What is Workflow Automation? Its Place in Business Processes
What is Workflow Automation? Every process has a workflow to complete it, a defined series of steps and tasks to complete it successfully. Automation is key to productivity and efficiency.
Anyone running an enterprise, commercial or not, in this day and age has heard about workflow automation. It’s an element of business that is becoming increasingly necessary with each passing day.
Automating workflow is an effective solution for streamlining business processes. When implemented correctly, automation can help a company achieve its bottom line efficiently.
Before you consider your options, you should be able to answer the question – what is workflow automation? Business owners and other key players should know more than just the fundamentals. Learn what benefits this system has to your company and how to pick the correct tools.
What is Workflow Automation
Business operations involve a series of tasks, some of them repetitive. Workers have to allocate time and expend energy performing these routine duties. The mundaneness of these activities can make them tedious.
Workflow automation aims to simplify these tasks. Through technology and specific tools, a company can reduce the amount of time and effort it takes to complete these processes. A business has to identify the areas that require automation, then settle on the right applications to use.
Certain criteria can help an enterprise choose when to automate. One vital determinant is the repetitiveness of the task. The more times that you need to repeat an activity to complete a process, the higher the need for automating.
Take customer support emails, for example. Most companies have automated replies for customers when they send emails. You should also check the level of accuracy that a particular task demands. Consider automation in areas that involve a series of tasks.
Benefits to Business
The benefits workflow automation offers is task automation, team allocation, process refinement, accountability, traceability, and centralise data to name a few.
If your company is to apportion a budget for workflow automation, then you should know that to expect in terms of ROI.
With the correct tools, automation boosts efficiency. When you delegate repetitive tasks to the system, you free up time that can go to other vital duties. You also get to rid the business of redundancies. Note that the degree of efficiency depends on the already existing system. A quote from Bill Gates who once said, applying automation to an efficient operation magnifies the efficiency. However, of the automation is on an inefficient operation, it will magnify the inefficiency.
When you have activities that need to be done a certain way every time, automating them reduces the risk of mistakes. Human error is among the sources of wastage in business. Forgetting to include a batch of products in the inventory can have serious consequences. However, if you have technology that handles the inventory, such mistakes are eliminated.
Because the system can repeat the same processes over and over, businesses enjoy consistency. Universal standard operating procedures allow you to maintain the same standards in your services or products.
Who Can Benefit from workflow automation?
Identify and create workflows and document processes for each team member. Make sure everyone knows exactly what part they play in the process. Creating workflows makes everyone aware of what part they are responsible for, with automatic triggers and reminders so tasks are not missed. How many times has a task been missed or an error occured due to workflows?
Liberation from the burden of manual processes in all departments, boost productivity, efficiency, accuracy, and overall task management.
Workflow Automation Process
Identify Repetitive Process to be automated
What do you want to achieve?
Understand how it works and roles within the process.
Perform the workflow process.
How is it working? Can it be refined?
Choosing Workflow Automation Software
Knowing what a company gains from workflow automation is not enough. Learn how to select the right solutions as well. What makes one application better than the next?
User-friendliness is one. The purpose of automation is to make tasks as simple as possible. Therefore, it makes sense that the software should be as well. Stay away from tools that require you to get expensive training.
Decide which features are must-haves in your workflow automation application. Define your requirements so that you can choose the ideal tool. Know what the application should and shouldn’t do to meet your objectives.
Consider the cross-compatibility of the software. It refers to the ability of the application to integrate with the existing tools in your system. Having Zapier integrations so you can easily connects your favorite apps or API compatibility. Ensuring that implementing the automation won’t affect the other services.
Focus on products that offer cloud operability. A majority of companies use cloud services, and workflow automation should be able to integrate seamlessly. Cloud-based tools guarantee a high level of security, scalability and easy accessibility, including remotely.
Workflow automation isn’t going anywhere, but it is evolving, and businesses have to learn to adapt. At its best, automation can elevate a company by enhancing the productivity of workers, increasing revenue and collaboration.