Business Process Automation: Ultimate Guide

Written by Menno Verbon

Manager @ Logitail | Netsuite ERP & e-Commerce specialist


Business Process Automation: Ultimate Guide

A well-run business is always analyzing business processes and finding ways to make them more efficient. It also searches for ways to review, update, change, replace or eliminate its processes on a regular basis in order to keep business activities across departments in alignment with business goals. This process management relies on accessing, monitoring and analyzing a variety of metrics, and consistently training and updating managers.

What Is Business Process Automation (BPA)?

Business process automation (BPA) is the use of technology to assist with or take over manual, repetitive tasks or processes. BPA can generate major efficiency gains, saving the organization time and money, reduce errors, and increase transparency. This automation can take a number of different forms and is something that can drive results for companies across industries and across all departments within those companies. BPA is most effective when it’s executing mundane, repeatable tasks that are not the best use of your employees’ time or skills.

BPA is distinct from business process management (BPM), which refers to a broader effort to regulate company-wide processes, rather than BPA’s more narrow and task-specific workflows that usually happen on a departmental level. BPA falls within BPM, but it is just one piece of that larger puzzle.

Why Is Business Process Automation Important?

The advantages of using BPA are significant and include:


    • Reducing costs – For example, by increasing efficiencies and reducing payroll and related costs. 
    • Increasing process visibility – Budding problems that you can’t see early tend to grow and get more expensive to address later. 
    • Standardizing processes – Cuts time, effort and money spent on finding information in non-standardized forms and fields; completing tasks, and ensuring compliance with internal requirements and external regulations, among other benefits. 
    • Improving compliance – For example, human error and inequities are reduced, and every process is completed the same way per compliance rules you set. 
    • Simplifying processes – It’s common that processes continue for years and even decades only because “that’s how it was always done.” But new technologies and changes in the business or market may require a more agile way of working—simplifying processes can go far in meeting that goal. 
    • Improving accountability – Accountability is improved through increased visibility and regular reporting, allowing you to see where everything stands and who or what is causing a bottleneck. 
    • Increasing efficiencies – Automation completes tasks faster and with fewer errors than humans, thus reducing queue waits and error resolutions. Only exceptions need to be reviewed by employees. 
    • Decreasing or eliminating human errors – Automation performs the process the same way every time with no deviations or errors. Just be sure to update the process as needed to ensure it’s performing as needed. 
    • Keeping process improvement aligned with corporate goals – The common business mantra is to do more with less. By speeding processes, improving efficiencies, reducing errors, improving compliance and reducing costs such as payroll, BPA enables business process improvements that are closely aligned with the corporation’s goals from improving its competitive edge to staying on budget. 
    • Enabling 24-hour employee- and customer-facing services – Customers and employees often live and work in different time zones. It would be too costly to man a 24/7 office to offer full service in every time zone. Automation is a far more efficient and affordable means of providing service to anyone, anywhere and on their schedule. 

BPA does not only help a company avoid adding headcount at the same rate at which it grows but can augment the work of all employees as well. Employee satisfaction tends to rise with the use of BPA. According to a CIO report, “When employees spend more time on the interesting and rewarding aspects of their jobs, productivity and satisfaction rises and—by extension—so does employee retention.” 

What Business Processes Can Be Automated?

Business processes can be automated according to roles or by specific workflows that are ripe for automation. By simplifying process automation by role, a CEO, CFO, CIO or a line of business manager can more easily automate many of their daily or weekly tasks.

Another way to determine what to automate is related or grouped processes. One example is foundational automation, which is based on best practices a software vendor learns from years of working with businesses in different industries. Other examples include prebuilt reports and pre-configured roles in business intelligence (BI) dashboards and metrics to guide the automation, and intelligent phased implementations which focus on incremental process automations to progress with the least amount of business disruption.


Benefits of Business Process Automation Tools

Business process automation tools make automating tasks simpler, without the need for manual input, to cut operational costs and efficiently use labor resources. They often include templates your team can follow to automate common processes, adding consistency and simplicity.


Schwarz, L. S. (2020, 24 november). Business Process Automation: Ultimate Guide. Oracle NetSuite. Geraadpleegd op 7 maart 2024, van

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