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4 Types of Processes that are not the Right Candidates for Business Process Automation

So much is being said about Business Process Automation these days. Organisations of all sizes are looking at automation as the future of efficiency and an integral element for laying the foundation of their digital transformation initiatives.

But does Business Process Automation work for any process? Can you simply automate anything and everything and save millions of dollars and hundreds of man hours? While there are many processes where automation works its magic, there are a few where automation doesn’t deliver.

Check out the List of 4 Types of Processes that are not Suited for Automation:

1. Uncommon, Infrequent Processes:

Routine, manual and high-volume processes are perfect for automation. When frequent processes are automated, the results are as expected: resource and time saving, significant productivity improvement and efficiency gains. For instance, automation proves to be a game-changer for a time-consuming, manual data entry process.

On the flip side, automating uncommon, infrequent processes translates into a minimal return for the business. Even if a 5-day process, performed once in two or three months, is reduced to a 5-hour process, the impact on the business is not that substantial.

2. Customer Help Desk

We have all been on that customer service call, which doesn’t seem to end. It is painful to wait and answer random questions to finally get our query resolved. When help support is automated and calls get segregated to be handled by various departments, the process becomes efficient, but it is not effective.

An automated voice doesn’t serve the same purpose as a human taking the call. Long waiting times make customers feel uncared for, and they end up feeling frustrated. The rule of thumb while selecting the process for automation should be not trying to replace humans. Further, a process needs to become both efficient and effective, once automated.

3. Simple Processes

A small process that has five or six steps, requires very few resources and can be executed within 15-20 minutes manually is again not a great choice for automation. If a manual procedure itself is not causing any delay or error, then there is no opportunity to get time-saving and error reduction benefits of automation. For the automation to truly shine and deliver on its promise, the process should be complex or lengthy enough.

4. Unstandardised processes

Automating non-standardised tasks, which require your staff’s thinking capabilities, can be counter-effective. Processes that are creative or are largely dependent on people’s analysis and experience come in this category. For instance, take the example of employee feedback or the exit interview process. Here, the human element is important to talk to employees and understand their viewpoints. Automation doesn’t fit in such places.

Processes that demand human attention and intervention should not be considered for automating as a whole, but parts of the process that will help reduce manual work or improve efficiency can be considered for automation.

When we analyse the list of the processes to automate Vs the ones not to, the list of processes that can be, and should be automated, is much longer.

To know the processes that are suited for automation and get a step-by-step approach to maximising the automation benefits, download the free eBook: “10 Effective Steps to Process Automation Success”.