Businesses are continuously looking for ways to streamline processes throughout the production, sales, services, finance, operations, and customer support departments. Of these, some departments may be overburdened with repetitive tasks, while some may be struggling to standardize processes or may even overlook details due to manual processes. This can result in inefficiencies and affect the delivery timelines as well as business profitability.
Automation is one of the key elements to drive business transformation. It empowers businesses to run workflows by connecting applications between departments. With automation, you can not only reduce man-hours but can boost the overall processes to drive a competitive edge. It does not require you to invest in learning difficult technologies or create complex workflows. Instead, you can use simple tools and software that can automate repetitive tasks with certain business logic and data, streamlining the overall processes and increasing efficiency.
How Automation Helps
Regardless of the department, businesses can automate their processes to speed up the workflows and increase productivity. For instance:
1. Customer service department can retrieve data and conversation logs in seconds to escalate issues.
2. Finance department can manage accounts and payables with greater accuracy.
3. HR department can speed up the employee onboarding process.
4. Sales and marketing teams can automate marketing emails and track sales proposals and reports easily.
Automation has something for each function and hence it makes more sense for businesses to implement automation across various functions or departments to connect and streamline the overall enterprise operations, drive better customer engagement, improve compliance, and increase business profitability.
Top Processes to Automate
When it comes to identifying business processes to automate, it is advisable to start with the most common and repetitive workflows that consume more time. On the other hand, even complex workflows that require connected workflows or integration between different apps can be automated.
For businesses that are wondering how and where to start, here are the top processes to automate.
1. Employee Onboarding/Offboarding
This is another important function that businesses can automate. Since employee onboarding and offboarding is a continuous process in big enterprises, it can be automated by integrating HRIS and Active Directory platforms. By automating employee onboarding and offboarding process, businesses can save time to address critical HR processes. Moreover, with faster onboarding and offboarding, businesses can also save on operational costs and can also manage employee access and provisioning with ease.
Recipe: Workday > AD
The integration between Workday and Active Directory can help automate the process of uploading employee data from Workday and managing employee access and provisioning simply by creating tickets in ServiceNow to perform a specific action such as remove employee record, add a new employee in the system, set up user rights, etc. This reduces human error and data duplication, leading to more accurate and faster employee lifecycle management.
2. Order to Cash/Inventory Fulfillment
This is one of the most complex processes since it requires managing customer orders, processing invoices, updating compliance documents, order shipment, and receipt of payment. However, there is no reason that the whole process cannot get automated. Right from generating a sales order in CRM to updating the final payment as well as inventory management in ERP, you can automate everything. In order to cash automation, you can track the complete process, without having to flip between excel sheets, emails, and documents. This enables timely order fulfillment, improved customer experience, and optimized cash flow.
Recipe: NetSuite > Salesforce
With NetSuite and Salesforce integration, you can automate key processes of order to cash cycle along with the recording of opportunities, invoices, account details, and revenue collection. This helps in improved finance reporting and forecasting of future customer requirements.
3. Customer Service Management
Customer service management is another area that can be easily automated to expedite the customer resolution cycle. Right from generating incidents to recording conversations and escalating issues, businesses can manage the entire customer support process in real-time, which leads to efficient customer service management and ultimately customer satisfaction.
Recipe: Salesforce > ServiceNow
With Salesforce and ServiceNow integration, both sales and service teams can access customer information and interactions in real-time. Whenever a new issue is logged into Salesforce, a service ticket gets automatically generated in ServiceNow that alerts the support team to address the customer queries. This leads to faster and better customer service management.
4. Financial Reconciliation
Monitoring of finances and expenses is one of the critical areas for businesses. A minor error in calculating and interpreting financial reports can lead to incorrect insights, leading to wrong decisions. Automating financial reporting and reconciliation can not only help draw correct insights but also help in monitoring budget, transactions, and controlling expenses once it reaches a pre-determined level.
Recipe: Quickbooks > Smartsheet > Outlook Integration
By integrating Quickbooks with Smartsheet, businesses can automatically update financial reports in Smartsheet in response to expenses, credits, and budget recorded in Quickbooks. Further, respective team members can be notified via Outlook to track the finances in real-time and avoid manual errors as well as duplication.
5. Supply Chain Management
Automating order and supply chain processes can help businesses gain better visibility into the movement of goods and expedite order fulfillment. This helps in better planning, execution, and controlling of all the underlying processes to enhance the customer value chain.
Recipe: Magento > Dynamics 365 > ServiceNow
Businesses can automate the order recording in Dynamics 365 as and when a new order is created in the Magento e-commerce platform. This simple integration between Magento, Dynamics 365, and ServiceNow helps trigger the relevant actions right from the receipt of order, recording of order details, payment, till the final shipment, enhancing the complete order and supply chain management process.
6. Lead Management
Sharing leads between partners manually can be time-consuming. By automating this process, businesses can sync their CRM system with partner’s or vendor’s CRM and share leads in real-time. This helps in enhanced visibility and management of leads. It also provides a seamless collaboration of the sales process between partners.
Recipe: Dynamics 365 > Salesforce
Using the right tools, you can integrate CRMs like Dynamics 365 and Salesforce to automate the lead sharing and management process. With this integration, you can record leads in your CRM which can automatically trigger the creation of new leads in the partner CRM sharing the same attributes such as Name, Email, Phone number, etc.
Whether it is a process as simple as recording a contact or generating refund based on items returned by customers which may include complex processes like checking the order details, customer information, raising a return request, and refunding the payment to the customer, automation can help streamline all the workflows, improving efficiency, and productivity. Moreover, automation software and tools can complete these tasks with little or no manual intervention.
There are several tools that can integrate applications and data between departments to automate the connected processes with the use of simple commands and business logic. Connect iPaaS by RoboMQ, is one of its kind tool that can help businesses automate processes with zero coding. It comes with an intuitive UI that can help you get up and running with automation workflows in minutes. Try Connect iPaaS for free.
Remember, regardless of the tool, getting your jobs automated can help you direct your resources and man-hours to critical aspects that require human intelligence. Automation thus truly enhances all the processes unlocking the full potential of businesses.