What is Workflow Automation?
Workflow automation refers to the creation, design, usage, execution, and automation of a series of tasks based on pre-defined business rules. It reroutes and manages tasks so that they are properly connected between persons involved, technologies in use as well as relevant data.
The main aim is to ensure that the right people perform the right tasks at the right time. Workflow automation’s characteristic feature is that emphasis is laid on the replacement of paper-based, time-consuming and expensive manual processes with digital tools.
Workflow automation also means that businesses can standardize work, present business rules, follow regulations, reduce chances of human error, and ensure transparency and accountability in every step of the automated business journey.
Now that you know a little about what workflow automation is, let’s go over the importance of incorporating it into your business functions.
Why is Workflow Automation Important?
1. Increases Productivity and Efficiency
Digitalizing tasks within workflow automation results in increased efficiency of the overall business and boosts productivity. As every task is now defined and roles assigned, the chances of disruption of work are kept at a minimum.
Every task is performed with a set purpose and follows pre-set rules. This speeds up processes that previously required manager intervention.
2. Reduces Errors
The advantage of utilizing workflow automation in business is that the majority of manual labor is replaced by digital labor. This helps prevent discrepancies and errors, while also ensuring accuracy.
Half of the business leaders and employees feel that automation can help reduce manual errors and 38% agree that automated workflows result in better product quality.
3. Saves Time
Digitizing tasks not only reduces chances of deviation and increases productivity, but also reduces time in a process cycl e. Studies show that 70% of business leaders believe they could save up to 30 hours every month with workflow automation, while nearly 80% believe that employees would save 60 hours a month!
Workflow automation speeds up all processes related to task management and quickly completes them all. 42% of business leaders say that tasks get completed faster with process automation than when completed manually. This is vital as time equals money in business.
4. Reduces Cost
Saving on expenditure is the goal for any business or organization and automating workflow helps to a great extent in this process. Workflow automation creates processes that reduce costs.
In fact around a third of business leaders believe that automating tasks would reduce labor costs. Why? Because workflow automation cuts down repetitive tasks and reduces administration, which in turn decreases labor hours and lowers staffing costs.
5. Improves Customer Experience
With workflow automation, there are fewer errors and delays . This means that your products and services are more likely to be of high quality and they are also likely to be delivered on time. Not to mention, automation also helps make tasks within workflows easier, thereby providing a better customer experience .
Now that you know the benefits of having workflow automation, let’s go over some examples of the types of tasks that workflow automation can tackle. Let’s check out some examples of workflow automation.
6 Examples of Workflow Automation!
Workflow automation can help organize documents, document approval workflows , facilitate signing documents, and more. This saves a lot of time and aids in the swift completion of tasks in business.
2. Onboarding New Employees
Workflow automation can help ensure efficient employee onboarding by offering a standardized experience for every hire. It can help speed the process of delivering training materials , HR benefits, employee-related information, and more.
3. Facilitates Invoicing
An apt example of workflow automation is that it can facilitate invoicing. It can help to create and send invoices on a set schedule. Not only this, but it also plays a part in facilitating other accounting and sales-related processes. This aids in freeing staff for tasks that require more skills.
Another example of workflow automation is that it makes responding to customer inquiries and requests easier. This means that the entire business endeavor is made more transparent and visible. With the help of workflow automation, feedback of all forms can be efficiently handled.
5. Human Resources
An example of workflow automation is in human resources. It can help make employee onboarding and offboarding easier. It also helps in handling hiring requests and leave management.
6. Incident Management and Issue Tracking
Automation of tasks enables easy digital tracking of both incidents and issues. Tracking makes management and response to such instances easier and swifter.
Now let’s take a look at the several use cases of workflow automation in different departments!
Use Cases of Workflow Automation in Different Departments
Workflow Automation can be utilized across various departments. Here are some helpful examples to inspire your workflow automation ideas:
Workflow Automation is utilized to a great extent in healthcare. Examples would be generating staff work schedules , on-call rotations, and supporting patient admission , discharge, and transfer. It effectively finishes these tasks so that more time can be dedicated to more important work, like caring for patients.
2. Legal Field
Workflow automation in the legal space can help manage several legal clauses and templates. You can also automate billing, input client information , track contract reviews, and manage case deadlines. What’s more? Using workflow automation software can help create consistency in how your information is created and stored.
3. IT Department
This is a no-brainer. IT departments use automation in all avenues such as software development , data monitoring, data collection, testing code development, service requests, deployment of tests, coding, and so on.
4. Finance Department
Workflow automation is also heavily utilized for different functions in finance departments. It offers real-time integration with ERP systems like SAP and helps create a robust ecosystem for faster accounts payable processes.
It also helps with data entry, accounts approval processes , paid time off requests, salary adjustments, and more.
