“Where should we begin automating processes?” This is one of the most common questions our customers ask us – and there’s no simple answer. Every organization comes to process automation from a different perspective. Some want to improve productivity, many want to cut costs, while others wish to improve employee well-being.
All that being said, process automation in IT and process automation in HR are some of the most common starting points for businesses on the automation journey. These two departments are often the starting point for process mapping and improvement, for a couple of reasons:
They are the departments with the most broken processes
In our 2021 research into broken business processes, HR and IT dominated the top 10 most broken processes for organizations worldwide. Companies often come to automation because they want to fix specific problems (such as helpdesk ticketing or onboarding) that are managed by these departments.
They are often relatively easy processes to fix
Process automation in IT and process automation in HR have received a lot of attention from process specialists. And this means there’s more knowledge about how to improve them too. On our website, for example, you can download many (free) templates for process automation in IT and HR, which can make starting out with these departments a lot easier.
So, process automation in IT and process automation in HR are clearly the ‘low hanging fruit’ for automation projects. But it’s possible to go so much further with process and workflow tools. Let’s see how.
5 departments where processes can be made better
If you want to begin your automation journey by improving process automation in IT or process automation in HR, then begin with those! This can help you see what the technology can do for you, and test it out.
However, it’s really beneficial to think of the bigger picture and see where process automation can take you. Here are five other departments where processes are screaming out to be automated.
1. Customer service
A good customer experience can drastically improve loyalty and profitability. And automation is able to improve this experience immensely. At Nintex, we see our automation tools being used to build a huge range of customer service automation solutions, to do things like:
- Automated application forms
- Customer self-service environments
- Call center improvements
- Customer surveys
- Secure eSignature
- Data collection with digital forms
Keep learning: How to automate customer communications processes
2. Finance automation
Underpinning your finance and accounts team are multiple processes that rely on a lot of manual labor. By automating these processes, you can become more efficient and save time and energy for everybody. Some of the most common process automations in finance with our platform include:
- Purchase order creation
- Digital invoice submission and processing
- Invoice and bill payment process automation
- Expense management
- Reporting with robotic process automation
Dig deeper: How to automate accounts receivable
3. Inventory management
At many organizations today, inventory management continues to be a highly manual activity. People counting products physically, checking them in and out using paper forms and filing systems, and ordering replacements over the phone. Nevertheless, many Nintex customers are using process automation to radically transform inventory management and make it way more efficient. Here are just some of the ways they are doing this:
- Digital platforms for equipment check-in and check-out
- Automated inventory level monitoring
- Automated stock replenishment and ordering
- Automated repair and maintenance of inventory/equipment
- Replacing paper inventory request forms with digital
4. Marketing processes
Marketing automation has become very common in recent years, especially around email systems and website management. But it can go much further. At Nintex, we’re seeing many of our customers develop sophisticated marketing automation processes to do things like:
- Planning out repeatable marketing campaigns
- Competitor analysis
- Product launch processes
- Managing the content ideation, approval, and publishing process
- Automating marketing project management tasks
Inspiration: The benefits of marketing automation
5. Procurement and tendering
Another big opportunity for process automation is around procurement and tendering. At many organizations today, the procurement process continues to be highly manual, idiosyncratic and inconsistent. Nevertheless, numerous Nintex customers are using our platform to build automated procurement and tendering tools. They can use the technology to do things like:
- Generating consistent invitation to tender documents with all key information included
- Sharing contracts and collecting eSignatures
- Managing large procurement processes – such as monitoring spend, validating delivery and calculating ROI
Beyond process automation in IT and process automation in HR
For many organizations, the most obviously broken processes they face are found in their IT and human resources departments. So, it’s no surprise that these are the departments where most companies first focus on process automation.
But we would encourage you to think of the bigger picture and look beyond the low hanging fruit when it comes to process automation. As the examples above demonstrate, there is huge scope for process automation in practically every department at your organization.