Blog post

Is it time to rethink how work gets done? What about Business Process Automation?

Combined with a highly competitive and complex digital environment, businesses need to operate faster to stay competitive and relevant. Your business needs to deliver more and faster.

Rethink how work gets done

As today’s customers are becoming increasingly illoyal to specific sales channels, the demand for your business to be present anywhere and everywhere becomes mission-critical. On top of this comes the ever-growing focus on personalization, which is an omnichannel setup that creates a huge demand for consistent content in all touchpoints where the customer meets you.

Combined with a highly competitive and complex digital environment, businesses need to operate faster to stay competitive and relevant. Your business needs to deliver more and faster, but with limited budgets, time, and resources.

And then, unexpected events such as the coronavirus (COVID19) emerge and force businesses to make an instantaneous shift to working remotely in a hugely dynamic external environment, which adds even more complexity to getting the work done. And customer purchase behavior is also changing towards digital channels instead of physical stores.

Many businesses have been facing challenges like:

  • How do I create more omnichannel ready content with less time and resources?
  • How do I provide transparency and accountability, so we keep aligned even in a fully  decentralized work environment?
  • How can I automate repetitive tasks, so our resources are freed up for activities which are creating real value?
  • How can I keep momentum and, at the same time, increase my turnover?

Making the switch from physical sales channels to digital has been on the agenda for most retailers and brands for many, many years, but what used to be a “nice to have” long term project has now due to Covid-19 turned into a concise term “need to have” project. But how do you invest in the right technologies, which will lead the way into a successful recovery?

The world of marketing technology has increased in recent years, and the possibilities are endless. The list of tools to manage omnichannel marketing operations easier, faster, and more efficiently are endless, and it’s easy to get lost. So how do you choose the right workplace technology to overcome the challenges?

At Encode, we are confident that we have the answer to those questions and challenges.

What about business process automation?

Business process automation or BPA means that you use applications or other types of advanced software to execute key processes of your business, and that includes all your marketing activities. This will often be recurring processes or tasks that are quite repetitive and manual.

In that way, resources are freed up from you and your team, so you can focus on demanding, analytical or creative tasks – instead of recurring routine tasks. This means you can produce more because you automate repetitive tasks, so your resources are freed up for activities, which are delivering much higher value. In the end, you will be able to speed up your time to market, lower your overall costs, and keep momentum, even though you are working remotely and thereby gain a competitive edge.

Process automation technology can take care of all your recurring routine tasks, and Business Process Automation is thereby a great way to grow your business.

So what is business process automation?

In general, there is a noticeable overlap between process automation and workflow automation. Working with workflow management is all about mapping and managing the processes associated with, for instance, marketing projects or campaigns – which means this will be a great place to start when you are looking to identify processes to automate.

Business process automation will, in most cases, hold the added value of streamlining and standardizing your operations – meaning your customers will get the same content,  product or service every time and in all channels– which then could lead to increased customer satisfaction and create the basis for true omnichannel marketing.

Additionally, automating your business processes could ease documentation and compliance needs since your automation system will record and log all details of the process being automated.

So what can I automate, and how does business process automation work?

To identify business processes in your organization to automate, take a closer look at processes that fall in some of the following categories:

  • Workflow management processes
  • Content creation and content management processes
  • Processes that require compliance and documentation
  • Repetitive, routine processes
  • Time-sensitive processes
  • Processes that impact other processes
  • Cross-department / -team processes

An example of a concrete business process, which you could automate, is the one connected with translation flows. Here a system could help structure and speed up the entire end to end process management. Another example of a process suitable for partial automation is the approval process of marketing material or campaigns, which often involves several departments (sales, marketing, procurement, management, etc.) and is very labor intensive for all the involved stakeholders and constitutes a significant part of your time to market. Just imagine how much easier life would be if you could reduce the number of approval rounds and involve fewer people in the process.

Want to learn how to get down to just one approval round? Find out in our whitepaper.

Business process automation works by the automation software handling parts of your workflows, for instance, keeping track of how far along in the process your extremely important spring catalog, your summer digital marketing campaign, your Black Friday promotion or similar campaign formats are – and automatically notifying the person next in line when he or she is supposed to engage with the campaign preparations.

For the automation to add the most value, you should analyze your workflows first and map out tasks and the people responsible. This will ensure that you correctly identify all steps that are ideal for automation. After that, you establish the structure and the logic, the automation system will follow.

Finally, after having activated the automation system, you should regularly evaluate and update your processes with new tasks or consider new integration points or apps that could further affect and improve your business processes.

The 5 steps to business process automation:

  1. Analyze and map out the important workflows and associated processes
  2. Identify which processes could be automated
  3. Build the structure or underlying logic in your selected automation system
  4. Start the automation
  5. Continuously evaluate and improve the processes

Read more about workflow optimisation here.

Need help to get started automating your processes?

The value-adding step of process automation could play a big role in keeping your company competitive, but we also know that getting started can seem daunting.

By choosing one of the Encode platforms, you get unique marketing automation technology adapted and implemented based on your needs – but we offer much more than software. We have been in business since 2001, helping companies across a wide range of industries optimize their processes and shorten time to market by executing automation throughout their business.