BPM and RPA: Two Emerging Tech Tools to Boost Small Business Success

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By using two critical tools, BPM and RPA, small businesses (SMBs) can overcome significant hurdles on the road to success and become market leaders.

Often the bigger the company, the more stubborn they are in their business processes. You may find that this is typically because the business is still generating profits and growing, and so the mindset becomes ‘why fix it if it ain’t broken’.

In other words, trying to change entrenched business processes is a dream of new managers to aspire to, but will quickly be forgotten as they embrace the old ways. But how will businesses claim the top spot if they’re too stubborn to change?

This may sound a bit dark and dismal, but it’s commonplace in large businesses. Making changes also requires resources and planning. Trying to justify these changes to stakeholders will be close to impossible. Why would they risk their current success and possibly ruin their future results? They wouldn’t.

Smaller businesses, however, are uniquely placed with the agility that larger firms lack. When faced with new challenges, such as scaling, funding, etc., SMBs can effectively transform entire processes, which otherwise large bureaucracies would prohibit.

There are many successful examples of SMBs performing transformations by improving their processes and becoming giants if not the leaders of their markets. Some of the biggest companies who successfully toppled the market kings are:

  • PayPal
  • Google
  • Apple
  • YouTube
  • AirbnB
  • Uber

All these companies actually began as something drastically different than what they are today, but their agility as SMBs allowed them to make those changes and pivot their business. Now, they are instantly recognizable and enjoying huge successes.

Two Tools for Success

All small businesses can initiate the use of two specific tools to boost their ability to gain entry and raise their level in nearly any industry.

The first is using Business process management (BPM) tools to improve their processes to be as efficient as possible. The discipline of BPM is used by operations management to:

  • Discover
  • Model
  • Analyze
  • Measure
  • Improve
  • Optimize
  • and Automate processes

BPM doesn’t require that you use all of these methods, but rather a mixture of the required ones. The end goal is that all processes can be predicated and no matter how many forks occur, all conditions have a process in place to ensure success. Only by analyzing the current state of a business and identifying areas of improvement can SMBs hope to be competitive against larger companies.

The last method in the above list is key to the whole operation; automation. How can companies automate tasks?

The Second Tool for Success

Today’s workers are often overloaded with repetitive tasks which, while mundane, are essential to the business process. They are usually labelled as routine, and uninteresting. But, even if outsourced, must still be performed. Some of the most significant drawbacks to these tasks are that they:

  • Are demotivating to employees
  • Are prone to errors
  • Require valuable time

RPA is essentially a digital workforce of bots that can automate repetitive tasks by copying the keystrokes and mouse movements of human workers. These bots will mimic the user and reduce the number of errors and time taken to complete tasks.

This RPA technology enables the regular workforce more time for critical tasks, such as customer interaction and performing crucial responsibilities with more freedom and mental capacity.

There are a limited number of high-end companies offering RPA solutions. Kryon RPA technology is one company that can provide RPA that leverages automation, AI and analytics among its impressive list of technologies.

Combining BPM and RPA

Once a business has performed a successful BPM model to improve its business processes, it can implement and deploy RPA software to automate and enhance precise processes.

Here are some real-life examples of departments that can review their business processes:

  1. Sales In many organizations, the sales team will spend time coordinating with accounts and may require approval at regular intervals. Due to compliance and other regulatory reasons, everything may also need to be logged. RPA allows many of these processes to be automated, such as invoice creation and recording the history of the sales call.
  2. Data Migration Transfering data for restoration, merging systems or creating backups is prone to human error. By automating the tasks, admin hours are saved, as well as removing bottlenecks and delays due to manual processes.
  3. Finance As we mentioned before, creating invoices can be automated, and so can the processing of them. Payrolling is another task that can be automated, as bots can extract data from timesheets and automatically notify the team of any inconsistencies, such as irregular hours or missing days. And once completed, payslips can be created and stored automatically.
  4. Human Resources HR must ensure that all employee information is correct, and all paperwork is logged. Any errors can cause mayhem and even lead to liabilities for the company. Working hand in hand with RPA’s ensures that HR can work error-free.

In just two steps, SMBs can eliminate obsolete business processes and optimize existing ones.

With BPM, SMBs will need to identify which processes to target.

With RPA, they can ensure they automate mundane and repetitive tasks to save money and free up employee time for critical responsibilities and remain competitive.

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About Author

Matt Davidson has a passion for games and online gaming of all sorts--from Pokémon Go to Halo to Warcraft and casino games like blackjack and slots. He also writes about IT and technology in general.

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