How to start business process automation? Step by step guide

business process automation

Thanks to the pandemic, many companies accelerated the decision to take the business through the digital transformation process and automate workflow. The question is where to start and the biggest challenge is how to do it properly. The enormity of possibilities and technological solutions available on the market can give you a headache. The decision to choose a strategy and tool is one of the toughest decisions, so in this post, we will guide you step by step through the process of preparing your company for business process automation.

Digital transformation is the best way when we have to work in distributed teams and work remotely. Thanks to automation, we can relieve employees, improve workflow, and accelerate the circulation of documents and decision-making.

There are more benefits of business process automation:

  • reduction of administrative costs
  • access to complete data “in real-time”
  • faster and more efficient document flow management
  • better control of processes and finances
  • faster and more accurate business decisions
  • minimizing human mistakes and fraud
  • greater employee satisfaction with the work performed
  • time savings and increased productivity
  • positive impact on the natural environment (paper reduction)

What do you need to create an efficient enterprise on a new remote or hybrid model? It’s obvious – efficient communication. But what does that really mean? You need an effective and secure tool that will give everyone access to the company’s knowledge resources. But in order to choose the most appropriate tool, you first need to carefully define the needs of your company. Here’s how to prepare the company for business process automation step by step:

Identify areas

The question of where to start was much more difficult before the outbreak of the pandemic. Now the answer to them is much simpler because companies have learned which areas are the most problematic when working in the office is impossible. Many entrepreneurs already know what was the most difficult to transfer to the “home office” mode and for the majority of them these were manual, paper-based processes – HR and administrative. So the first step is to determine which areas need to be digitized.

Map the processes

Once you’ve identified the key areas, take a look at the processes themselves. Establish a hierarchy starting with those processes that have the greatest impact on your organization, then identify the people involved.

Model the actual course of the process and take into account exceptions, situations where the normal course is disrupted. Also indicate the weakest areas, the so-called bottlenecks where the process often gets stuck. Define which elements are important and what are the risks associated with them. For example, what happens if you don’t pay your invoices on time (contractor withdraws? lost of credibility?).

Look for more effective solutions

The process description will allow you to see what can be changed, simplified, and shortened. Are any activities repeated? Can it be diversified? It often turns out, for example, that all expenses in the company must be accepted by the CFO, which greatly extends the waiting time. So maybe expenses up to a certain amount, could be accepted by the Chief Accountant?

Tip: Most companies prepare prototypes on paper or in Excel, not knowing that they can immediately design the process flow in the target tool, e.g. Qalcwise business application. So you can make changes quickly and conveniently. We also avoid repeating activities, so we save time.

Specify the requirements

It’s time to think about what functionalities the new tool should provide you with. The key ones will be those that will ensure the transparency of the process. Digitized and automated processes must still be visible in the organization, they must be able to be audited or controlled from the outside. For this purpose, the new solution should collect a complete history of logins, changes, shares, etc. You should be able to store documents in a legally acceptable form. It is worth checking whether the selected tool ensures compliance with e.g. labor law, the processing of personal data in accordance with the GDPR, and allows for integration with an electronic signature.

Data security requirements will also be important. Here it is worth reaching for cloud solutions, secure encryption, logins and passwords for each user, SSO (connection to the existing security system), and a safe environment (cloud).

Tip: There is no obligation to keep paper copies of documents (except for employment contracts). There are two ways to get rid of them. First: in the system, the last step of the process settlement may be generating a summary, eg PDF. We deliver the file to the financial department along with the scan of the original documents. Second: applying to the competent Tax Office for an opinion on whether an image of the document in a format that cannot be changed is sufficient for the purposes of inspection. Most often, the interpretation is positive.

How can Qalcwise help you?

Qalcwise is an application development tool that allows you to automate any workflow. Our clients successfully transfer manually managed processes to the application (e.g. business travel requests, financial statements, invoices, surveys, billing documents), creating completely paperless offices. Employees quickly learn that work with apps is more convenient – they don’t have to manually make changes, copy, and email documents. They complete all tasks in one place by logging into Qalcwise via a browser or phone.

Using cloud-based business applications reduces paper usage, costs, and service time. All employees can online: make changes to documents, fill in forms and applications, report expenses by scanning – not photocopying receipts. The applications also speed up the waiting time for approval – the electronic workflow greatly facilitates document processing. Qalcwise applications shorten process handling by up to 90%!

Do you want to see how Qalcwise can accelerate the business process automation in your company? Write to us:

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