5. Sales and Marketing
In the sales and marketing departments, workflow automation is used to manage tasks such as branding, campaigns, sales approvals, lead generation , streamlining pricing , discounts, proposals, and more.
Workflow automation makes it easy to collect data of concerned persons and suspects, makes responding to incidents much quicker, and also makes tracking a lot swifter. This ultimately helps in the bigger picture of security in cyberspace .
7. Human Resources
HR departments of all businesses and organizations make great use of workflow automation. It digitizes and simplifies the end-to-end employee onboarding and offboarding process and also speeds up the time of sheet approvals, employee management , and personnel changes.
As workflow automation is in rampant use by all departments and fields these days, a plethora of options will be available for you. This can lead to confusion and indecisiveness when it comes to choosing what will work best for you.
Here are some points you should keep in mind when browsing for workflow automation software!
How does workflow automation work?
It is usually preferable to choose an “all in one” workflow automation system when it comes to handling your processes. Such workflow automation systems can automate both internal and external processes with a more specialized and individualized approach.
While assigning the company sales team specific duties based on rotating prospects is an instance of the internal workflow, marketing campaigns via email and lead generation fall under the category of external workflow.
Workflow automation can assist staff members in saving time and effort on routine chores like sending emails and following up on leads, allowing them to focus on more productive and significant work while also lowering overall costs to the company. Imagine importing contact details into Salesforce or email to lead in Salesforce – automated end to end!
Here is a step-by-step insight on how to get started with workflow automation at your organization.
Step-by-step guide on workflow automation
1. Specify the process
You must comprehend the workflow’s beginning and ending points in order to automate it.
- What starts the process?
- When does the workflow come to an end?
- What are the desired outputs?
2. Determine each participant in the workflow.
Join the dots between both the points of beginning and ending once you’ve determined their locations.
Who participates in the process? Any individual who has access to the material must be identified, even if it is only to review or distribute it.
You must draw attention to the processes, tools, and apps that have an impact on the task, in addition to the individuals involved in the workflow.
For instance, collaborative tools, inboxes that are shared, and databases. Be sure to take into account the workflow’s impact if your organization uses low-code automation or another type of engagement model.
4. List every possible input route.
Workflows may be reliant on data or information from various sources. These could be forms that gather information from such an application or network, such as requests, emails, messages, bots, or data.
5. Be mindful of all handoffs.
Problems frequently arise when a process item or piece of information is transferred. These could result in bottlenecks, follow-ups failing, or items stalling since it’s unclear who really should manage the item next.
6. Make a wish list for automation.
After creating a detailed plan for your process, make a list of the tasks and processes you want to automate.
7. Create the workflow in its future iteration.
You are now prepared to update the workflow using your preferred automation tool. Using a low-code tool like Nanonets will enable you to create the workflow and configure your automated systems using an easy-to-use graphical interface.
8. Examine the future version.
Make careful to test the new process before introducing it to your team to ensure that the output satisfies the desired outcome and there are no problems, such as delays or potential data leaks.
9. Inform your employees.
You must train your employees to utilize the new tool if the flow software you use is unfamiliar to them. If they are accustomed to your system, check to see if they are aware of the stages in the optimized workflow and are comfortable carrying it out.
10. Implement, monitor, and improve.
After approving the newly automated workflow’s deployment with your team, you start the continual task of monitoring and periodically improving the workflow to maintain its precision, effectiveness, and productivity.
How to select the best workflow automation software?
The market is full of workflow automation software. We’ve mentioned the top 5 workflow automation platforms you could use above.
Now, let’s see how to go about selecting the best workflow platform for your organization. Here are some features to look for:
In order to enhance software adoption, you must use a simple and intuitive tool everyone can use. You must ensure that the workflow automation system is easy to use, intuitive and no-code platform like Nanonets. Using a modern user interface no-code platform has multiple benefits as both coders and non-coders will use the platform. This also reduces dependency on coders to create workflows.
Integrations are lifelines for workflow automation as you need to take data from one source and send it over to another. Check for integrations before you make a final decision.
Easy Workflow Builder
Workflow builder will be used to create a workflow. If it’s not intuitive, your team won’t use it. Therefore, in order to realize the full potential of the software, it needs to be easy.
You will process sensitive company data with workflow automation software. In order to prevent fraud, ensure the workflow software provides role-based access. Nanonets provide role-based access to users to reduce the probability of breach or fraud.
For businesses to extend and flourish without allowing anything to slip between the cracks, workflow automation is essential. You can successfully expand your firm without experiencing any growing pains by allowing technology to carry out manual work.
In case you’re looking to automate manual processes, you can try Nanonets. Our expert team can guide you through the entire process and help you every step of the way to begin your workflow automation journey.
Leave a Reply