End-to-End Business Process Automation

End-to-End Business Process Automation

In increasingly competitive globalized markets, customers are usually a scarce resource. In order to win more customers, organisations undertake numerous efforts. Questioning operational processes and creating excellent customer journeys usually boil down to one keyword: processes. Or more specifically: end-to-end business processes. These need to be understood and efficiently designed within the company in order to meet or exceed the growing demands of the market.

Business process management is a sub-discipline of business administration in its own right, but it mostly has global significance for the entire company. The optimization of processes is not a new discipline and has been used for decades as a promising means to increase productivity and profitability. But in our eyes, simple analysis and optimization is not enough: the digitalization and not least the automation of business processes should definitely be included in order to actually realize all the touted benefits of business process management.

Because if processes are already being revised and broken down and responsibilities distributed anyway, this is the perfect time to think about subsequent automation.

Not least for this reason, we include process analysis in all our projects, because automation and efficient business processes go hand in hand.

Against this background, we clarify what end-to-end business processes are in the first place, their importance for companies and explain how the iPaaS application Make can help with integration and automation using our own example process.

Definition: What Are End-to-End Business Processes

End-to-end business processes mean nothing more than a process in the company that begins with the customers or is triggered by them and also ends there again. In between, there are numerous sub-processes that follow each other in time and usually run through the entire company with various departments and positions.

And where there are processes, there is usually room for their analysis and optimization. In the case of end-to-end business processes, optimization can have numerous positive effects because they are usually so all-encompassing and multi-layered:

  • An increase in quality
  • Reduction of variable and/or fixed costs
  • Acceleration of processes
  • Increasing profitability and productivity

Analysis and Optimization of End-to-End Business Processes

In the meantime, a whole field of business sub-areas has developed around business processes, not least business process management. In our eyes, the field of process optimization is often overly complicated and peppered with terms that do not necessarily increase understanding. Nevertheless, the analysis and optimization of business processes is an excellent way to clean up a company and ultimately to create a lean, efficient and automated process.

In the first step, it is usually useful to visualize a process. There are numerous methods for this, such as BPMN, which aim to depict a process, its responsibilities, time sequences and accountabilities. We also frequently experience that large and complex processes in particular can hardly be overviewed by a single person in the company.  

The following questions are usually helpful in the analysis:

  • How is the process structured and which individual steps are necessary?
  • Which staff members carry out the process?
  • Can and is process performance measurement carried out?
  • Who is responsible for the process and its results? (Ownership)
  • Are the processes technologically supported or is this desired?

In the end-to-end business processes, there are usually so-called "touch points" at the beginning, i.e. points of contact with potential customers. These can be very different: Perhaps the person has received an impression of a Google Ad or Facebook Ad of your company or he/she hears about the company from friends and acquaintances. It is important to control all these touch points as well as possible to ensure that customers get the best possible impression of the company.

End-to-end also means that the process ends with the clients. In the following example, this means that after the project is completed, clients are always asked to evaluate the process in order to realize further improvements.

Efficient and optimized processes are not only indispensable in our eyes, but also the first step for their technological implementation and automation. Instead of providing technological support for individual sub-steps of the process, usually stand-alone in individual departments, Make offers the possibility to integrate the entire process across all departments.

Excursus: What Is Make , Explained with an Example

Make is a so-called iPaaS tool. Here, Make has the function of a platform on which individual cloud applications and tools can be linked together. We define a trigger for the process. For example, an email is received with an invoice attached. Make scans the linked email account for this trigger by default.

If such an email is received in the next step, the invoice attached to the email can be automatically transferred to the accounting system, such as Lexoffice. Make thus performs a simple copy and paste task automatically by connecting Microsoft 365 and Lexoffice.

We have provided a more detailed explanation of Make here .

Automation of a Business Process: an Example

We have implemented an end-to-end business process in our own company in such a way that we use Make as a supporting tool from the very beginning and thus create an optimized customer journey.

The process starts with the specific client request, which can come either by phone, email or our website form. Then everyone receives an automated email asking them to make an appointment by phone. The appointment booking is done via a cloud tool that is not only automatically synchronized with the respective staff member's own calendar, but also allows us to send further emails afterwards.

After booking an appointment, another automatic email is sent with preparatory questions for the telephone conversation. In this conversation we clarify the ideas, the reason for contacting us and possible implementation options in a joint project.

If this first conversation leads to a collaboration and a project is opened, Make enables us to create an efficient project process by connecting various cloud tools such as Airtable, Plutio and Microsoft 365, which we use. In this way, we can primarily concentrate on our main activities, the successful implementation of our clients' needs. We spend less time writing emails, submitting documents and files or, in the worst case, copy and paste tasks.

The mere analysis and optimization of end-to-end business processes is already a step in the right direction, but in our eyes, the subsequent technical integration of the process is an important step that is often left out. If a process has already been turned upside down, optimized and simplified, the logical consequence should be to digitalize and automate it at the same time.

Make is particularly suitable for this because the modular view also provides an overview of the process. It looks like this (as an example):

Unterschied zwischen Digitalisierung und Automatisierung
Automate End to End Business Processes with Make

At the latest when partial steps are to be automated on this interface, weak points or even redundant loops within a process quickly become apparent. These must then be eliminated. The advantages of this are virtually self-explanatory:

  • Saving staff time by eliminating redundant, manual process steps
  • Improve customer experiences and customer journeys
  • Increase productivity throughout the organization
  • Saving resources
  • Clear responsibilities

Conclusion: Automating End-to-End Business Processes as a Means to Success

Simplified end-to-end business processes offer numerous advantages for a company. However, they should not stop at their analysis and optimization, but also consider their digitalization and automation as part of business process management. The cloud tool Make is ideally suited for this due to its modular structure and the simple integration of numerous cloud applications. Weaknesses in the process can be identified and eliminated and the automation takes over redundant work and sub-steps, so that the employees have more time for value-adding activities.

We are happy to support you in the analysis and subsequent automation of business processes, explain possibilities and individually address the company processes.

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