Why do many Companies never Succeed at Automation? The 10 Burning Mistakes they make and how to Solve them!

December 12, 2020 Published by

We all know the buzzword that Business Process Automation has become. However, its implementation is usually more difficult than we think. If done in the right manner, you can drive growth and efficiency. If not, then all the efforts, investments and time turn up futile. To succeed at automation, you must have a clearly defined goal that aims to weed out the redundancies you have in your workflow.

The first and foremost thing business process automation empowers you to do is to reduce the operations cost immensely. Automation helps you cut hours of manual labour, as well as brings accuracy to every work done. Your competency increases, and you are exposed to more opportunities to innovate.

This is what digital transformation is all about. After all, automation is nothing but a part of this bigger digital transformation dimension of an organization. Latest automation trends only reaffirm the hypothesis that the upcoming years will be dominated by hyperautomation.

Mostly in the financial and insurance industries, automation is projected to be the primary focus of interest. Adoption of automation in banking and other financial sectors, such as insurance, has proved to be of great help in automating everyday tasks, such as:

  • Responding to multiple client queries at once
  • Automating accounts payables / receivables
  • Invoice processing
  • Automating data reconciliation
  • Detection of fraud
  • Fast-tracking HR and Admin processes

– and much more.

 

The 3 most common types of automation that are mostly adopted by enterprises are classified as: ,

1. Fixed automation (Hard Automation)

2. Programmable automation (Soft Automation)

3. Flexible automation.

 

Business Process Automation – The New Path to Business Success

But as companies move ahead in transforming them digitally, challenges arise. Business process automation demands more than just implementing a few tools and software packages. It is about embracing critical business process transformation.

Too often, companies remain contended with adopting certain BPM tools, implementing a bot strategy, deploying AI, but what they miss is, digital process automation, aka, DPA goes beyond the conventional BPM and RPA. DPA is more about an end-to-end approach towards digital transformation, by utilizing intelligent thinking to streamline the business processes and ultimately offer your customers a better user experience.
 

So why is Business Workflow Automation so critical?

Undoubtedly, the advantages of automation are manifold, and it would be an exercise in itself to classify them. But automation can also be problematic, especially when a stakeholder is new to it and attempts to adopt automation for the first time.

Often when companies deploy RPA, or DevOps, cloud Automation, or other ITSM tools, they are faced with a vast pool of issues. And most times, companies make mistakes that culminate in effort loss, data loss, and money loss. However, with discretion and clear strategy, one might avoid such blunders and leverage automation to its fullest.

Let us dig into some of these business process automation mistakes and how to solve them. Keep reading.

 

1. Trying to Automate Processes that are not Systematically Documented

Yes, this is a big mistake that most companies do, in their bid to adopt automation. In simple words, before automating a particular process, proper documentation of that process is extremely vital.

In most BFSI companies, the employees thoroughly know how to do a job, but they cannot put the process down in a document. In fact, documenting a process and performing it are two different things altogether. And when there is no documentation, the automation process is met with chaos and hindrance.

How to fix this?

Before you adopt the tools, take time, and sit with your employees and managers. Try to define the processes clearly, document the sequential order followed, and the desired output. Bring in professionals to do this work, as they know the best practices to document a process.

Documentation must always be done before adopting automation within an organization, decreasing the chance of inconsistent results.

 

2. Adopting Automation to Channels and not the Customer Journey

It cannot be denied that companies these days face tremendous peer pressure to digitally exist, and this pressure sometimes leads to ad hoc actions. Process owners miss the mark and start automating specific channels like call centers and customer support teams, and randomly replace them with chatbots and AI assistants. In the bargain they end up ignoring the entire customer journey.

This random automation results in the development team creating unique logic into each individual channel, where no human intelligence is seen. This often frustrates the customer, and the processes get disconnected as well.

How to fix this?

Do not waste your valuable developmental resources in creating duplicate systems; focus on creating a unique experience for your customer and automate the entire customer journey till the end of the funnel. That way, you can truly offer something new to your customer while also keeping your BPA on track.

 

3. Ignoring the Workflow Strategy

As mentioned above, automation in information technology is simply not just a checklist of processes that must be ticked off, only for the sake of it. Without valid optimization, you might only try to detangle a mesh of wires by grabbing and pulling. This might help initially, but soon these short-lived wins will prove futile.

How to fix this?

One must have a true goal, a legitimate workflow strategy that prioritizes each process. Measure each process on the balance of easiness, efficiency, ROI, and how it affects your business operations.

That way, you may handle the right process at the right time, amplify your ROI, as well as solidify your stature within the niche.

 

4. Having no Business Case

Lacking a strong business case is one of the most notorious BPA blunders organisations commit.

Without fully understanding and estimating the total costs of products and services, as well as the real outcomes of the automated processes, there will not be any real return. The cost and the benefits, when considered together, give a possible ROI figure.

How to fix this?

To genuinely succeed at automation, one must understand what the real benefit over time will be. Never calculate the ROI before thinking through all the technology investments. This can be rather disappointing.

It is normal to purchase advanced automation tools since there are thousands of such tools, each flaunting their USPs. But such an action can kill your ROI ultimately. Instead, define the problem statement and the objectives and pick and choose tools appropriate to these. For instance, you might consider implementing open source technologies that are easy to configure and can easily integrate with your native tools.

 

5. Assuming Enterprise-Wide Scaling Beyond the Proof-of-Concept

Another grave mistake that organisations make is to generalize the proof-of-concept for all processes.

