Which Business Processes Are a Must for Automation?

Automation sounds cool and all but there is a way to go about it. And an important step in that journey is choosing what to automate. In other words, organisations need to decide which processes and operations or parts thereof they want to automate. Different organisations have different prerogatives in making that decision. A hiring firm would choose to automate its resume screening process. An insurance company would choose RPA (Robotic Process Automation) for data extraction and claim verification operations. A retail or eCommerce brand would choose to automate selected processes in its inventory management. Likewise, different organisations automate different processes and operations. In this blog, we have highlighted nine business processes that organisations must consider for automation.

9 Business Processes You Must Consider Automating

#1 Inventory Management

Inventory management is one of the foremost business processes that should be considered for automation. As the size and variety of inventory involved increases, the need for automation also intensifies. Even a small grocery store has to deal with hundreds of products and their variants. Keeping track of existing stock and incoming and outgoing inventory is extremely challenging if done manually. Automating also helps in placing reorders which in turn helps to maintain adequate stock levels. Automation lends accuracy to numbers which is necessary to avoid over-investing in inventory. It also enables easy tracking of unsold goods or goods which are nearing their expiry dates for return purposes.

#2 Billing & Checkout Operations

The volume and complexity of billing and checkout operations vary from business to business (or even non-business entities). This complexity in a small retail outlet is minimal. The same process assumes high levels of complexity in hospitals. And if we consider a busy post office, a departmental store or a supermarket, the sheer volume of transactions makes billing and checkout a mammoth process. Automation becomes necessary in such cases. Adding more staff may not be an ideal solution from a costing perspective. Also, the quality of output can get hindered due to excess workload.

#3 Customer Support

Customer support can be divided into two categories in terms of response. The first category comprises basic queries and information which otherwise are easily available on a company’s website or mobile application. The responses required to handle this category could be automated by the use of chatbots, IVRS, FAQ search, and any other suitable solution. Human intervention is not necessary for this category. But sometimes customer queries and grievances are more complicated than basic information-sharing. This is the second response category. Human intervention may be necessary here. By making this categorical distinction, a customer support function can be divided into automation and manual intervention. It helps optimise the strength of the customer support teams. It also makes basic information-sharing with customers speedier and more accurate. Business Process Automation can also be applied for the collection of customer feedback, complaint filing, securing adherence to timelines in resolution, fixing accountability and responsibility, etc. But before this, developing the process SOPs for automation is an essential requirement.

#4 Status Communications

Because businesses carry out transactions with external stakeholders at the operational level, they also need to ensure transparency by revealing the status of those transactions in relevant ways. For example, eCommerce companies let customers offer to reveal the most updated status of their orders. Suppliers may want to know the status of their invoices or if their goods have cleared the QC gate. These kinds of status communications should be automated without any task burden to employees.

#5 Resume Screening

Many large organisations automate some sections of their recruitment process. For example, in recruitment, it makes sense to carry out the resume screening activity using automation especially, during mass hiring drives. Here, we are not talking about recruitment to fill up executive positions or when a few posts have gone vacant. However, automatic resume screening nowadays is available with almost every prominent recruitment software and service websites. Like resume screening, many other areas of a recruitment process could be automated as per requirement. Automation is also to carry out many operations involved in employee onboarding and offboarding.

#6 Leave and Attendance

Again, in large organisations, it gets extremely challenging to manually process leave applications. The reasons are three. Firstly, there can be too many applications for the HR team to handle. Secondly, multiple authorities may be involved in the process who could also be on different floors or in different offices, cities, or even countries. Lastly, automation does it better. Irrespective of the size and scale of the organisation, automation of attendance is now commonplace in business and non-business entities. Automation eliminates the chances of human errors and omissions in making entries on attendance registers. Being in digital form, attendance data could be easily monitored, analysed, or shared by and between concerned departments within an organisation.

#7 Data Analytics

Automation generates data. The data generated during and for the execution of a business process could be used for analytics. This is a tremendous benefit of using process automation. For example, web analytics is used to analyse general user behaviour. It tells companies how visitors are interacting with their websites. This could be in terms of bounce rates, session times, navigation, source, search categories and volumes, geographical assessments, etc. Many meaningful insights are generated from such data. These insights are then used to improve say UX and CX.

#8 Order Management

Robust order management is essential for robust order fulfilment. And how order fulfilment is done speaks volumes of a brand’s or a company’s abilities to fulfil its delivery commitments. This then has repercussions on the quality of experience meted out to clients and customers. By automating order management using the right software platform across process stakeholders, organisations are able to enhance both the speed and accuracy of the delivery of goods and services. It lends transparency which is so important nowadays for external stakeholders like customers, citizens (when availing any public service), and suppliers.

#9 Inter-Departmental Coordination & Communications (Not a process per se but a requirement)

There is hardly any business process that does not involve interaction with another business process. HR must interact with Finance. Finance must interact with Inventory. Inventory must interact with Warehouse. It is this interconnectedness that makes an operational design and structure work. The better these connections are, the better will be the quality of operations. But these connections should not be assumed. It requires a deliberate effort. And this can be done by customising automation/software solutions as per business requirements. BPX is a process consulting enterprise with a team of experienced process and SOP consultants. For any queries on our business process automation consulting services or to speak to one of our process automation consultants, please visit our website and leave us a message.

Author Bio


Nikhil Agarwal

Chief Growth Officer
Nikhil is a calm and composed individual who has a master’s degree in international business and finance from the United Kingdom. Nikhil Agarwal has worked with 300+ companies from various sectors, since 2012, to custom-build SOPs and achieve operational excellence. Nikhil & his team have remarkable success stories of helping companies scale 10X with business process standardization.

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