+44 203 287 0899 info@solvaa.co.uk
Two toy metal robots talking to each other with a yellow background and blue overlay with white text which says ‘The Benefits of Business Process Automation’.
The benefits of business process automation mean that you can work smarter, not harder, which is our mantra and something that is easily achieved using the tools we discuss below.

 

What is business process automation?

 

Business process automation, or BPA, is the use of technology to automate repetitive tasks, which saves time and reduces manual effort.  Most businesses have disparate systems that don’t talk to each other, so data is often rekeyed into different applications.  This is time-consuming, inefficient, manual, and prone to user error.

Using technology to connect the different systems means that data can be passed between them, and tasks can be automatically fired, which saves manual effort and time.  The lack of human intervention means that the people in your organisation can focus on adding value and growing the business rather than dealing with repetitive and manual tasks.

You can automate every area of your business, from financial reporting and bookkeeping to sales and marketing.  The possibilities are endless, and luckily, there are many predefined templates to use to get you started.

What’s more, the automation tools we love best don’t require any coding skills, so you don’t need to hire a developer to use them.  They are simple to configure and include pre-built integrations that link thousands of the most common modern business applications.

 

What are the benefits of business process automation?

1. Reduce errors

The first benefit of business process automation is that once humans are more familiar with a process, they tend to “cut corners” or often accidentally miss out steps from a workflow.  Using automations means that nothing is forgotten, and the same steps in the process are carried out every single time with no errors.

2. Save time

The second benefit is that business process automation saves time, as computers are quicker at performing tasks than relatively slow humans.  This timesaving means that the people in your business have time to concentrate on their core functions rather than the boring, and time-consuming manual tasks.

3. Happier people

Eliminating manual tasks delivers another key benefit – you have a happier and more motivated team!  Nobody likes doing mundane tasks, so your staff will be delighted to concentrate on the creative side of the business, letting technology do the dull bits.

4. Increase profits

One of the most exciting benefits of business process automation as a business owner is the increase in revenue.   Whether you’re saving a few hours per week or many hundreds, this equates to salaries that you are saving.  It means your staff can focus on the aspects of the business which bring in more profits without wasting time on mundane tasks.  They are free to be creative, to provide better customer service, to invest time in growing sales, and to do all the things that technology can’t.

5. Better customer service

Using automations means that you can send more acknowledgments, updates, and thank you emails, thus improving customer service and client retention.  You’ll never forget to send a request for a review, or thank a customer for paying an invoice, or keep a user posted on their support issue again.  These notifications are so easy to configure yet produce massive goodwill for your business.

6. Win more business

Automating processes such as your sales pipeline means that you won’t forget to chase leads, to nudge them, and push them over the line to become a confirmed customer.  Creating email nurture sequences is easy to do and means that you can turn cold leads into paying customers without any manual effort.  Dropped baskets can be followed up and converted into sales using business process automation.

Examples of business process automation

 

The possibilities for business process automation are endless, but here are some examples to get you started:

  1. Automatic file transfers – you can send files from one app to another by creating a workflow automation.
  2. Customer helpdesk – you can create a checklist automatically, and then depending on what the issue is, send it to the right Slack team channel and automatically keep the customer in the loop via email.
  3. Analytics triggers – you can notify your team when a goal has been reached in Google Analytics, saving manual checking of the data and manual creation of the email or Slack notification.
  4. Employee onboarding – this is often a time-consuming process involving many forms, training sessions, and entering data into various systems. Automating the steps involved means that nothing is forgotten, and many man-hours of time can be saved.
  5. Sales cycles – lead management includes a range of touchpoints with client prospects, and if a step is forgotten, then it could mean losing a sale. Automating this workflow not only saves time but has an impact on your bottom line with more sales and increased profit.
  6. Arranging a meeting – rather than emailing back and forth over availability, use a tool like Calendly to invite someone to set up a time which is convenient for them, and then set up email reminders and video conferencing automatically.
  7. Sending invoices – you can eliminate so many bookkeeping processes using automations such as invoice creation. They can be automatically created, sent, and chased for payment.
  8. Expenses – you can automate expense logging from paper and digital receipts using OCR software. This is a process that is ideal for automation as it is typically manual, time-consuming, and laborious.
  9. Posting on social media – you can avoid manual posting on social media by using scheduling tools. However, if you want to save on scheduling app subscription fees, you create an automation to post your scheduled social media from a Google Sheet or Airtable.

