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How to Identify Opportunities for Business Process Automation

With the increasing prevalence of AI and robotics in our daily lives, you’ve probably heard the term business process automation tossed around before. But as a small business owner in the plumbing or HVAC industry, you might wonder if this innovative approach to streamlining processes and workflows is accessible to your business. You might be surprised at just how impactful business process automation (BPA) can be for your company and how many resources are available to help you get started. 


business process automation in plumbing warehouse

What Is Business Process Automation? 

So, what exactly is business process automation? BPA is a rapidly growing trend that involves implementing software to complete or optimize business processes to eliminate or reduce the need for human effort. (1) As automation software becomes more abundant and presents a wider range of customizable solutions for businesses across many industries, more small businesses are turning to BPA to help them reduce costs, leverage the talent of their employees, and take on more customers. 


Business Process Automation (BPA) vs. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

When the topic of automation comes up, you might envision robots performing specific physical tasks within a factory or production setting, but business process automation looks much different in action. Even with robotic process automation (RPA), there aren’t really robots involved — at least not the type you might be imagining. As Chris Huff, chief strategy officer at Kofax, puts it: 

RPA is software that automates rules-based actions performed on a computer. (2)

To break this down further, business process automation involves a top-down look at all processes to assess which tasks and workflows can be automated and which ones require human intervention. From there, software is implemented to complete various steps triggered by employee or customer actions. For example, you may use scheduling software that sends a reminder text or email to your clients after they book an appointment. Robotic process automation is a form of BPA that uses custom-coded bots to complete structured and repetitive tasks, such as invoice processing.


How to Identify Candidates for Business Process Automation

Particularly in skilled labor industries like plumbing and HVAC, artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t going to be replacing your employees anytime soon. What it can do, however, is reduce inefficiencies in various functional areas like sales, customer service, and inventory management. (3) To identify which areas might be good candidates for BPA using AI solutions, you should: 

  • Create Standard Operating Procedures Documents – Standard operating procedures (SOPs) define every step required to carry out specific workflows within your business. SOPs are an important foundation for BPA because they detail clearly defined actions that must take place for any given task. Automation requires specific rules, actions, and parameters to work successfully.
  • Identify Repetitive Tasks – Once you’ve created SOPs for different workflows within your company, you can now easily identify repetitive, manual tasks that would lend themselves well to automation. These are likely the tasks that your employees feel are tedious and frustrating, such as data entry.
  • Find the Right Tools to Carry Out Automation – BPA software is everywhere and new solutions are emerging all the time. This means that effective, proven, and affordable software is within reach to help you take on BPA without a significant buy-in. Many software providers will offer free demos to help you make sure you’re investing in the right features for your company’s needs. 

Related: Best Ways to Streamline a Business: Processes & Workflows


business process automation in plumbing warehouse

Which Business Processes Should You Automate at Your Plumbing or HVAC Business? 

There are many tasks in plumbing and HVAC businesses that lend themselves well to automation. These include:

  • Inventory Management – Use software to track inventory and automatically reorder parts as needed.
  • Appointment Scheduling & Follow-Up – Allow customers to book appointments online or over the phone. Follow up with automatic appointment reminders, post-appointment surveys or review requests, and more.
  • Invoice Generation – Automatically generate invoices when services are completed to save your technicians time on the job site.
  • Lead Nurturing – Close sales for larger projects with automated CRM solutions to help you stay top of mind with customers pursuing non-urgent service and installation needs.
  • Customer Support – Integrate a chatbot into your website to help customers get quick answers to questions or connect to the appropriate customer service professional for further assistance.


Top Business Automation Tools for Plumbers & HVAC Pros

There are numerous industry-specific automation tools for plumbing and HVAC businesses that focus on tasks like scheduling, dispatching, invoicing, customer relationship management, job tracking, and payment processing. (4) Some of the most popular and well-rated automation software solutions in the home services industry are: 

  • Service Titan
  • Housecall Pro
  • Wintac
  • Dataforma
  • Knowify
  • Jobber
  • mHelpDesk
  • Podium 


Why Business Process Automation Is a Must for Every Company

The primary reason most plumbing and HVAC companies invest in BPA solutions is to save time and money. While these are the most obvious benefits to consider, there are also many other perks that make BPA a must for growing your business. (5) BPA can standardize your processes and create a more consistent customer service experience, even as you experience turnover in your staff. It can also reduce errors in tasks like invoicing, payroll, and data entry, where simple mathematical errors can become costly mistakes to fix. You’ll also have greater insight into your business thanks to data tracking, allowing you to run your business with more transparency and accountability. By streamlining your processes, BPA can help you achieve operational excellence and give your company a competitive advantage.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Operational Excellence for Home Services Companies 


Usher Your Business into the Future with P3 Services

If you are weighing the benefits of BPA for your business, chances are you’re seeking ways to scale up your business, streamline your processes, and become a leader in your local market.

With the support and resources of P3 Services, you can reach the next level with your business by providing better service to your customers, increasing your brand visibility, accessing a nationwide pool of experienced technicians, and becoming part of a network of elite service providers under the P3 umbrella.

Learn more about becoming a P3 partner company >> 



  1. Benjamin Babb, What is Business Process Automation? The 2024 Guide
  2. Kevin Casey, How to Explain Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in Plain English
  3.   Brett Farmiloe, Five Strategic Ways to Automate Business Processes,
  4.   Podium, 10 Automation Ideas for Plumbing,
  5. David Luther, 10 Best Practices to Automate Business Processes,