Business process automation, also known as ‘workflow automation’ is no longer just a fancy term, but a vital component of the digital transformation made by hundreds of thousands of different organizations.The business process automation allows companies to shorten the time of task execution to fractions of a second, thus increasing the involvement of their employees in substantive and creative work, at the same time liberating them from repetitive tasks. As a result, companies increase their margins and gain a competitive advantage.
In this article:
- How to start automating your business?
- Automatization tools;
- Where will process automation bring the most of advantages?
- Examples of automated processes and additional substantive knowledge.
How to start automation in a company?
The first step to automation is to identify the processes that will benefit most from it. Generally speaking, it is necessary to recognize repetitive processes requiring human manual work rather than significant skill or creativity.Once we have identified processes worth automating, they need to be mapped.
Why map processes?
Organizations often deal with processes that are only partially automated. It so happens that just one element of a procedure is documented and the knowledge of what happens next in the process is scattered among various departments that separately carry out different elements of this process.For example, Customer Service talks with the client about their problem and transfers the matter to the technical department. The technical department fixes the defect and then the accounting department corrects the invoice for the broken service. Each of these departments has partial knowledge of the process.
How to map processes?
Mapping is about finding all the procedures and tasks within a process and describing them in one place. The easiest way to do this is to present such a process graphically, i.e. in the form of BPMN 2.0 notation. To do this, a company should gather all personnel involved in the process and with their contribution draw a diagram to show who is involved in and what their tasks and responsibilities are in the process.First, a general overview of the process should be prepared that can later be extended with more detailed steps.
Automation of a mapped process
Once the process is mapped, its automation can begin. If the process turns out to be complex and its tasks are performed by many different employees using multiple systems, certain tools to integrate it all will be required. Such tools are provided by Camunda Platform.
What is Camunda Platform and how does it support automation?
Camunda Platform is a complete technological stack for workflow automation. It contains the necessary tools for both businesses and developers.The BPMN 2.0 standard allows for simple modeling of processes that are understood by businesses, at the same time allowing them to be quickly expanded with more advanced technical aspects.Thanks to Camunda, developers can implement a mapped process that will orchestrate tasks, assign them to employees, combine resources, control communication between them and the order in which the communication takes place.Camunda is a set of tools allowing not only to design processes but also to supervise their effectiveness and optimize their operation. The two main applications used in process design are Modeler and Cawemo.
Camunda Modeler is a desktop application for developers that allows for detailed implementation of automated processes. With this application developers can implement any actions provided for in the process model.
Cawemo is a web application that enables cooperation between a business and developers. The application allows you to build process diagrams, which makes it very important at the stage of mapping where several people work together. Due to the fact that it is a web application, anyone can easily join the collaboration without the need to install additional software.
Main advantages of Camunda Platform:
- Openness to integration with any applications and systems;
- Possibility of integration with an existing application or running as an independent instance;
- Focus on orchestration with resources coming from one place;
- High scalability of the process engine;
- The simplicity of implementation;
- Built-in efficient engine for processing decision tables;
- Accessible tools facilitating cooperation between business and developers;
- Ready-made tools for developers, thanks to which they can implement each action provided for in the process model.
Where will automation bring the greatest benefit?
The greatest benefit will be achieved by automating those processes that are performed relatively often and those in which the most tedious, repetitive tasks are assigned to employees. The following three benefits will then be achieved:
- Employees’ liberation from tedious tasks, allowing them to focus on work that requires their substantive knowledge;
- Faster execution of tasks and shorter cycle time of the process;
- Elimination of the risk of human error.
The most benefits, therefore, will come from the automation of processes in which a large part of the work is related to, for example:
- Rewriting information from documents;
- Data transfer between systems;
- Recurring payments;
- Invoice correctness verification;
- Comparison of data from multiple systems;
- Drafting reports;
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