To inspire you further, read our blog article about 5 Quick Wins Automating Tasks Using Zapier.

 

What tools can be used for business process automation?

 

There are a few options when choosing a tool to use for business process automation.  We have our favourites, but it’s worth shopping around to see which one works best for your needs, technology stack, and budget.

Zapier

We love using Zapier for business process automation.  It connects over 6,000 apps and has a powerful free version, which allows you to get started and see how easy it is to use. Zapier has a range of built-in tools to help you manipulate data, such as formatting dates, times, text, and numbers.

The paid versions of Zapier allow you to do more, including multi-step processes, access to premium apps, and additional task automations per month.  It is very user friendly, and for each application, it suggests popular integrations, which is really useful for inspiration.

Microsoft Power Automate

Previously called Microsoft Flow, Microsoft Power Automate not surprisingly focuses on Microsoft apps with more options for platforms such as Azure, which are not found elsewhere.  It is not as simple to configure as Zapier but offers powerful options such as For-Each and Do-While functions.  If you are firmly in the Microsoft stable with your tech stack then this could work well for you.  It offers connectors from Google too, but the options are in the hundreds rather than thousands.

There are a number of pricing options, with some automations included free within Office 365.  Paid plans are available per workflow and per user.  There are many pre-built templates to do common tasks such as saving Outlook email attachments to your OneDrive or sending an email when a new item is created in SharePoint.

Make

Make describes itself as ‘the glue of the internet’ and offers a really slick interface that represents steps in the automation as a visual workflow.  It has fewer integrations than Zapier, being in the hundreds rather than thousands, and is also a bit more complex to learn.  This might appeal to more technically-minded users as it can handle more complex functions such as handling multiple records in one process.  This has potential for data conversions, aggregations and other logic which isn’t possible with Zapier.

Like the other tools Make has different price points, from a free option to paid plans, which range from $9 to $299 per month.

We hope you’re inspired by the benefits of business process automation and are ready to start creating your own bespoke workflows automations to supercharge your business!

 

More about Zapier

Zapier is our favourite automation tool, and you can get started really quickly by signing up for their free plan.  There’s so much you can do with it and we have plenty of articles which could spark ideas!

 Read more about how our certified experts use Zapier workflow automations to simplify processes and increase efficiency.

Solvaa is a process and automation consultancy specialising in improving sales, operations and financial administration workflows. We help you to simplify and streamline existing processes, integrate your business tools to make data transfer more efficient and automate manual tasks to increase productivity. We are Zapier Certified Experts, Pipedrive Certified Experts and Xero Certified Advisors. 

Contact us today to discuss how Solvaa can help you simplify, improve and automate all aspects of your business with Zapier to save you time, reduce costs and keep you agile as you grow.

Check out our automation training programme

And finally, if you’re really keen to transform your business using automation, then visit the Solvaa Automation Academy. Our signature training programme, ‘Simple Automation Blueprint: Zero to Hero’ is aimed at anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of business process automation from the experts – a sure-fire way to recession-proof your business.

It’s an 8-week blended learning course with on-demand videos, templates, resources and weekly group coaching sessions. And it’s more than just a Zapier course (although we do show you how to use Zapier like a pro) as you’ll learn about Process Mapping, Business Process Improvement and Business Process Management too – principles that can be applied to other areas of business too! 

Whether you are a complete novice or have been using Zapier for a while, our programme is for you. It’s perfect for individuals and teams in micro, small and medium-sized businesses, including solopreneurs, consultants and freelancers. You’ll have access to our experts and can participate in live calls where you can ask all your burning questions, as well as hands-on workshops to keep you on track with implementing your new skills. We run regular cohorts so there will be an opportunity for everyone to participate.

