To put it simply, a process is streamlined when it is more effective and efficient. Meaning it produces the expected outcome more accurately, with less interruption, and it is easy to understand how it does it.

To streamline a business process, we can use different automation technology and look at it from a different angles:

  • Process automation
  • Task automation
  • Decision automation

Process Automation

As we explained, a fully or partially automated business process can be achieved with the automated process is called Workflow.

A workflow will enable interaction between parties and systems. It ensures people are engaged at the right time to take action and help the workflow to progress.
An automated business process or workflow can be deployed as a REST API, enabling other applications and systems to call into them, pass the information in and receive the results. What is important about workflow is that they may complete in days, weeks, and months. After calling a workflow, it may not be completed straight away or, it is possible for a workflow to go into an intermediate state, waiting for new information from other parties and systems and wait for human tasks to be completed. Once that instance of the workflow receives the required information, it continues from that point and advances.

streamlining business processes

The workflow streamlines the business process to ensure everything happens at the right time in the right order. It can also involve people, so they take action and give input on how to progress.

Task Automation

Another approach is to look at the repetitive tasks that are happening inside a process. Automating these repetitive tasks potentially help to streamline business processes. As part of a business process, people will need to do so many little and bit repetitive tasks. For instance:

  • looking for incoming emails for a specific inbox
  • if the email is about the payment of a customer
    • find out the customer account
    • find the due payment related to the customer
    • update the system about the received payment
    • notify the customer on receiving the payment
    • reconcile the account
    • send an email to an account manager about payment reconciliation

As you see above, these are just high-level tasks, and each of them has more sub-tasks to complete. For example, sending an email requires the sender to:

  • select the right topic and include the invoice payment number
  • select the right email copy for the body, personalize the email
  • attach the account payment confirmation
  • send the email

And if a company processes the invoices of customers using email, then there are so many emails to be processed as part of, let’s say onboarding process ensuring customers have paid the fees.

As you see from the above example, manual tasks automation using Decision Robotics or RPA can streamline the business process by:

  • Reducing the error rates
  • Increasing the response time

Decision Automation

Decision automation helps streamline business processes by automating the decision-making part of the process along the way. Organizations make thousands of business decisions every day that affect their reputation and bottom line. Business decisions such as creditworthiness, product eligibility, credit decision, recommendation, next-best-action (e.g., next-best task), and so on.

By applying decision automation, they can enable straight-through processing (STP), increase efficiency, reduce the complexity of processes and significantly increase the accuracy and consistency of business decisions as you become a more decision-centric organization.

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A Holistic Approach to Streamlining Business Processes

If streamlining your business processes is your goal, you’d need to identify what type of streamlining is closer to what you are looking to achieve. Then you can focus on selecting the required technology; however, many organizations start from one, and they land on the other side of the streamlining activities. This is very natural as everything is related to another in organizations. Therefore an integrated approach that allows you to streamline your business processes in a unified manner will be more appropriate if you look at different use cases of streamlining your business processes.

The Decision-Centric Approach® brings together the people, processes, data, and rules. This approach allows organizations to streamline their business processes by focusing on business decisions with an integrated technology that enables all types of streamlining of business processes.

Last updated January 23rd, 2024 at 09:59 am Published February 24th, 2022 at 10:19 am