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Your guide to process automation (in plain English)

Blog: Monday Project Management Blog

You might wonder — what’s the big deal with process automation?

Well, the average office worker spends over 3 hours per day on tasks that you could easily automate.

If we go by a normal 8-hour workday, that means your employees are wasting almost half of the time they spend at work.

If you could help them automate and streamline these tasks, imagine how much extra productivity you could get from your staff.

In this article, we’ll break down process automation — what it means and its benefits. And, we’ll explain how to set it up with accessible tools.

What is business process automation (BPA)?

Business process automation (BPA) is a discipline where you use technology to automate repeatable menial tasks and processes.

When hearing the word automation, most people think of actual robots — like the burger-flipping one recently introduced in fast-food restaurants.

But there are a lot of business processes you can automate with software tools, like accounting, onboarding, and data processing.

This type of digital process automation is a lot cheaper and more relevant to most companies. It speeds up your projects and helps free up your employees’ time to work on a more important task.

If you’re new to process automation, you may be confused by 2 different terms — business process automation and robotic process automation.

Though they sound similar, there’s a nuance in the meaning and usage of these terms.

What is the difference between business process automation (BPA) and robotic process automation (RPA)?

Business process automation is the term for the overall process of automating different workflows in your business, while RPA refers to specific digital tools — often called bots — that can automate a specific business task.

For example, there are specific RPA bots that can automate the generation of certain financial reports.

An RPA bot is a cloud-hosted software robot that can handle a certain amount of work. For example, it may be able to scan and register data from 10,000 invoices per day.

An RPA tool is useful in any industry and use case where you need to handle a lot of raw data. Manual data entry and categorization is a time-consuming process, and there’s a high risk of human error.

Having high-paid employees work on such tasks when you no longer have to is a waste of payroll.

Why is process automation important?

Process automation is crucial because it helps free up your staff to work on things that actually drive revenue. With every basic repetitive task automated, you can get the extra productivity of several additional staff members without making any new hires.

For most companies, payroll is the single biggest expense. So the ability to get more actual work done without having to hire more people is a huge benefit of automation.

For example, by standardizing workflows and automating menial tasks with, Seer Interactive saved over 603,000 actions and an average of 1.6 hours per person per week.

Process automation case study for Seer Interactive

For larger teams, that’s the equivalent of hiring multiple people, except the costs are much lower. And remember, this isn’t a large-scale machine learning project. Seer Interactive just created a smart digital workspace with

Plus, not having to focus on small clerical tasks that feel meaningless can also reduce stress and boost employee engagement.

Process automation lets your employees focus on work that actually matters. It’s more fulfilling for your employees and better for your bottom line. It’s a requisite for efficient business management in today’s world.

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When to use and not to use process automation

Although the benefits of automation are powerful, and every company can benefit from using it in some way, you shouldn’t try to automate everything.

It’s possible to completely automate tasks in ways that won’t deliver a satisfying result. Ever tried reading the automated YouTube closed captions? The second someone has an accent, the text reads like some AI-generated short story rather than a video’s subtitles.

You shouldn’t use process automation to completely generate a final product that you share with your customers.

Below, we cover appropriate use cases for automation and when sticking to the human touch is the best idea.

When to use it:

In general, process automation is best applied to tasks with a small amount of risk for errors that can directly impact the customer experience.

You should use process automation to:

When not to use it:

You don’t want an automated process for complex tasks that require creativity and thinking on your feet.

Don’t try to use process automation to:

Examples of chatbot fails

(Image Source)

Understanding when to use it and when not to is a crucial part of an intelligent process automation strategy.

Low-hanging fruit: easily automatable processes in different departments

Instead of focusing on million-dollar robotics automation projects for manufacturing, let’s first focus on the low-hanging fruit — manual tasks that you can automate quickly and easily.


In marketing, there are a lot of low-level processes that you can automate to save time.

Marketing campaign dashboard in

You can also use automation to get personal with your potential customers at scale, something that was previously not viable.

Customer support

In customer support, you can also automate certain processes for a better customer experience.

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In sales, there is also a lot of room for workflow automation and optimization. A typical salesperson spends a lot of time setting meetings, preparing proposals, and completing other tasks that you can — at least partially — automate.

The less time your sales team spends on non-essential tasks, the more time they can spend on actually selling your products.

Human resources (HR)

In HR, there’s also plenty of room for automation to lend a helping hand.

Start streamlining and automating workflows with

Are you ready to create a more efficient company using automation? makes it easy to get started, even if you can’t afford machine learning experts and data scientists.

Create automations in plain English with’s automation builder — no coding required

Our automation builder lets you create automations in plain English. You don’t need any coding knowledge or experience to understand it.

Automation builder in

You can easily set up things like automated notifications and assignments based on status changes, due dates, and more.

You can also synchronize data between different boards, such as a team board and a high-level project overview.

That way, managers and executives will have a real-time overview of project status without having to make any calls.

But our workflow automation isn’t only limited to data from our own platform.

Integrate data from other platforms and collate data into real-time dashboards

To eliminate app-hopping as a necessary evil, you can integrate third-party apps with

For example, you can automatically create new work items based on incoming emails, Slack messages, or Zendesk queries.

You can also synchronize data from Facebook Ads and other marketing platforms to create a real-time overview of your campaign performance.

Create a coherent digital workspace to make it easier for your team to get things done.

Standardize workflows and manage information in a smarter way

Employees spend more than 25% of their time searching for the information they need to do their jobs.

The most common issues are locating and sharing the right documents and finding data on recent sales.

Graph showing the top broke document management processes

(Image Source)

With, you can add all of the relevant documents directly to related work items and projects. You can upload them directly or use our Google Drive or OneDrive integrations.

Instead of having to search for documents and how-to information every time you tackle a task, you’ll have it at your fingertips.

Ready to start automating without a million-dollar budget?

Hopefully, you now understand the benefits of automation and how and where you can effectively apply it in your business.

If you’re ready to set up smarter workflows, make life easier for your employees, and get more done as a company, try’s workflow management software today.

With our powerful automation builder, you can automate many of the recurring activities in your day-to-day workflow.

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