Our head trainer, Kelly Goss, is a specialist in business systems, process improvement and automation, and one of less than 100 Zapier Certified Experts in the world. Kelly has many years’ experience in optimising systems and processes, and implementing automations for clients and is now passing on her knowledge to students through our trademarked ‘4-Step Solvaa Automation Methodology®‘. 

Find out more via our dedicated Solvaa Automation Academy website.

Related Posts

Blackboard with rainbow coloured arrows pointing right, with word PRODUCTIVITY drawn with chalk

How to be more productive in 2021

Have you thought about what it could mean for your business if you were more productive?  It’s sometimes hard to measure productivity gains, but think about how you could use the time you save by being more efficient in your business. Recently, our chief problem...
A laptop with screen showing software app icons which are flying out of the screen.

How to review your apps and choose the best software for your business

These days, businesses use a wide range of software tools to perform their everyday tasks. Some of them may be very old, desktop or local network legacy systems which are creaking at the seams. Businesses may also use spreadsheets and word processing software to do...
Closeup of a man's hand over a laptop keyboard with a blank blue screen and folder and document icons floating over the screen.

How to boost productivity using Zapier to automate Google Docs

Creating documents is something that most businesses do every day, and it can be a time-consuming, manual task which is prone to error when the text or data is input incorrectly. Copying data from one app to another is so inefficient and the time wasted could be...
Virtual assistant at a work desk facing the camera and smiling with a computer monitor in the foreground.

5 Reasons why Virtual Assistants should learn automation

  When our chief problem solver, Kelly Goss spoke recently at the Practically Perfect PA Virtual Summit, she talked about the wealth of opportunities that automation can bring to Assistants and Online Business Managers.  After transitioning to a remote working...
Cover of the book ‘Automate it With Zapier’ with byline ‘Boost your business productivity using effective workflow automation techniques’ by author Kelly Goss.

Automate It with Zapier Book

Writing a Zapier book was a natural step for our founder, Kelly Goss as she is so passionate about helping business owners increase productivity in their companies.  As a Certified Zapier Expert, Kelly is the perfect person to impart everything she’s learned using...
An image showing spring cleaning for your technology stack.

Spring clean your tech stack: how to review your apps to save money and boost efficiency

As the flowers bloom and the birds chirp, it's time for that annual ritual: spring cleaning. While you're tidying up your physical space, don't forget about your digital domain. Yes, we're talking about your tech stack. The term 'tech stack' refers to the suite of...
Concept of business meeting showing an overhead shot of hands from a group of business people looking at a colourful report and pointing their pens over it.

How business owners can benefit from no-code workflow automation in 2022

Everyone is talking about the no-code revolution and “no-code” is one of 2022’s most common business buzzwords.  But what exactly is “no-code” and how can no-code automations help business owners?   What does no-code workflow automation mean? A no-code solution...
Businessman in a meeting holding a tablet which shows pie charts and bar graphs from a Powerpoint presentation.

What operations processes can be automated?

Your operation is the engine room of your business and automating the processes there can free up valuable time to spend winning more business or serving your customers better. If you’re wondering what operations processes can be automated then we have plenty of...
Grey background with overlaid text which says ‘How to improve business productivity with automation’ with a polaroid-style photo of Kelly Goss and icons below for Spotify, LinkedIn and YouTube.

How to improve business productivity with automation

People often talk about improving business productivity with automation but don’t explain exactly how to do it.  Our founder and Zapier Certified Expert, Kelly Goss, recently appeared as a guest on the Habitz podcast to suggest ways that business owners and members of...
: A laptop and plants on a wooden desk with grey wall, with text overlay saying ‘save contact form submissions in a spreadsheet’.

