Business Process Automation | 5 mins read

7 Clear Ways to Implement Business Process Automation

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Lauren Christiansen

By Lauren Christiansen

7 Concrete Ways to Implement Process Automation

Does it take way too long for employees to finish a project? Are there frequent bottlenecks that prevent good communication between coworkers? Are employees forced to perform repetitive tasks that take away from their true capabilities? If this sounds familiar, a restaurant or small business may need effective automation software and well-designed business processes.

Business process automation or BPM is critical in an era where artificial intelligence and enterprise-wide automation are the norms. Process automation occurs when a small business replaces manual tasks with a robotic process or automation tools.

In the restaurant industry, automation is particularly important to maintain a competitive edge. From employee onboarding to scheduling to online ordering, automation makes everything easier. It also saves time, enables better resource allocation, and even improves employee morale. Moreover, it gives teams the necessary tools to provide the best customer support and encourage patrons to return.

Read ahead for best practices to implement robotic process automation and automate business processes.

1. Implement Business Process Automation When it is a Good Fit

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Automation will only work for a specific type of business process. The task must be repetitive, time-consuming, and ripe for human error. It should be a task that requires minimal human intervention.

For example, data entry, inventory counts, and taking orders are all good candidates for automation. Automating these types of business processes will minimize waste and remove some of the workload off employees so they can focus on more critical tasks.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

2. Slowly Implement Business Process Automation

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Many restaurants want to implement robotic process automation across the board. In doing so, they create many new problems. Not all tasks should be automated, and some process management software solutions do not align with business needs. Furthermore, a slow iterative approach is much less expensive to implement.

Restaurants are better off looking for one or two manual processes that can easily be replaced with automated tools. For example, scheduling software is relatively easy to use and will not disrupt day-to-day operations during the implementation process.

3. Implement Business Process Automation Internally and Externally

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Some restaurant owners focus too much on internal processes that relate to the supply chain, employees, or themselves. While it is critical to implement business process management internally, it's also important to remember customers.

Social media marketing platforms, Salesforce, and ad platforms are great tools to drive new business and showcase a brand. Workflow software that optimizes project management and improves communication are good ways to improve business activities, internally.

4. Utilize Business Process Automation to Manage Repetitive Tasks

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There are so many simple tasks that take away valuable time and talent that could be spent elsewhere. For example, the Human Resources department has to process payroll every two weeks. If performed manually, they must collect timesheets, calculate any overtime, ensure compliance with FLSA laws, and send out checks. This is time-consuming, meticulous, and ripe for human error.

With automated management software, restaurants can streamline time tracking and payroll processes. This eliminates errors because all data is immediately collected, stored, and reviewed by an automation platform. Most payroll process automation software integrates with time clock software and factors in any state regulations or business rules. When it's time to perform payroll, HR presses a few buttons, and checks are sent out.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

5. Implement Business Process Automation for Small Tasks

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Successful businesses and restaurants are automating business activities that are small and simple. In doing so, they receive a huge payoff. For example, some restaurant chains use Hootsuite to schedule social media posts at peak engagement times. They can maintain a connection with customers and still remove much of the workload required to post multiple times per day.

It only takes a few minutes to download and set up many of these automation tools, and many of them are free. Yet, the rewards in doing so are enormous, particularly for busier restaurant chains.

6. Audit Business Processes That Are Automated

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There's no point in buying an automation tool if there isn't a way to measure its effectiveness. Furthermore, some of the business processes may not be fully optimized, which makes automating them essentially worthless.

Good restaurant owners should regularly review all business processes that need more user input. Most business automation solutions come with reporting and analytics features that can track and measure the performance of processes. Maintaining an audit and tracking the performance of an automation tool is essential to ensure a return on investment.

7. Focus on Core Competencies with Business Process Automation

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What are the primary processes that drive business operations? Restaurants may list inventory management, customer service/ordering, advertising, budgeting, the onboarding process, and more. When it's time to implement business process management, these are the areas to focus on.

Inventory management software, mobile ordering tools, and financial services software will enable restaurants to attract more customers, increase sales, and streamline operations. Other side areas of the business should not be the focus until these core competencies are prioritized.

Key Takeaways of Business Process Automation Implementation

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In conclusion, here is how an aspiring automation business can implement process automation software -

  • Process automation RPA should only occur when it is a good fit. Not all business processes need to be automated. Furthermore, business process automation BPA should be implemented slowly, starting with one or two repetitive tasks.

  • When automating business processes, restaurants should remember to focus on both internal and external activities. They should also replace the most mundane, time-consuming tasks that waste valuable talent and increase costs.

  • It's important to focus on the small tasks when implementing robotic process automation RPA. Automating these small processes will save time, decrease the employee workload, and improve customer engagement.

  • Restaurants should regularly audit all automated business processes to monitor their performance. They should also automate business core competencies before worrying about other side areas of operations.

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