Well, it is undoubtedly a critical fact that a pilot phase, or a POC, is integral to RPA strategy implementation. However, the mistake is made when it is expected that automation can easily be scaled and expanded across the entire company.

Generally, POCs are done within a sandbox environment, where untested codes are isolated, and enterprises gain valuable insights in order to optimize the bots without any prime risk. But it is unfair to assume that the insights gathered from a successful POC can be generalized for all processes.

How to fix this?

This mistake can surely be avoided, especially with a realistic forethought and a centralized perspective. Try to create a centre of excellence that provides a holistic vision of the entire automation journey, and follow up POCs with actual solved problems through targeted RPA deployments.

To obtain a sustainable RPA roadmap, whether for enterprise automation or financial automation, wait for a duration of 9-16 months. This is the period when bot automation is implemented for the selected business processes. Observe the automation journey, and then patiently move on from one process to another.

 

6. Neglecting how Workflow Automation Affects the Team

Never ignore your team and how well they adopt business automation. Once you start seeing visible results, it is quite normal to be enthusiastic about automating your entire operations and start investing more and more.

But once you fail to take your team into account, you run into a bigger problem, i.e., adoption difficulty. If the systems and processes are too complex, or the learning curve is too complicated, your team would likely step back to previous manual practices, putting workflow automation aside. As a result, you incur a huge financial loss, as well as increase the risk of security breach owing to shadow IT.

How to fix this?

Consider how much benefit your teams are reaping from workflow automation. Check if it is solving their problems while reducing costs and labour. Also, do not forget that many employees fear technology and resist any kind of advancements. They do not willingly accept automated changes and their engagement rates become lower.

So, to avoid all these, keep your teams in the loop and consider whether their problems and issues are getting solved through the automation you have implemented.

 

7. Opting for the Wrong Automation Software

Automation success is only received when you are thorough in your research about the software you are about to implement. A wrong tool can make you lose a great deal that is too difficult to replenish. This blunder generally happens when you lack a clear idea of what and how you need to automate, and you end up buying a tool that is not tailored for the purpose.

How to fix this?

Remember, automation is not something that you do once and for all; throughout the entire journey, there will be various tweaks and changes here and there. Hence the tool you choose must be scalable and flexible enough to adapt to these sudden changes.

Consider going for BPMS that helps you model your business processes and automate them without any coding. Robust BPM software not only automates the manual processes, but also makes them more competent, efficient and manageable. Prioritize your software requirements based on your scope and actual needs, and choose a tool that takes your processes to the next level and gives you full control over the process.

 

8. Inadequate Process Testing of the Software Prior to the Launch

Investing in automation just because your peers are doing, or because it is the latest trend, is not a great idea. Do not haste or invest in automation with inadequate testing. This is one of the most burning mistakes that several organizations make. This not only backfires and proves to be incompetent, but is also a downright wrong process.

How to fix this?

After spending a hefty amount of money and resources in RPA implementation, you do not want to deploy the bots without enough testing, based on mere assumptions. Sufficient testing is significantly vital before going live. Thorough testing and analyses root out any probable discrepancies between development and production.

Also, ensure to test as frequently as possible, rather than waiting for the entire development to get completed. Create vigorous test plans with comprehensive use cases that guarantee your bot’s performance exactly how you planned it.

Several companies have engaged in improving efficiency through RPA, yet they make considerable mistakes that can jeopardize the entire process and damaging customer service.

 

9. Lacking Coordination with the IT Team

Your process team and IT team – both are vital players in establishing friction-less workflow automation within your enterprise. What they do can truly be called a team game.

But often, in many automation companies, a major difference arises between the two crucial teams. Lack of co-ordination and collaboration would cost dearly if you are looking for seamless process automation to work in solidarity.

How to fix this?

Your process team and IT team complement each other and must always work in tandem to avoid any kind of business-critical issues, viz, scalability, fault tolerance and security.

This will ensure that the operations team can focus on productivity, leveraging the insights they get out of the process. This is another sure-fire method to succeed at automation, while being in complete harmony.

 

10. Automating Inefficient and Wrong Tasks

This action usually ends up in a big fiasco, startling the entire automation process. No matter how efficient your business processes are, there must be certain tasks that are inherently slow per se.

Automating such tasks will essentially convert them into inefficient yet automated processes, that will serve no definite purpose. This is completely avoidable.

How to fix this?

You cannot leverage the benefits of automation unless your processes are streamlined beforehand. Consider process optimization that can identify and eliminate any duplicate operations.

Developing a process standard for validating and testing processes can help you evaluate the process metrics and reveal the flaws. You can optimize it and then think whether it even requires automation or not.

A successful digital transformation such as this, can accurately make your business processes agile, at the same time breaking down the siloed data within your enterprise.

 

Over To You!

Hands down, workflow automation is a great asset in the current paradigm shift towards digital transformation, especially for the BFSI sector, but only when the performance is flawless. Automation in financial services demands to be 100% error-free to mitigate any kind of financial risks.

The quintessential trait of a business process automation strategy is to reduce manual labour and save time and money. If your strategy is carefully crafted, it can push your business in the right direction for sure.

the intent of listing these mistakes is to help you be aware, so that you can gauge the pitfalls and take a proactive approach to create a business-defined automation roadmap. That way, within a short time, your business can smell success in automation.

At the end of the day, if you do not know where to start, Paramatrix, with its profound knowledge and expertise in technology solutions, can guide you through your digital transformation journey!

Contact us to know more about how Paramatrix Technologies can offer you end-to-end automation solutions with outstanding transparency and efficiency, and help you to succeed at automation.

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