Process automation has the power to transform organizations and industries. But it takes more than just automation to make your processes a success. If how you organize your processes and workflows is obvious flawed, then turning to automation isn’t always the first step.
Instead, you should perform an audit of your most important processes and understand what’s working and what’s not. Separating good processes from bad will enable you to focus on what needs to be improved.
What does a bad process look like?
These might sound familiar:
- A purchase order process that’s too baffling for buyers to navigate
- An onboarding process that confuses new talent
- A sales cycle so twisted that you’re missing out on new opportunities
- Clogged approval processes that stop the launch of vital marketing campaigns
Good processes are the foundation on which a successful business is built. That’s why getting them right is so important. Before taking steps to automate, it’s important to get your processes into shape. From there, process automation can help you leap ahead.
First things first, you need to understand what makes a good process.
How is a good process different?
There are several common attributes that good processes examples share. These include:
- Simple steps
A good process needs to be easy to follow. It can’t be clogged with one million actions. Easy steps that any new recruit and veteran can complete without getting overwhelmed. Take a basic sales process: Acquire the lead. Reach out. Nurture. Close. Onboard. It’s easy to follow in practice. Adding more steps would complicate the simple.
- Rules to follow
Rules keep processes consistent. For example, when the finance department has a priority invoice to send out, there are rules and procedures that need to be followed for it to pass company compliance and regulations. Approvals, checks, etc., and who should be assigned to them — all this needs to be considered. Without rules, processes can easily become inconsistent which can lead to miscommunication, mistakes, and other problems.
- Uses resources effectively
People and processes go hand in hand. Processes, without automation, need people. But not just any person. Someone who is specifically trained in the company to make the process work. For example, HR experts know the hiring and onboarding processes better than anybody. You wouldn’t put someone from finance in charge of this process. They know numbers and invoices, not CVs and selecting top talent.
Good processes made better with automation
When automation is added into the mix, good processes shoot up to the next level. You have a streamlined process end-to-end that’s built with automated workflows and digitization…not people manually chipping away.
Here’s what automation can do to improve processes in your organization:
- Ensure smoother communication
There’s nothing worse than departments and info getting stuck in silos. Bad comms lead to project and approval delays, poor quality customer service, and more. Process automation speeds up project execution, ramps up customer satisfaction, and improves team collaboration.
- Reduce human error
Humans make mistakes. But some can be very costly. Some processes, like data entry, require manual labor. It’s dry, dull, and boring, leaving the chances of human error wide open. A few wrong data inputs in the procurement department, and a big client could be paying far more than their invoice demands, jeopardizing the whole relationship.
Automation protects your organization by preventing human error from creeping in. With an automated workflow or digitized process in place, you can sharply reduce errors and get the right data on the page without any hassle or embarrassment.
- Free up time and resources
Bad processes take up time, and even a good process can have its slow moments. Automation gives the time back that long processes needlessly drain, including the abolition of paper-based tasks. This means your organization has time to focus on work of higher value.
Build better processes with Nintex
When it comes to moving on from bad processes, Nintex has your back. We don’t just hand down process automation tips. We have a process automation platform that’s primed and ready for you to reap the benefits of automation in your organization.
From automated workflows to RPA (robot process automation), digital forms and more, Nintex is ready to take your processes to the next level. If you’re not sure about which processes to start automating, our process discovery tool can point you in the right direction so you can harness the true power of process automation.
Curious about how automation can improve your processes? Get in touch with the Nintex team to start your journey.