How to Choose a Business Process Automation (BPA) Tool for Your Company

A Primer for Finding the Perfect BPA Tool for Your Organization

Nisha Achuthan

August 5th, 2019 Business Process Automation  

Running a business without process automation is like driving a snazzy Lamborghini on a road riddled with awful potholes–absolute sabotage.

According to McKinsey’s Global Survey conducted in 2018 on workplace automation, 57 percent of respondents say they have initiated, implemented, or scaled process automation efforts in their organizations.

But merely purchasing any business process automation tool won’t help you either. The investment has to be carefully thought through.

To begin with, ask yourself these basic questions about your automation needs:

  • What goals are you hoping to accomplish with a business process automation tool?
  • What are the KPIs you wish to track using the BPA tool?
  • What features are you looking for?
  • Who are the end users? What are their software requirements?
  • What industry regulations does the application need to comply with?

You need to know the internal requirements well before setting out on a mission to find the perfect business process automation tool.

Evaluation criteria for choosing a Business Process Automation (BPA) tool

Visual process modeling

Business process automation tools offer different ways to model processes. Some require professional coding know-how while others use visual process modeling where the user only needs to know the business steps and the system does the structuring. For business users with no coding knowledge, the latter approach is the best fit. What’s more, it also takes the pressure off your IT department.

Form complexity

Business users are best served with intuitive drag-and-drop form builders. When choosing between options, however, it’s important to pick a dynamic form builder that can facilitate both simple and complex workflows. This will prevent chances of outgrowing the BPA tool within a short period of time.

Process complexity

Most processes evolve in terms of complexity at one stage or another. This needs to be considered when choosing a business process automation tool. Applications that can handle workflows with parallel branches and facilitate reasonable flexibility in process mapping will go a long way in automating operations.

Budget and licensing

Budget availability is among the top considerations for technological investments. It’s important to consider what type of licensing option works best for your budget and nature of business. Pick a BPA tool that charges you only for the number of users you actually need. Look out for hidden costs that could surface at a later stage. Ensure that payment schedules suit your finance team’s preferences.

Mobility

BPA tools for modern businesses need to necessarily enable mobility. When organizations are restricted to desktop versions of automation software, approvals are more likely to get delayed and process turnaround time will eventually become longer than expected.

Document management

Given the breakneck speed at which business is conducted today, organizations produce massive amounts of data and documents. When these documents are stored haphazardly, teams can waste precious time merely looking for information they need. Poor document management can also lead to compliance issues and prove costly to companies.

Effortless integration

No BPA tool can operate in a vacuum. The application you choose should be able to integrate easily with other software used by your organization. If it doesn’t, data will have to be manually transferred back and forth between software, increasing the chances of errors and significantly lowering productivity.

Hosting options

Business process automation tools provide a range of hosting options such as on-premise, cloud, or hybrid. Choosing the right option depends on your organization’s specific requirements. For instance, if it is critical to host data locally, on-premise software is your best bet. Similarly, hybrid hosting offers you the combined benefits of cloud and on-premise software. For most businesses, cloud-based hosting is effective and convenient.

Insights

Robust analytics and reporting capabilities are critical for any competent BPA tool. It’s impossible to improve business processes without insights backed by data. Real-time analytics on customizable dashboards can help you track KPIs effortlessly and step in to fix bottlenecks and errors before they derail the process entirely.

In-house capabilities

An important factor to take into consideration while choosing a BPA tool is the skill set of the end users. Choosing a tool that requires BPM expertise will set your teams up for failure if they’re not equipped for it. These scenarios also increase dependence on external experts, ultimately causing more inefficiency rather than boosting productivity.

A compelling solution

If you’re looking for the perfect process automation solution, Kissflow can skyrocket your organizational efficiency with ease. The intuitive, no-coding interface allows you to set up automated processes in as little as 15 minutes. Role-based access control allows you to keep confidential information secure.

Powerful reporting and analytics provides valuable insight to enhance your business processes. As your business grows, Kissflow will scale right alongside the organization.

Sign up for a customizable demo and steer your business to peak efficiency.


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