Even without the added challenges of Covid-19, many businesses (or individual staff) have been strained and stretched, with ‘not enough time in the day’. But with teams having so much on their plates now that we’re getting back to ‘Business as usual’, how can your organisation become more agile while they juggle all their daily tasks?
The key is taking the monotonous, repetitive tasks out of their hands and giving them to a computer to perform. While the concept of automation isn’t new, the underlying technology and applications have advanced considerably in recent years and are becoming increasingly viable from a financial perspective.
So, what kinds of tasks can you automate? How can these solutions increase agility and improve communication? Keep on reading to find out!
What is automation?
Robotic Process Automation (or RPA for short) is a shorthand for software that follows a strict set of rules to interpret and process data and trigger the desired outcome. This removes boring, everyday tasks from staff, so that they can focus on delivering the best possible service to customers.
For example, one solution we’re currently developing with serval NHS Trusts is a vastly streamlined referrals system.
The number of process and touchpoints between a clinician making an initial referral request to the service user receiving their appointment is far lengthier than you might imagine.
But this way of thinking is equally as appropriate for any business or industry. Even using the example above, you can see how this could be quickly adapted for any procurement or 3rd party ordering workflows to save time.
Or, if focused on improving customer satisfaction scores, businesses could automate quarterly requests for feedback for new customers and automatically run reports and flag low-scoring results for further investigation.
In summary, ANY repeatable administrative task can be automated – it just depends on your imagination and the potential of your IT partner to create bespoke workflows and APIs to ensure all your systems can share data and insight. And we can make that happen.
Get in touch to discover the process within your business that we could help automate.
How does automation increase agility?
Through automation, processes that take days or weeks (especially when information has to be shared across different office or departments) can happen in a matter of minutes. All while guaranteeing accurate information by reducing the chances of human error and instantly sharing information, rather than waiting for it to get to the top of an employee’s ‘to-do’ list.
In these trials, we’re leveraging Microsoft’s Power BI platform to provide a “single source of truth” where data records can be accessed and reported on across disparate systems in real-time for up-to-date visibility on team productivity and efficiency.
But this is only one use-case, and we’re exploring many others where automation can transform the experience for customers, staff or even commercial partners. Automation can free immense amounts of time for staff to then spend on other tasks, or foster better relationships through longer, more in-depth conversations with customers, colleagues and commercial partners.
What do organisations need to consider?
Firstly, what process would you like to automate? A good rule of thumb is ‘If This then That’. In other words, if your tasks have a repeatable outcome based on a decision, the likelihood is that the process can be automated. Multiple conditions can be set, so that for example, the system checks for missing information and adds it from previous records before completing the next step.
There may be hundreds of steps in the entire process and the more decisions or steps in the process, the more potential there is for automation to speed up getting to the final result.
Secondly, there’s capabilities. Depending on the size, talent and experience within your IT team, there’s a good chance that current responsibilities, skill-gaps and budget would prevent you from deploying a solution like this in-house. Which is exactly where BDR can assist.
Get in touch today to see just how much BDR Group could impact your service delivery, communications and enhance the experience for your entire team, partners and customers and ultimately, improving the profitability and long-term viability of your busin