Process automation software streamlines, optimizes, and automates various tasks, workflows, and processes within an organization. By implementing process automation, teams can improve productivity, reduce human error, and maintain consistent quality throughout their operations. This, in turn, helps to improve productivity and profitability, and enables organizations to stay competitive and agile.
Process automation can also help organizations to deliver improved customer experiences by ensuring customers receive personalized, timely communications, and that requests are addressed swiftly and accurately. To achieve this, process automation software manages data flow, assigns tasks, and triggers notifications or actions in connected applications, leveraging technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) to deliver more efficient and intelligent workflows.
The process automation market has grown significantly in recent years, with software providers offering various levels of functionality and customization to cater to different business needs. In this article, we’ll explore the best process automation solutions designed to help you streamline your business operations and deliver exceptional customer experiences. We’ll highlight the key use cases and features of each solution, including workflow management, process monitoring and reporting, customizable templates, compliance support, and integrations.
Everything You Need To Know About Process Automation Software (FAQs)
What Is Process Automation Software?
Process automation software automates manual, repetitive tasks and functions to free up employee time to work on more critical tasks. It helps organizations reach their goals more efficiently by streamlining both simple and complex processes, centralizing information so it’s more easily accessible across departments, and minimizing labor costs. It can also help minimize errors and data loss by reducing—if not eliminating entirely—the factor of human error.
For these reas, businesses are increasingly leveraging process automation software as a means of boosting their productivity—and therefore their competitiveness and profitability.
How Does Process Automation Software Work?
Process automation tools break down business processes into smaller tasks, then automate those tasks. Once the tasks are automated, the software integrates them into a workflow that orchestrates the completion of the whole business process.
For example, an accounting department may want to automate their purchase order process, which would involve breaking that process down into its various components, then automating them. In this instance, the request being submitted, the request being examined and approved, the creation of the purchase order, and the sending of the purchase order to the inventory team and supplier.
The best process automation tools also offer analytics and recommendations around how business processes are, so that organizations can identify which areas are working and which areas are ineffective, and improve them further.
When Do You Need Process Automation Software?
Process automation can’t be applied to all process in a business—it’s best suited to repetitive tasks that:
- Have to be completed in a specific order and in a specific way due to their impact on other tasks or systems
- Require lots of people working at different stages to execute
- Are of a high volume
- Are time-sensitive and/or prone to delays
- Need to be audited for compliance
Process automation tools ensure that the process is carried out correctly every single time, minimizing error and maximizing efficiency. While automation can be applied to most any process that fits the above criteria, there are some areas in an organization where it tends to be used the most. These include:
- Employee recruitment: Process automation tools can streamline recruitment tasks such as uploading résumés and references, and processing assessments, rejections, and follow-ups.
- Employee Onboarding: It can also be used to simplify onboarding tasks, such as assigning mentors, delivering training, and setting up induction sessions. By streamlining these processes, organizations can improve their employees’ initial impressions of the company and boost engagement.
- Payroll and invoicing. Automation can streamline regular payroll processes and the payment of contractors and other third-party vendors, including processes such as purchase order requests.
- Workforce scheduling. Process automation tools can synchronize time off requests and planned employee trips across different teams and departments, ensuring that absences are covered.
- Compliance and auditing. By creating a log of everything involved in each process—including people and data—process automation tools create a full audit trail that makes it easier to prove compliance with regulatory requirements. It also enables managers to monitor how each process is coming along in real time, so they can effectively address any bottlenecks.
- Customer experience. Process automation tools can help ensure that your customers receive regular and personalized communication and updates from you, as well as move them quickly and accurately through process workflows by reducing human error. Some tools also enable you to incorporate NLP technologies such as chatbots to help you help your customers even more quickly.
What Features Should You Look For In Process Automation Software?
There are a few important features that you should look out for when comparing process automation tools:
- Workflow management: Streamline tasks to make them more efficient.
- Process scheduling: Automated scheduling of processes and the tasks that make up processes, based on admin-configured rules.
- Customizable workflow templates: Templates that can be adapted to meet your specific business needs.
- Process monitoring and reporting: Tracks the progress of each process and provides you with real-time insights into what stage they’re at, and how effectively they’re being carries out.
- Error handling: Capabilities that identify and resolve any issues or bottlenecks within your processes to ensure they keep running smoothly.
- Version controls: Track any changes made to your processes, for improved consistency and to help ensure compliance.
- Alerting: Notifications to key stakeholders to keep them informed of any issues or important progress updates.
- Integration: Enables easier data syncing and increased visibility.
- Role-based access and permissions: Controls to ensure that only authorized users can create, view, or edit workflows—including task delegation—based on their role within the organization.