McKinsey reported that nearly 31% of organizations have wholly automated at least one process or operation. Business process automation (BPA) aims to optimize and shorten operational processes and make them more consistent, transparent, and manageable. But what about all the processes that happen in the back office?
Back-office processes are administrative tasks that don't directly generate revenue but are necessary for the smooth running of an organization. They can be time-consuming, repetitive, and rule-based, making them ideal candidates for automation to improve data quality, compliance, efficiency, and agility.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can automate various back-office tasks, from accounts payable and receivable to HR onboarding and payroll. Organizations can achieve significant cost savings and efficiency gains by automating these processes. Continue reading to explore the five hidden benefits of RPA in the back office.
What you gain
1. Improved data quality
If an organization manually inputs data into multiple systems, there is a risk of human error. With automation, organizations can ensure that their back-office systems have entered data accurately and consistently. In addition, automating data entry can help to standardize data formats across different back-office applications. That can make generating reports and analytics that provide insights into back-office processes easier.
2. Increased compliance
Organizations must adhere to various regulations when processing back-office tasks such as payments and invoicing. For example, an organization might need to check that suppliers are registered with the proper authorities before making payments. RPA can automate these compliance checks, reducing the risk of human error and ensuring that back-office processes are compliant.
3. Increased efficiency
Back-office automation can help organizations achieve significant efficiency gains. Automating data entry and invoicing can free up employees' time to focus on more value-added activities. Organizations can also use back-office automation to improve communication and collaboration between different departments, including automating the generation and distribution of reports can help ensure everyone has the most up-to-date information.
4. Improved customer service
The back office is critical in supporting front-office sales and customer service activities. If a customer calls to inquire about an order, the back office will need to retrieve the relevant information from various systems. The process can be time-consuming, and customers may have to wait on hold for a long time. Or, if an organization automates checking customer data against third-party databases, front-line employees can quickly resolve customer queries, improving customer satisfaction.
5. Greater agility
The back office often contains critical data and processes essential to an organization's smooth running; however, these processes can be inflexible and difficult to change. Automating back-office processes can help to increase the agility of organizations. If an organization needs to change how invoices are processed, it can quickly and easily update the relevant back-office automation scripts.
More to come
Automating routine tasks and processes in your back office can improve efficiency, productivity, and customer satisfaction. And with automation technology continuing to evolve, businesses can expect to see even more back-office process automation in the future.