Business process automation increases efficiency, speed, agility, and accuracy. Automation allows management to make better decisions and solve problems faster due to the availability of reports detailing business processes. The business entity is made more dynamic as it has a competitive edge.
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The business environment has changed from the traditional environment where processes were manual to a level where information and efficiency is an asset to the firm. The result of automation is a dynamically responsive environment in which products and services can be delivered efficiently (Mohapatra, 2009).
Automation generally boosts efficiency as tasks are typically carried out faster compared to manual processes. It most importantly, builds on product and service delivery, which is crucial to customer satisfaction. Bank customers, in particular, require to be attended to in a manner that guarantees consistency, uninterrupted access, and with the last time. Not only do customers benefit from satisfaction, but the bank helps to build on customer confidence.
Automation prevents the possibility of business setbacks, which would otherwise lead to a crisis. For the case of the bank, it is of paramount interest to ensure twenty-four-hour availability of banking services to their customers. Automation provides warnings which ensure the business does not come to a standstill. Furthermore, identification of areas of inefficiency often ensures that timely actions are undertaken and areas of improvement noted.
Automation saves a huge amount of time and effort. Processes are conducted in an efficient manner which ensures timely delivery and convenience. More often than not, the repetition of tasks leads to drudgery and monotony. Automating tasks allows employees to accomplish more activities and undertake more challenging tasks.
This boosts efficiency and general output as business processes are easier to monitor. Monitoring is facilitated through planned audit trails and archiving to shed light on drawbacks and possible bottlenecks within business processes.
The flexibility of the firm is increased through automation, and the ability to respond to changes in the marketplace is increased, thereby allowing them to take advantage of new and emerging opportunities, and in the process grow their customer base. Automation of business applications has been accelerated due to several reasons.
First, computers’ power has grown tremendously, while their prices have dropped, and this makes it easily available to small and big firms. Furthermore, a myriad of business applications ranging from accounting, marketing, finance, human resource, and management information systems have been developed, which has increased variety.
Communication and technological infrastructure, including the adoption of the World Wide Web, has made communication reliable and quick. Lastly, increasing levels of the workforce have become computer literate.
Business applications that deliver automation must satisfy several characteristics, including relevance and completeness. They should be readily available, deliver accuracy, and provide current information to support the decisions being undertaken by the firm.
Failure to deliver accuracy implies that erroneous information will be at the firms’ disposal, and this may lead to making catastrophic decisions. Lastly, it should be economical. In any business setting, the cost of obtaining information and utilizing it must not surpass the cost of acquiring it.
In conclusion, it is every firm’s responsibility to innovate to stay relevant in the markets that they operate. In the banking industry, most banks are now competing on the same platform, including more banking hours, reduced ledger fees, and attractive interest rates.
Business automation will ensure that customer service is improved and therefore, providing the bank with a better competitive edge as compared to other industry participants. Examples of banks who have automated most of their business operations include Barclays and Standard Chartered.
Mohapatra, S. (2009). Business Process Automation. New Delhi, India: PHI Learning.