Digital Process Automation, or DPA, is focused on improving the processes that negatively impact the customer experience, produce delays, create errors, negatively impact financials and reporting, and other areas that disrupt “normal” business.
Gartner has identified automation as a critical business need. Fabrizio Biscotti, research vice president, states, “Organizations will require more IT and business process automation as they are forced to accelerate digital transformation plans in a post-COVID-19, digital-first world.”
While Gartner’s comments were meant as broader strokes encompassing various business automation technologies, including robotic process automation (RPA) and even virtual assistants, organizations must stay focused on improving customer experience and optimizing business processes. That’s where digital process automation lives.
It’s likely an area of concentration for you, especially as you review digital transformation initiatives. If you are planning or have already brought Salesforce into the organization, you are making progress. If this is the case, chances are you’ve already identified the need to keep the focus on your customers, improving their interactions with your business, and streamlining or eliminating outdated or unnecessary manual processes.
Digital Process Automation, or DPA, is focused on improving those processes that negatively impact the customer experience, produce delays, create errors, negatively impact financials and reporting, and other areas that disrupt “normal” business. This encompasses everything from proactively acting on sales transactions, reducing decision and approval time, the monotony of filling out the same information on forms, and alerting customers when a field service team member or rep will arrive for an appointment.
As you evaluate automation and digital transformation impact in your business, DPA is a largely unplumbed but potentially fruitful area to examine. But does your organization really need DPA? How do you know? We’ve compiled five potential markers that illustrate if your organization can benefit from digital process automation.
Given that improving the customer experience is one of the main focus areas, it shouldn’t be surprising that unsatisfied customers are one of the signals to a need for DPA. Effectively leveraging DPA comes down to understanding what they are unhappy about and examining the processes that might be causing issues.
While this may include more visibility into inventory numbers, or shorter wait times for talking to customer service, it could also mean automating a process that is transparent to the customer. For example, let’s imagine you manufacture furniture. Whenever a customer orders a cabinet that requires multiple elements - legs, knobs, or even internal hardware - that is shared by a variety of products, an inventory check is performed. Is that check done manually? Are inventory numbers accurate? Are you able to marry re-order information for parts to incoming demand? Each of these may be a pain point in the process that, when automated, improves when and how quickly and effectively customers receive their purchases and impacts satisfaction.
Manual processes are notoriously prone to errors. Yet, many business processes are still tied to a human taking action where an automated process could improve both speed and accuracy. Customer onboarding is a typical example - but let’s remember that for the Human Resources team, “customer” can be a new employee
Forty-five percent of employees say that they have greater trust in their company if they are part of a structured onboarding process. That trust can be quickly destroyed if errors cause problems like late benefits enrollments, lack of equipment on the first day, or problems with payroll. Turnover costs for Millennials alone cost the U.S. economy $30.5 billion annually. Ensuring these “customers” are input into the appropriate systems efficiently and correctly minimizes turnover costs and production disruptions.
DPA might include having new employees enter their data into forms that are then automatically sent to a variety of endpoints - managers for approval of equipment, payroll and benefits providers, HR systems, and so on. Background checks and results could be triggered automatically, and orientation sessions scheduled without back and forth with an HR representative. Removing people from the processes that can be automated will let them re-focus on connecting and helping new employees get started and assimilate quickly.
“If you are looking for help with DPA, Six Consulting has the experience and knowledge you need to get moving forward on the right path.”
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