Business process automation is becoming increasingly important in today’s fast-paced and competitive world. It allows businesses to streamline their operations, save time and resources, and ultimately increase their efficiency and profitability.
In this article, we will look at three real-life case studies of automation solutions that Grassroots IT has recently implemented for our clients. One key point that I would like you to take away from these case studies is that in many cases the most impactful automations are small and simple, such as automating a weekly report, or shifting a paper-based process to a digital form.
Redefining Staff Onboarding: How Automation Transformed a Complex Process
With over 600 staff across Australia, our client already had a comprehensive employee onboarding process for each new hire. Unfortunately, due to the complex and comprehensive nature of this process, it was proving to be a burden on staff to execute, and difficult to track, resulting in inconsistent quality and increasingly long processing times.
The project began by reviewing and understanding the existing manual process, identifying which business systems were involved, and who owned the process at various stages. From this an automated solution was designed and implemented, fully automating the onboarding of new staff members across multiple functions and business systems.
Starting with the initial request being logged by the Human Resources department, the new process not only automatically creates and configures all necessary user accounts but engages staff in other departments to complete necessary actions and provide additional information as required. The process culminates by emailing a welcome pack to the new employee with important information to help get them settled.
Not only is the new automated process on track to dramatically reduce processing times from days to just minutes, but also improve consistency and greatly reduce the risk of errors.
Automated Awareness: Powering Up Training Attendance Through Scheduled Updates
Surfacing the right information to the right people can sometimes be as simple as sending an automated report. In this case study our client maintains a list of scheduled training events in SharePoint but was finding that even though the information was readily accessible, many staff remained unaware of upcoming training opportunities. This was resulting in low attendance at events and misinformed frustration amongst staff at the apparent lack of training opportunities.
To address this concern, our client wanted to send a weekly email to all staff with the latest information on scheduled events. Our automation team was able to use Power Automate to automatically generate and send a weekly report to all staff, pulling information directly from the SharePoint list, and formatted to the client’s specification. This not only saved time for staff who were previously manually communicating the events schedule, but also increased awareness of training opportunities among employees.
From Paper to Power Apps: Automating Traveler Identification for Accuracy and Efficiency
Our Australian-based client often found themselves needing to collect identification details from international travellers, requiring a manual process of completing paper-based forms and photocopying identification documents such as international drivers’ licenses and passports. Not only was the process clumsy and inefficient, but it also exposed the business to potential errors and compliance issues.
To improve this process, our automation team developed a mobile application using Microsoft PowerApps that allows staff to collect customer identification details directly on their phones or tablets while meeting with the traveller. The app not only collects customer information, but also captures photographs of passports and licenses along with a digital copy of the customer’s signature. All confidential information is stored securely in the Microsoft cloud and is only accessible by authorised personnel.
Overall, the new automated app has greatly improved efficiency, reduced errors, and increased security of the confidential information our client collects.
As you can see from these three examples, automation doesn’t have to be complex to make a big impact on business processes. In fact, a great place to start is by asking these two questions:
- What forms do we fill out on paper?
- What things do we do over and over again?
By identifying areas where manual tasks can be automated, you can save time and resources, increase efficiency, and ultimately improve your bottom line. If you would like to explore ideas for process automation, contact us today.