Process automation seeks to define and optimize business processes to then execute them on a computerized systems architecture. This automation is not limited to the mere execution of automatic activities by computers; it goes beyond, maintaining a wide human intervention and the participation of the different related participants, such as employees, clients and partners.
A Business Process Management System (BPMS) provides the following process integrity controls:
The order of activities is maintained and regulated by BPMS.
The planned activities are guaranteed.
Guarantee of the conditions necessary to close each activity.
Control of chains of responsibility (decision domains)
Control of roles and responsibility.
By automating, we guarantee the execution of the process in its form, faithfully fulfilling it in the way it was intended and eliminating the possibilities of infringing the integrity rules of the process, be it fraud, ignorance or negligence.
The rapid progress of technology can also help save time and solve problems of distance. If at other times these were barriers to the execution of a work, this is no longer true. An automated process allows participants to perform their tasks from virtual workplaces, where employees operate remotely from each other or with management.
Interaction with an automated process is not restricted to one tool or medium only. It is possible to implement a process with interaction through emails, legacy systems, mobile applications (smartphones, PDAs, mobile phones, tablets), portals and web systems.
You can implement a process in Intranet or Extranet environments, allowing the active participation of customers, partners and suppliers and enabling teams or branches to work cooperatively even from a distance.
Another great advantage of automating a business process lies in the simple premise that in cases where human interaction adds little value to the task, these manual activities can be automated, saving time and resources.
The “Calculate Taxes” activity automatically performs an activity that depends on human decision according to a series of predefined rules.
If in a process people need to interact with different systems to accomplish their tasks, it is possible to draw it in such a way that these interactions are done automatically. This generates gains in productivity, since the participants no longer need to manually enter data, reduce the possibility of human error and ensure, through BPMS, the control and treatment of integrations with other systems.
Generate Order via EDI
“Generate Order via EDI” is a system activity that automatically generates an order in the EDI system.
The time spent transferring an activity from one participant to another may also be excessively long. Sometimes it is necessary to take documents physically to someone so that the process can go their way and it is necessary that each person knows the process or at least who is the next person to interact with it. A well-known case of this type of situation are the legal proceedings, which until recently always were between courts in large volumes of printed papers. This exchange of information hands adds great slowness to the process.
In this sense, the automated process saves time and resources because it allows the electronic traffic of documents (or information). Also, the BPMS sends the activity to the next participant virtually immediately, and as it identifies the next participant, people can focus on performing their tasks lessening the need for them to know the process in its entirety.
And the proactivity of an automated process is not limited to passing activities, it also controls the execution times of tasks and executes actions defined when they are not met, without the need for intervention or monitoring.
The activity “Approve Vacation Request” has a defined term. When this deadline expires, BPMS automatically sends another activity reporting the delay.
The automation of a process allows to obtain an enormous amount and variety of indicators extremely useful for the management. They are means that let you know, for example, how long the process is taking, if it stopped, how long it stopped and why it stopped. This is possible because BPMS stores all the information regarding the executions of the process instances.
With this, it is possible to consult the current and historical state of each process or activity, identifying participants, data entered and results obtained in each of the instances.
Example dashboard for monitoring real-time processes
With the tools included in most BPMS, you can extract reports to analyze the information and indicators measured in the execution of the different instances of the process. The consolidation and analysis of this information enables the continuous improvement of these processes, giving the manager the information he needs to do so.
Quality control of a business process is necessarily linked to indicators and these are difficult to obtain. The automation of processes allows them to obtain them in a simplified way compared to the traditional methods, allowing enormous opportunities of measurement and evolution of the business.
Credit: Paulo Capiotti – http://blog.iprocess.com.br/2012/06/beneficios-da-automacao-de-processos/