Advantages of Automating Business Processes: The ROI is Real

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

In my experience, owners of capital projects—no matter what sector they work in—tend to resist a move toward automating tasks.

Why? Because the cost up front can be sizeable, and calculating ROI for automation can be tricky. Often, returns are measured in hours, rather than dollars. But in many ways, time is the most valuable asset of all—especially when that added efficiency means your project managers are freed from performing repetitive, low-skill tasks so they can focus on big-picture priorities.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of automating some business processes in your organization.

Eliminate Bottleneck

Eliminate bottlenecks

If your organization has a construction project management solution but many of your employees avoid using it, you likely have an information bottleneck. Perhaps your software requires project managers to enter breakdowns of project costs and other updates manually, using forms that may be cumbersome and time-consuming. By automating these tasks, you’ll eliminate barriers to adoption and ensure that your entire team has a better relationship with the PMIS (and actually use it regularly).

 

Real-Time Data

Gain access to real-time data

Another advantage of automating business processes is that it gives you instant access to incoming data. Having real-time data in the system yields many rewards, including better forecasting and the ability to run up-to-the-minute analysis that can help you make decisions. While difficult to quantify, these abilities put your organization in a much better place to compete in the modern landscape of data-driven companies.

Free Time

Free up time for project managers

Perhaps most importantly, business process automation is a gift to your project managers. They might spend hours each week on data entry, a task that does not interest them—nor does it maximize their professional skills. Other tasks, such as communicating project status, could be consuming as much as 75–90 percent of a PM’s time, according to a recent study by the Project Management Institute. If you can automate some of these responsibilities, you’ll free up time for PMs to focus on core project goals instead of getting caught in the details.

Evaluating next steps

As you consider adding automation to your PMIS, start by sitting down with your PMs. Ask them these important questions:

  • What inefficiencies do you see in your workflow?
  • Which tasks frustrate you the most and feel like a waste of time?
  • How much time do you spend each week on repetitive tasks such as data entry, creating presentations on project status, and chasing people down to sign documents?

The answers to these and similar questions will reveal your PMs’ pain points. Take notes and bring them to your PMIS provider to find out the up-front cost for automating those tasks. Then, talk with your team about what your organization stands to gain over time if you take steps to automate several types of tasks. Really take time to figure out what inefficiency within your organization is costing you—in dollars and in hours.

After you calculate the return on investment, you’ll be equipped to make the best decision with the budget you have in place.

If e-Builder is your PMIS partner—or if you’re interested in discussing that possibility—reach out to us to chat about business process automation for your organization. We’d love to help you find ways to eliminate inefficiencies and bring your data flow up to speed.