When most companies think about business process automation (BPA), they think about customer-facing or “production” processes. Most companies that I’ve worked with are concerned with improved cycle times, cost reductions for operational areas, improved efficiencies for contact centers, and reduction of manual processes for transactional areas. However there are many other opportunities that your organization can benefit from by looking at internal processes.
One example that comes to mind is the human resources (HR) department. Most HR departments have defined, repeatable processes, such as employee onboarding, employee separation, and employee moves. These are ideal for automation and can lead to significant improvements of cycle times for employee recruiting and onboarding.
Another area of opportunity is any type of approval process. Many internal departments have approval processes that pass around a paper folder or route emails to get approvals for contracts, content changes to documents, and even expenses. By automating these types of internal processes, companies can increase visibility and improve tracking, which in turn can reduce the amount of time needed to receive an approval.
Here are some other internal processes that can benefit from BPA:
- Facilities – Service requests for office moves
- IT/Telephony – Moves, Add/Change requests for telephone or IT services
- Legal – Contract revisions and approvals
- Marketing – Collaboration processes for marketing materials
- Coaching – QA processes for transactional or contact center areas
- Complaints – Managing the tracking and follow-up of complaint processes
- Project Management – Tracking and follow-up of project tasks
I would be very interested to hear what others have done with internal processes in their own organizations. If you need help evaluating which processes may be candidates for automation, here’s a great educational paper to get you started: “A Practical Guide to Automating Key Business Processes.”
I look forward to hearing your ideas!