Business Process Automation: Where to Start and What to Consider

By Kim Nelson | May 29, 2024

Business Process Automation Where to Start and What to Consider (1)

Utilizing tools and software solutions to help you with business process automation can help propel your business forward.

In today’s competitive business environment, automation is more than just a trend—it’s a necessity. If your business can leverage automation you’ll improve efficiency, reduce costs, and empower your team to focus on higher-value tasks. As a solution architect with extensive experience in implementing Microsoft Dynamics software, I’ve seen firsthand how automation can transform operations. Here’s a guide on how you can start thinking about and examining your own processes for automation opportunities.

Best Practices for Successful Business Process Automation

Here are several key ways you can ensure business process automation works for your organization:

1. Listen to Pain Points

The first step in identifying automation opportunities is to listen to your team's pain points. Common phrases like "I’m always doing this manually" or "It takes me so much time every month" indicate tasks that could benefit from automation.

2. Look for Repetitive Tasks

Tasks that are repetitive and rules-based are prime candidates for automation. It can likely be automated if a task involves the same steps every time or follows specific rules.

3. Analyze High-Volume Processes

High-volume tasks that take up significant time are also good candidates for automation. For example, manually entering thousands of data points can be automated to save time and reduce errors.

4. Identify Manual Data Entry Points

If employees frequently enter data manually, especially when transferring data from one system to another, these tasks can often be automated.

5. Consider Frequency and Complexity

Focus on tasks that are performed frequently and are not overly complex. Tasks performed once every few months may not be worth automating, but daily or weekly tasks are ideal.

Tools for Business Process Automation

Power Automate and Power Apps

Microsoft Power Automate and Power Apps are powerful tools for automating workflows and creating custom applications. They are beneficial for tasks that involve:

  • Triggering actions based on events (e.g., receiving a customer payment).
  • Automating data transfers and updates across systems.


  • Independent Software Vendors may already have a solution that is fully integrated with Microsoft Dynamics 365 that can empower your team
  • If not fully integrated, a custom integration can be created


Your business might already have a separate solution for some business processes not available in Microsoft Dynamics 365, or it might be too risky to disrupt your team by switching. Automating the data flow from the separate solution to Microsoft Dynamics 365 will keep users from inputting data in multiple systems. Many tools can be used for integrations, and your Solution Architect and Technical Architect will choose the best integration tool based on factors like how frequent, how large, and what kind of solution you need to integrate.

Tailored Solutions

More complex automation needs that involve specific calculations or custom processes require a tailored solution. Engaging a business technology firm like Stoneridge can help develop these tailored solutions.

Tips for Successful Business Process Automation

Document and Diagram Processes

Before automating, thoroughly document and diagram the processes you want to automate. This helps you understand the workflow and ensures that nothing is overlooked during implementation.

Consider Performance Impact

For large volumes of transactions, consider the performance impact of automation. Determine whether tasks can be automated in batches during off-peak hours to avoid system slowdowns.

Leverage Integration

Integrate systems to eliminate dual data entry. For example, integrate your e-commerce platform with your ERP system to automate order entries and updates.

Test Thoroughly

Automated processes should be tested thoroughly to ensure they work as expected. Automated testing tools can help maintain accuracy and compliance, especially when systems are updated.

Potential Pitfalls in Business Process Automation and How to Avoid Them

Overlooking Documentation

Skipping documentation can lead to incomplete automation processes. Always document your workflows and requirements to ensure comprehensive automation.

Underestimating Complexity

Not all tasks are suitable for simple automation. Assess the complexity of tasks and determine whether they require custom solutions or simple workflow automation.

Ignoring Performance Issues

Automating high-volume processes without considering performance can lead to system slowdowns. Plan your automation to run during off-peak hours if necessary.

Failing to Involve End-Users

Involve end-users in the automation planning process to ensure the automated solutions meet their needs and address their pain points effectively.

How Stoneridge Software Can Help with Business Process Automation

Stoneridge Software has extensive experience helping businesses implement automation solutions tailored to their unique needs. Our expertise includes:

  • Comprehensive Analysis: We begin by thoroughly understanding your business processes and identifying areas where automation can deliver the most value.
  • Tailored Solutions: Whether utilizing tools like Power Automate or developing custom integrations, we provide solutions that fit your specific requirements.
  • End-to-End Support: From initial planning and documentation to implementation and testing, we will support you through the entire automation journey.
  • Training and Adoption: We ensure your team is well-equipped to use the new automated processes, providing training and support to maximize adoption and effectiveness.

Moving Forward with Business Process Automation

An automation mindset is a powerful weapon that can help you improve efficiency, reduce costs, and make the most of your workforce. By carefully identifying repetitive tasks - ruled-based and high-volume - and deploying the right tools and strategies, your business can successfully leverage the benefits of automation.

If you need assistance on the right approach or support for implementing solutions chat with our experts at Stoneridge Software.

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