Why process automation is the new black
There’s a lot of talk about process automation - why?
Process automation drives the success of every organization by ensuring the constant movement of workflow. It’s part of your everyday whether you realize it or not. Take your pay stub - the entire process of working out your salary, calculating tax deductions, adding benefits and direct debiting your pay into your account - is process automation hard at work.
So why is the granting sector still relying on Post-it notes and spreadsheets to track funding calls and payment schedules?
First, let's back up and explain what we mean by 'business process’. Every organization is driven by processes - even grantmaking. You may not use the term ‘process’, but look close enough and you’ll find a set of processes in everything you do - just think of how you manage grant applications. The question is - are your processes automated - and should they be?
Why should grantmakers care?
Repetitive, manual tasks aren’t fun. They’re time consuming and cumbersome. That’s why organizations look to automation to simplify crusty processes in need of a good shake up.
Process automation saves you time and ensures accuracy. It can be applied to any number of processes involving any number of people.
What’s more - automation lets us focus on more important things. By 2025, experts predict automation will take over a third of our roles - and interestingly, 55% of employees feel positively about that, according to a recent study by ADP.
When it comes down to it, a grants management system is really a process automation tool tailored to a grantmaker's key processes. Listening to grantmakers, they tell us that granting can sometimes seem less about impact, and more about staying on top of paper trails. With lots of moving parts, the core functions of managing applications has plenty of opportunities for automation - from tackling heavy admin tasks, to routing the right information to the right people at the right time.
An automated future
It’s only a matter of time before all foundations - with big purse strings and little ones - will be using some form of process automation tool. Never slow to spot efficiency-savings, the private sector has been replacing sluggish processes with automated end-to-end alternatives for years.
Ready for an automation makeover?
Keep in mind that most great process automation solutions will give you the flexibility to streamline your process without having to adapt it to the tool you’re using. Flexibility is a key value that we hang our hat on at SmartSimple, and it’s something we’re (quietly) proud to brag about.
But don’t take our word for it - have a look at the 2016 ‘Consumer’s Guide to Grants Management Systems’ by Idealware for some independent advice. In it, we came out on top in terms of the flexibility we offer, and came second overall.
To review the findings in more detail, have a look at this infographic we created to summarize the results of the report.