June 20, 2024

What is Automation? FAQs Executives Need to Understand to Revolutionize Business Processes

Automation technology has revolutionized the way businesses operate, streamlining processes and increasing productivity. But what is automation and how can it benefit your organization? Understanding the different types of automation technology and its various uses in the workplace is crucial for driving growth and success. Whether you are looking to improve workflow efficiency, reduce errors in business processes or enhance customer experiences, automation can play a key role in helping you achieve your business goals. 


One of the biggest struggles business leaders face is identifying specific areas where improvements to processes can be made. While automation itself can help simplify processes, it may be hard to know exactly where to start. A baseline understanding of different automation techniques and their impacts can help you decide your best path forward. Below we dig into FAQs and definitions every executive should understand as baseline knowledge of automation.

What is Process Automation?

Process automation involves using technology to automate repetitive tasks and streamline workflows. This can include tasks like repetitive data entry, moving files, processing and reading documents. It can also include common workflows like approvals, creating documents from templates, and communication management.

What is Business Process Automation?

Business process automation (BPA) takes process automation one step further by automating entire business processes from start to finish. This can include complex workflows that involve multiple departments or systems. For example, the business process of purchase approval can have varying levels of automation. It can range from 100% manual to completely automated. An initial purchase request is made over email, the approval is manually recorded in a spreadsheet and the purchase and receipt are manually entered into a payables or reimbursement system. The goal of business process automation is to minimize human involvement in the process to only where a human’s judgment is needed.  While the purchase may require a human to request the purchase and another human to approve or reject it, all other tasks in the process could be automated.

What is Intelligent Automation?

Intelligent automation combines artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning with process automation to create smarter, more adaptive workflows. This type of automation can learn from data inputs, make decisions based on observable patterns or instructions and continuously improve over time. Intelligent automation, while particularly useful for tasks that require some cognitive reasoning or decision-making, still requires human oversight. It’s a powerful tool to augment decisions that are already being made by users so they can make those decisions more efficiently.

What Does an Automation Engineer Do?

Automation engineers first and foremost work with those closest to an issue to understand a potential underlying problem. Problems like: Are we missing sales opportunities because of how we are tracking leads?  Are we losing work from sharing a massive spreadsheet to track quality metrics? Why are we behind on processing vendor invoices?  The automation engineer then uses the tools they are familiar with to design, develop and implement automated systems and processes within an organization in a manner that is scalable and reliable.


There are numerous areas a business can implement automation processes. Take note of the areas in your business where human error, missed steps or other factors impede progress. Below we list several real-world use cases for automation that could help you speed up common practices without sacrificing quality.

What is Accounts Payable Automation?

Accounts payable automation refers to using technology to streamline the invoice processing and payment approval process within an organization. This can include automating tasks such as automated invoice or receipt data entry, approval workflows and automated payment processing. 

How Can Power Automate Streamline Tasks?

Power Automate is a Microsoft tool that allows users to automate repetitive tasks and workflows across a variety of applications and services. With Power Automate, you can create automated workflows that connect different systems, trigger actions based on specific events and streamline data processing. 

An experienced Microsoft Solutions Partner can work with you to set up Power Automate workflows, enabling more streamlined, automated processes for your organization. Removing these minor tasks can free your employees to concentrate on more value-add tasks.

Automation technology offers a wide range of benefits for businesses looking to streamline operations and improve efficiency. By understanding the different types of automation tools available and how they can be applied in various business processes, leadership can make informed decisions on implementing automation solutions within their organizations. Whether it’s automating repetitive tasks, optimizing complex workflows or leveraging AI for smarter decision-making, automation has the potential to revolutionize the way businesses operate in today’s fast-paced digital world.

Anders Technology helps business implement automation processes to reduce manual errors and automate repetitive tasks for more efficient streamlining. Learn more about how automation can improve your business processes, and the associated cost, by requesting a meeting below. 

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