Business Process Automation – What About the Internal Processes?

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!

Patrick Patton

Patrick Patton

Patrick Patton

I started with Interactive Intelligence in October 2011 as a Pre-Sales Consultant for the Strategic Initiatives Group. In this role I work with companies who are looking for opportunities to utilize process automation tools, and review their current business processes to find those opportunities. Previously, I spent ten years with a Fortune 25 health insurance company and that is where I first encountered Interactive Intelligence in 2008. As the technology Director for an internal sales contact center, I led a team that implemented the Interactive telephony solution. Over the next three years I became very familiar with Interactive Intelligence as a company, their products and many of the employees. I was so impressed with what I had seen that I set a personal goal to find a position within the company. I have over 15 years’ experience in continuous/process improvement, project management, and operations. I am always interested in learning about new technologies and the creative ways companies and people are using them. On a personal note I am a car enthusiast (gearhead), enjoy travelling, and recently have taken up photography as a hobby.