Picking the right automation project: Why your business should automate
Running a business often also involves carrying out mundane and repetitive tasks, which can be very time-consuming. Business process automation (BPA) can help cut down the amount of time spent on such processes.

BPA automates these tasks by directing information to the right person at the right time based on user-defined rules and actions, and aims to help organisations streamline these processes.

BPA is used in various departments for document management, on-boarding processes, data integration, account payable and receivable, among others

Why automate?

  • Automating business processes allows an organisation to reduce labour costs by 30% – 40% while increasing a business’
  • Businesses can leverage the benefits of BPA by shifting focus away from manually carrying out these tedious tasks to creating streamlined or orchestrated workflows, which will effectively and efficiently add business value.

Although automation can be a pivotal and beneficial switch for an organisation, a failed automation can result in many resources being wasted and may prevent organisations from pursuing other beneficial automation projects.

As a result, they will fall behind competitors who embrace automation more consistently and successfully.

Fundamental principles of BPA:

  • To choose the right process to automate, the tasks must be consistent and repetitive throughout the organi Tasks that changes depending on different rules cannot be automated.
  • Understand the difference between humans and computers: 
  • Humans are able to respond to uncertainty quite effectively, while machines and automated technologies are not yet able to deal with unexpected changes.
  • Humans can work with analog and unstructured data, while computers need digital and structured data. This means processes can also be automated if a company has made a successful switched to incorporate digital processes.
  • However, there is a higher chance of making errors when humans carry out repetitive processes, because repetition reduces concentration. Computers are built to perform such repetitive tasks, meaning they are more likely to make trivial mistakes.
  • The process can be automated based on two automation tools: Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation (IA).
  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA): This optionis suitable for rules-based processes, where employees have to follow a set of pre-determined rules to perform a task.
    Between 70% – 80% of repetitive tasks and responsibilities in organisations are rules-based and, therefore, can be automated using an RPA tool.
    If the process is not rules-based and is based on employees’ judgment, try dividing them into smaller sections. Most of these can likely be automated using RPA, as they can then be translated into a rules-based process. RPA is ideal for structured data such as spreadsheets, databases, CSV files, among others.
  • On the other hand, Intelligent Automation (IA) is more suitable for unstructured data. Intelligent automation uses cognitive or artificial intelligence to process non-digital data.
    Artificial intelligence, such as advanced image recognition, is used for digitising non-digital data. Machine learning can further process information from unstructured data such as scanned documents and data that are not a good fit for RPA.


By Victoria Labisi Biodun-Bello, Consultant at Pink Bay


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