What Is Process Automation?
Process automation is a methodology that uses software tools to streamline workflows and repeatable business operations. For property teams, automation solutions can streamline processes such as:
- Access control
- Building maintenance
- Visitor management
- Submeter billing
- HVAC services
- Other smart building optimizations
Process Automation Trends to Know
Depending on the requirements, organizations implement process automation through various technologies, which may include Business Process Automation (BPA), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Intelligent Automation (IA) and Machine Learning (ML).
The adoption of different types of automation technologies is expected to grow swiftly over the next few years. In fact:
- The global market for BPA was worth $9.8 billion in 2020. It is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 12.2 % to reach $19.6 billion by 2026.
- The global market for RPA is growing at 20% per year and is expected to reach $5 billion by 2024.
- The global market for AI was worth $51.8 billion in 2020. It is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 36.1 % to reach $641.30 billion by 2028.
In this article, we’ll review the subtle differences between BPA and RPA and explain the various benefits of process automation to different businesses.
Business Process Automation vs. Robotic Process Automation
Though BPA and RPA are often used interchangeably, they have distinct meanings, purposes, and use cases. Here are the basic differences between BPA and RPA:
|Definition||BPA is an end-to-end automation solution that streamlines complex business processes at the workplace.||RPA is a robotic automation tool that streamlines rule-based tasks within a specific business process.|
|Integration||It completely overhauls the existing systems to streamline workflows. BPA solutions need to be integrated into existing data systems or connected to application programming interfaces (APIs) for seamless functioning.||It works along with the existing systems and does not disrupt existing operating processes.|
|Implementation Time||Its implementation may take a couple of months or longer.||Its implementation may take up to a couple of weeks.|
What is BPA Used For?
BPA is used to make business processes more efficient through automated workflows, process mapping, process intelligence, and digital transformation (eliminating paper-based processes).
The typical use cases of BPA across various departments are:
- Employee onboarding and offboarding
- Payroll processing and accounts payable
- Routine human resources processes
- Some financial services
- Back-office operations like lead management and inventory tracking
- Procurement and supplier management.
- Contracts management.
What is RPA Used For?
RPA is used to reduce the concerns with the speed and consistency of business processes through software robots that emulate human actions.
The typical use cases of RPA software across various processes are:
- Replying to emails regarding.
- Extracting and migrating data.
- Customer onboarding for improved customer experience
- Updating CRM scoreboards.
- Improved customer satisfaction with the help of bots
Benefits of Process Automation
Businesses implement automation solutions to reduce operational costs, meet compliance standards, improve return on investment, eliminate data reporting guesswork and streamline workflows. Let’s take an in-depth look at a few of these benefits below.
Digital transformation enables an organization to move from analog/paper documents to digital processes. Process automation is an integral part of digital transformation. It makes use of automation tools powered by AI to streamline business processes and create a digital workspace.
A digital workspace created through process automation can enhance employee experience and empower them to become more productive.
The most relevant part of digital transformation for Genea is in our Overtime HVAC and Submeter Billing software. Each of these allow tenants to reduce the paperwork in their processes:
- Overtime HVAC: Instead of filling out work orders days in advance, tenants can request Overtime HVAC service with their smartphones.
- Submeter Billing: Instead of filling out spreadsheets of manual meter reads, teams can use an app to record each read.
Additionally, AI-enabled building access control and video technology may help security personnel quickly identify threats with better accuracy and improve the security of buildings significantly.
Return on Investment
Intelligent automation technologies can help organizations achieve increased productivity and cost reduction. Intelligent automation can cut down the business process costs by up to 40% on average. According to Deloitte, automation can increase the revenue of an organization by reducing customer churn through accurate payment processing, one-to-one personalized marketing, and micro-segmentation of target markets.
McKinsey also reports that automation can improve the bottom line of an organization by automating over 30% of the sales-related activities, including customer outreach, lead generation, lead qualification, and customer follow-ups.
An AI-powered building automation system can help property management and security companies reduce the costs of maintaining a building by:
- Giving real-time alerts to concerned authorities when an emergency arises.
- Providing real-time data about energy usage, occupancy, and traffic within the building.
- Proactively scheduling maintenance activities.
- Reducing the threat of criminal activities.
Enhancing the workforce capacity is key to the scalability of an organization. Organizations should be optimizing the capabilities of the existing workforce rather than onboarding new employees to create a scalable working environment.
The role of Business Process Management (BPM) tools in a scalable business environment is to reduce the number of workers required to manage the growth. The automation powered by software robots may relieve employees from repetitive and exhaustive tasks and improve the workforce capacity of organizations by 27%.
Did you know organizations that experience non-compliance problems lose around $14.82 million every year in the form of penalties, business disruptions, productivity loss, and revenue loss?
Today, businesses should meet the compliance regulations like Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Process automation enables organizations to automate complex and time-consuming compliance procedures, eliminating the need for manual interference. Within the IT department, process automation tools can improve compliance by restricting unauthorized access to data through automated reporting and granular process monitoring.
For example, to meet security compliance standards, IT teams may need to change server administration passwords every 90 days. By implementing process automation software, the organization can automate this time-consuming task without any manual interference and meet compliance standards.
Meeting compliance standards in the COVID-19 pandemic has become a major headache for both residential and commercial buildings. The building maintenance teams may need to record the details of people entering into the building and track their movements on the premises.
A touchless visitor management platform may help building maintenance teams meet the compliance standards by automating the workflow that comprises activities such as guest pre-registration, filling custom health questionnaires, and generation of QR code virtual key.
Manual workflows are time-consuming. Over 40% of the workforce spends at least 10 hours a week on repetitive tasks triggered by manual workflows. These tasks may include data collection, data entry, approvals, and updates.
Not surprisingly, over 66% of the workforce in a recent survey believed that automation can eliminate human errors and improve the productivity of the organization.
Therefore, the biggest opportunity for process automation is to streamline workflows in such a way as to recover hours lost due to repetitive and manual tasks that could be automated.
Additionally, manual workflows often lead to human errors that cost organizations large amounts of money. Standardized workflows created with the help of low-code automation tools can help businesses reduce simple human errors.
Many property teams are streamlining their workflows by adopting integrated access control systems powered by AI and ML technologies.
Some companies are taking a step further by integrating their access control systems with building automation systems to create a workflow that automatically kickstarts HVAC heating/cooling when somebody accesses the premises.
Automate with Genea
Process automation can be a game-changer for organizations. It streamlines time-consuming processes, helps with decision-making, and plays a crucial role in the digital transformation of the business.
Automation helps property management and security teams streamline workflows related to building security, reduce costs of building maintenance and improve the dwelling experience for people.
Learn how Genea can help automate and streamline your workflows.