Re: Business
Process Automation Special Report

                By: R. Jeffrey Moore  


Process Automation
, What exactly is it? How does it work? Can it
be applied to my business? These are some of the questions you might be asking
yourself. The truth is, automating processes is fairly simple in most cases and
can be done quickly for little cost compared to the cost savings and benefits.
The ROI (Return on Investment) gains are almost instant. Most business
processes and functions can be automated using software. This streamlines the
flow of the business, reduces workloads, lowers expenses, improves information,
improves management of supplies or services and adds to the bottom line profits
of companies. All the executives we have spoken with who have deployed
automation software in their businesses wondered why they waited so long and
wish they had done it sooner. This special report examines some of the real business benefits that
can be realized through process automation.


Business Case for Automated Processes.
Today’s economic reality is that of increased
competition, better informed and demanding
customers, more government compliance and
relentless pressure to cut costs. Companies are being
asked to do more with less. Improving
processes has
become a top priority for all types of businesses. A recent survey of over a
1,000 COO’s by Gartner Executive Programs
revealed that the top business priority of their companies was business process improvement. Of course, there are many ways to improve process,
but implementing process automation technology offers
significant opportunities for gains in efficiency, compliance, and numerous
other benefits. With
pressure to keep costs down, improve performance and service delivery,
companies are looking for solutions
that automate processes, standardize best practices, and improve efficiency. Businesses
over the past decade have devoted increasing attention to business processes,
their improvement, and their automation. This interest grows out of the need to
streamline operations, consolidate organizations, and reduce costs. The design
and automation of business processes has created its own field of study, known
as business process management (BPM) or (BPA) Business Process Automation. BPM/BPA
has emerged as a critical cross-discipline control and process enabler, and is
responsible for ensuring consistency in planning and performance while reducing
costs across the entire organization.


Automate Processes?
Better processes produce lower
costs, motivated employees, and create happier customers. This starts with examining how work is accomplished,
documenting current processes, and then improving those processes. However,
simply documenting your processes and relying on manual process implementation
does not give your business managers real control over the process. Gartner
indicates that automating processes without process redesign, but by simply
“making the current-state handoffs, timing, and responsibilities explicit,
productivity improvements of more than 12 % are normally realized.” Of course,
this is just the beginning, as a basic tenant of process automation is its
ability to facilitate process improvement. Continuous improvement is at the
heart of process automation. The ability to have the information with which to
continuously improve processes and gain incremental Return on Investment (ROI)
on a consistent basis is a major benefit of automation. The real benefit of
process automation to management is the visibility and control of the business
processes that are achieved. Process automation can activate the process;
orchestrate the people, data, and documents involved in the process; and give
managers visibility into how the process
is operating, where the bottlenecks might be, and highlight possible
improvements. Process automation systems can capture and collect critical key
performance indicators and make that data available to facilitate optimization
of the process. The captured data allows business managers to optimize the
process and feed improvements back into the system automation, thus driving
maximum performance and efficiency across the organization.


Benefits of Process Automation.
There are many benefits to
process automation. Some processes span systems, departments, or even external
business partners. Manual effort, poor hand-offs between departments or
partners, and the general inability to monitor overall progress results is a
significant waste for most processes. Process automation eliminates or
significantly reduces these problems along with a reduction in labor hours,
time span, and increased throughput and Increased
By automating processes that are currently being implemented
manually, individuals can work more efficiently and can take on new or
additional workloads. Process automation allows us to do more with less. You
also create Shorter Cycle Times.
Time is money. By automating processes, they are kept moving, hand-offs are seamless, consistency is assured, and
cycle times to complete the process are shortened. Getting the product or
service to the end user or to market quicker with less cost will result in
significant financial benefits. In
addition Consistent Process
is assured. Consistency comes from having a documented
process that is

understood and followed every time. Process automation
makes the process easy to understand and enforces adherence to the process
steps and time lines. This eliminates missed steps and mistakes often found in
manual processes, resulting in consistent, reliable measures that assist in
making decisions and implementing process improvements.


One of the main benefits of automation is Corporate Governance and Compliance.
Process compliance, regulatory compliance, and corporate governance are ever
increasing in importance. Organizations must demonstrate consistency and show
that effective controls and business monitors are in place to ensure processes
are sound and will provide financial accountability, visibility, and reduce
risk and fraud. Process automation can help your company with compliance issues
surrounding regulations like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Combined Code for
Corporate Governance, Bilanz Reform, HIPAA, ISO and more. Noncompliance or lack
of adequate controls can cost your company big-time. Process automation ensures
your processes are followed as they are laid out. Also having the Ability to Quickly Implement Change is
a another benefit of automated
process that the reliable, consistent information provided can enable management
to recognize the need for change or improvement quickly and implement changes
into effect in a faster and more controlled manner than you could with a manual
process. The ability to change quickly provides an important business advantage
and Improved Customer Service and
Customers are much more satisfied when they receive timely,
top quality products and services. Process automation enables you to build
consistency into your products and services, facilitate continuous improvement,
and get the product or service to your market faster and for less cost creating
Happy Clients who are Repeat Clients.


In today’s competitive business environment where we
are asked to cut costs and do more with less, process improvement and
automation is essential to staying alive and meeting our strategic objectives.
Process automation can facilitate process implementation and improvement,
provide consistency in execution, ensure compliance, and allow us to change in
response to rapidly changing conditions and demands. A good automation system will
provide an easy way to automate processes, coordinate tasks, and move data
between process-players. It will also provide the flexibility and agility to
support an ever changing environment. Are you ready to get and stay ahead of
the competition, move your company to the next level of performance, you owe it
to yourself to “investigate process automation “.


To contact the author:   R.
Jeffrey Moore



Lower costs, motivated
employees, and create happier customers
with Business Process Automation