How to automatically save contact form submissions in a spreadsheet

If you use a form on your website for visitors to contact you then you will usually get their details emailed to you so that you can then respond.  Whilst this works adequately as a lead notification system, what would be more useful is to save contact form...
Everyday man dressed as a superhero with the text Citizen Developer on his chest.

What is a citizen developer and how can they help deliver automation success?

You may have heard the expression "citizen developer" being thrown around a lot recently so we wanted to get some more insight into what one is and whether they should be an integral part of every business. At Solvaa we talk about the concept of "systems and...
Decorative feature image for Solvaa blog post " Boost Your LinkedIn Sales: Streamline your sales process with Surfe and Pipedrive"

Boost Your LinkedIn Sales: Streamline your sales process with Surfe and Pipedrive

LinkedIn sales thrive on effective communication and relationship management. LinkedIn serves as a powerful tool for sales pros to engage with leads and nurture valuable connections, however, it's challenging to get your LinkedIn leads into your CRM in an automated...
Close-up of a woman using a portable credit card reader, holding a receipt which is being printed.

How to automate your sales funnel and win more business

Your sales cycle is one of the most important functions in your business so it's vital that it is efficient so that you can convert more sales and win more business. We have already covered how to automate your marketing tasks so this article concentrates on pushing...
Close-up of a businessman's hand placing the roof on a house made out of building blocks.

How can I use Zapier’s Sub-Zap feature to save time with automation?

One thing we love about Zapier is how it is constantly evolving and introducing new features, like the new Sub-Zap function. Sub-Zap by Zapier is one of the built-in tools which Zapier developed to supplement the functionality that your other business apps provide....

Tools for small businesses: do you need a spreadsheet or a database?

Choosing the right tools for your small business is crucial for both cost and efficiency. As with many areas in life, it's important to choose the right tool for the right job. When it comes to storing and organising data, many people default to using a spreadsheet...
Wooden blocks with black letters spelling MYTHS on a blue background with heading Business Automation above.

Busting Business Automation Myths : We Reveal The Truth

You’ve heard the hype surrounding business automation, but are these claims true? As a small business owner, you're always looking for ways to save time and streamline your operations. It's no secret that automation can be a powerful tool in achieving this goal. In...
Closeup of coins in increasing piles, with someone adding three coins to the biggest pile as a concept to represent earning more money using automation.

How business automation using Zapier can improve your pricing and earn you more money

There's no doubt about it – business automation is a key component to success in today's economy. But what if you could take your business automation to the next level to increase your profits? Zapier is a tool that allows you to connect different applications and...
Image of the Pipedrive mobile app for Solvaa blog post "Optimise Your Sales Journey On-the-Go with Pipedrive’s CRM Mobile App"

Optimise Your Sales Journey On-the-Go with Pipedrive’s CRM Mobile App

In the dynamic world of sales, maintaining connectivity and organisation is paramount for success. Pipedrive's CRM mobile app presents a comprehensive solution, acting as a versatile sales pipeline and lead tracker that empowers businesses of all sizes to effortlessly...
A calculator with some graphs and charts to measure the financial position of a business. A colourful 3D pie chart sits on top of the reports.

How to automate your finance and reporting processes to help your business grow

If your business is growing quickly then it can be tricky to deal with the increased accounting transactions you receive as a result of more sales. On the one hand, this sounds like a lovely problem to have, but if you don't streamline your financial processes then...
Flatlay with notebooks and pens, plant, glasses and text overlay which says ‘Supercharging Productivity With Automation Masterclass’

Free Masterclass: Supercharging Productivity With Automation

  Our Chief Problem Solver, Kelly, recently had the pleasure of speaking at the Practically Perfect virtual summit for assistants, talking all about the tools and technologies which can help VAs, executive and personal assistants to boost efficiency. If you’re a...
Automate ebook

Get our free ebook

Learn about how business process automation with Zapier can help you to run your business on autopilot. The ebook is packed with real-life examples, use cases, and success stories. Whatever kind of business you have, you can use automation to help you work smarter, not harder.

Thanks! Your ebook is on the way.

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares