more time to focus on higher-value projects. 

‘Busywork’ is more than a hum-drum drain on morale. Departments overwhelmed by repetitive, never-ending administrative tasks are a drain to your bottom line, adding up to nearly $534 billion per year in losses, according to one key study in the United Kingdom. Using automation in these common areas can cut down on processing costs, reduce human error, and boost productivity across your organization. 

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