One of the biggest benefits of an ERP is how much it allows you to automate. With an ERP you can automate many of your most repetitive business processes, saving time and money. When done well, automation reduces the chances of human error, ensures process consistency, improves security, and cuts costs. The best processes to automate are repetitive workflows that are made up of rote tasks. You can automate HR workflows, accounts payable, payroll, and data entry across departments.
However, without proper planning and careful implementation, automation can actually impede productivity and efficiency. Let’s take a look at some common business process automation mistakes and how you can avoid them.
- Lack of communication
One of the most important mistakes to avoid in the business automation process is lack of communication. Throughout the automation process, you need to talk to everyone who will be affected by the change and make sure that you’re all on the same page about what is going to happen and when it’s going to happen. Miscommunication isn’t just frustrating; it also can cause significant delays or errors. For example, if someone isn’t told about the new process, they may continue using the old system, unaware that the data they enter is no longer in the right place.
- Automation before optimization
Automation isn’t the answer to every problem. Before you automate a process, you need to make sure the process is as optimized as possible. You might as well take the opportunity to optimize the process now, while you’re already changing things. For example, maybe you need to remove unnecessary approval steps or interaction with outdated systems. If you automate a sub-par process, you may actually accelerate the rate of failure, increasing the burden on employees instead of lessening it. Optimizing a workflow may include retraining employees or setting up a different approval process, for example.
- Forgetting about user experience
Although your new automated process must work for your business, it must also work for your employees. Just like with any new software, you should solicit user feedback before and after you automate the process—and make sure to incorporate their feedback into the final solution. If the process has a bad user experience, employees will likely either avoid it or use it incorrectly. A bad user experience will take extra time to navigate, negating much of the benefit of business process automation.
- “Set it and forget it”
Although one of the main perks of automation is that you can spend less time considering a process, it is a big mistake to never think about the process again. Every so often, you need to decide whether the process is still functioning at the optimum level. Monitoring the outcomes of each process is important here. In order to discover flaws in the process, you’ll need data. Ultimately, as your company’s needs change over time, your automated processes should be adjusted likewise.
If you’re looking for the right ERP for your business, check out Sage 100, a modern, powerful ERP that can be customized to fit your company’s unique needs. Through Sage 100, you can automate many workflows to save your employees time and boost efficiency, productivity, and profitability throughout your business.
Ready to get started? The experts at ASI have extensive knowledge of best practices surrounding business process automation and ERP implementation. We can help you choose, implement, customize, and integrate your ERP. Contact us today or schedule a free consultation to get started.