How To Measure Business Process Automation for Your Company
You’ve no doubt heard there are many benefits to automating your business processes. If you’ve decided to implement business process automation (BPA) in your company, those benefits likely played a role in that decision.
When switching to process automation, companies have expectations for how that software will improve the company. You expect faster processing, reduced errors, and other improvements in key metrics that you could use to measure success.
In the weeks, months, and years following BPA implementation, you’ll want to be able to report on how well the system matches your expectations. To do that, you’ll need to know how to measure process automation success. You’ll also need to decide what are the most important BPA success metrics to track in your company.
Defining Key BPA Success Metrics
Before you can measure how well business process automation is working in your company, you’ll need to define metrics you’ll use to measure success. This process can begin during your planning and implementation phase. As you decide what you need your new BPA software to do, you can make note of metrics you’ll track to measure how it’s meeting those goals.
If you’ve already implemented BPA software without defining key performance indicators, don’t worry. You can still choose ways to measure the success of your process automation. A good starting point for this is to look back on your plan. Ask yourself: What problems did you want to solve? How will you know whether the software is helping?
Exactly which metrics you measure depends on your industry and your company’s specific goals. Choose a manageable number of metrics that will help you track return on investment, the efficiency of your new software, and other important metrics.
5 Metrics to Track
As already mentioned, exactly which metrics you track will vary depending on your company’s goals and industry. However, there are a few BPA success metrics that most companies will want to track.
- Return on Investment—for this measure, you’re comparing how much the business process cost before versus after implementing BPA software. Remember to factor in elements like processing times and fees. For example, faster processing means lower cost-per-invoice in accounts payable processing and increased accuracy and speed means fewer late fees.
- Efficiency—look at the processes that you use BPA software for. Are they running faster than they were before? Is the turnaround time less than it used to be? BPA software should make the process it’s automating more efficient. If you’re not noticing improvement, you may need to tweak some settings.
- Reliability—this category of success metric is all about consistency and reliability. You want your new BPA system to work consistently, without frequent/unexpected downtime. It should also help make the process more streamlined, consistent, and predictable than it was before.
- Accuracy—many BPA systems include settings that let you customize the software to ensure the process meets your standards for accuracy and compliance. As you measure the success of BPA software, ask if implementing it has reduced errors. These can include errors such as inputting the wrong data or accidental non-compliance with company regulations.
- User satisfaction—you’ll also want to measure how the employees working with the software interact with it. For this metric, you can collect quantitative data such as usage rates and the amount of time that users spend working in the software. You can also collect qualitative data by asking employees for feedback on the software.
How to Use Process Automation Metrics
Tracking BPA success metrics to measure process automation success takes work. It’s well worth the extra effort, though.
Ideally, tracking important metrics makes it possible for stakeholders to see they were right to invest in automating business processes. When everything is working as intended, the metrics you’re tracking will show BPA is improving the efficiency, reliability, and accuracy of everyday business processes. You’ll also be able to show return on investment and demonstrate increased employee satisfaction.
On the other hand, tracking metrics like this also helps you spot if there’s anything related to your BPA implementation that is not working out so well. By tracking key performance indicators, you can catch problems early on and work with your software supplier to fix the problem.
You can also use the metrics you’re tracking to build a case for further automation. Let’s suppose, for example, that your company decided to start by automating the AP department. Metrics that prove automation is a success in AP processing help you make a stronger business case for automating procurement, CapEx, and other departments as well.
BPA Software for Success
If you haven’t yet started automating or want to update your existing system, choosing the right BPA software can lay the groundwork for successfully implementing automation in your company. You’ll want software that helps your company meet automation goals and makes it easy to track the success of your BPA implementation.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re working with a company that will offer customer service support if you find that the software isn’t working out quite as well as you’d hoped. If you’re working with NextProcess, for example, we work closely with you to tweak functionality and customize the software to work with your company. If you have an issue after implementation, just let us know and we’ll help figure it out.
Each software module that NextProcess offers is configurable to work with all major ERP systems. The software modules can stand alone or work together with other modules to provide a suite of solutions to meet your company’s needs. If you’d like to see first-hand how our BPA software can help your business reach your goals for successful automation, contact us today. We’ll be happy to set up a free demo and answer any questions you have.