What is Business Process Automation (BPA)

by Ammar Quettawala

Imagine that your employees are more focused on servicing customers and building stronger relationships with your customers, and their time-consuming repetitive tasks are completed automatically without much effort from them. You will have engaged staff and happier customers. Wouldn't you like to be in this situation?

In 1998, Jack Welch said: An organization's ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.

The quote from the celebrated leader of General Electric still holds true, even after 20 years. To stay ahead of competition and be unique, many organisations are taking action to implement their business strategies at a faster pace. This series of articles provides information on business process automation (BPA) and the benefits it brings to an organisation that is constantly facing challenges in this rapidly changing world of innovation and transformation.

WHAT is Business Process Automation?

Business process is a set of related business activities undertaken in a sequence to achieve an organizational goal. Following a business process ensures consistent quality and provides value to the customer. Automating a process means freeing up employees from time-intensive low-skill repetitive tasks, optimising internal resource allocation, and ensuring consistent customer experience.

It is important to align business strategy with processes to evolve and grow. Business process automation enables an organisation to increase productivity, be flexible to respond to the challenges, and be more profitable. Business process automation is no more an after-thought, rather it is one of the primary initiatives that all organisations must implement to stay ahead of the game.

Business process automation can be of multiple types, depending on the complexity.

  • Keeping client records in one central platform and allowing users to access information from the system that is a single source of truth for all departments. This could be a CRM (Creatio, Salesforce, etc.) that is user-friendly and scalable for growth

  • Another type is process automation where organisations automate repetitive, frequent tasks that may involve number of steps. There are number of tools (including CRMs) available that can perform workflow automation as well as support automating new business processes as organisation grows

  • Higher complexity automation may involve integration of multiple applications (including legacy ones) that need to exchange data to complete a process(es)

"Automation of various activities can improve the performance of almost any business process. Beyond enabling reduction in labor costs, automation can raise throughput, increase reliability, and improve quality, among other performance gains."

- Source: McKinsey Global Institute - A future that works: Automation, Employment, and Productivity 

To give this statement from the report a context and show the significance of automation, the following are some of the examples:

  • In a franchise management software solution, automatic monthly franchise compliance reports to franchisor, franchisees, as well as territory development managers, and failure alerts to the affected franchisees

  • Salesperson successfully winning an opportunity and a Proposal, Quote, or an Order to be issued to the customer automatically

  • Frequent monthly (or yearly) renewal invoices to be sent to existing clients

  • Fetching information from an accounting system or an ERP on a defined trigger (e.g specific time, invoice paid)

  • Automating HR applications workflow within an organisation

  • Service ticket created from customer's email, to be routed and assigned to appropriate service team in real-time, sending an email alert to responsible person if the issue is urgent

The next article covers WHY organisations need to implement Business Process Automation. Please feel free to contact us to have a chat on this topic.

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About the author:
Ammar Quettawala is a strong advocate of automation and passionate about helping businesses to create a superior customer experience. He runs a consulting company, QTECX Solutions, that provides implementation and integration services for CRM, Enterprise Application Integration, and Business Process Automation. He has travelled globally and worked with industry leaders in North America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Far East, and Asia Pacific. He also has lived in three countries.

Ammar loves to speak in business forums and conferences. He mentors business owners as well as final-year university students to help them express their uniqueness and stand out as professional individuals. His life mantra is simple: "Be good, do good". Find out more about Ammar on