Questions to Ask Before Starting Workflow Automation
In today’s fast-paced world, where businesses are filled with employees who have an increasing number of roles to play, it can be difficult to keep up without some form of automation. In many cases, the first step is workflow automation.
It has been around for decades, but as technology advances and more individuals become comfortable with computers and smartphones, new ways to use this technology daily emerge.
While finding a software program that works well or buying a machine for your factory may seem like a simple way to automate some routine tasks at first glance, you need to do a bit more research before moving forward with anything too complicated if you want it done right from the start.
How Workflow Automation is Being Used in the Workplace
Organisations and businesses can use workflow automation to improve processes and employee efficiency.
For example, a company with hundreds or thousands of employees could automate its payroll process with software that would take direct input from an organisation’s accounting software and distribute workers’ paychecks without human processing.
This automation helps provide accuracy in the workplace while reducing manual calculation mistakes.
Another example is if your marketing department sends out monthly newsletters but has many different contacts within different departments who should receive them based on their job title/responsibilities. They could use workflow automation to create customised email templates for specific contacts within the company for each newsletter.
The workflow software would then be able to use an automated process. Each template is customised with the necessary contact information and sends out personalised emails according to your organisation’s setting.
This automation helps to improve efficiency by reducing time spent on manually sending individualised emails and keeping employee mistakes to a minimum because the optimised email templates are personalised precisely how they should be before being sent out.
Does Your Organisation Need Workflow Automation?
If you want to improve business processes or automate tasks at work, there are many places where workflow automation can help streamline efficiency. Evaluate whether workflow automation may benefit your organisation or workplace by asking yourself some of these questions:
- Are employees spending too much time on manual, repetitive tasks?
- Does your organisation have a process that can be improved with automation?
- Are there tasks that need to be completed with high accuracy?
- Would implementing workflow automation save time or money for your business?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, your organisation could benefit from workflow automation. Talk to your team and management about improved processes and begin investigating the different types of software available to help get started.
Why is Workflow Automation Used?
In business, time is money. Automating tasks can help save time and money in several ways:
1. Cost savings
Workflow automation can help reduce or eliminate the need for human intervention in specific tasks, leading to significant cost savings.
For example, if you have a process that requires someone to manually input data into a system, you can automate that process with a software program. This will not only speed up the process but will also eliminate the possibility of human error.
With workflow automation in place, managers and supervisors can have real-time visibility into the status of all tasks and projects in the company. This helps them make better decisions about where to focus their time and ensures that tasks are completed on time.
3. Communication improvements
Workflow automation can help improve communication in several ways, from sending reminders or notifications to employees to sharing important information via templates.
The more employees understand the workflow process for each task they have been assigned, the better they can prioritise and complete their work. In turn, you will get better outcomes from your workflow system.
4. Better customer service
When there is a large influx of work requests coming in every day, it can be difficult for one single person or department to handle everything by themselves.
However, with workflow automation in place, you can assign projects and tasks based on individual employee skill sets and knowledge, making it easier for them to complete the specific tasks they’ve been given.
5. Increased customer engagement
You can proactively reach out to customers and engage them with your business by implementing workflow automation. Examples include automated emails asking if their package has arrived or a reminder that their first payment is due soon on a new subscription service.
This helps increase engagement by building a personalised connection between customers and employees within your organisation.
6. Ridding the redundancies
Another benefit of workflow automation is shedding redundancies in your current process, which takes time away from other, more essential tasks and leads to errors and customer dissatisfaction. By automating these, you can remove redundancies without affecting the final product.
7. Overall product improvement
When you have a well-oiled machine, it’s not just the individual tasks or processes that run more smoothly – the entire company benefits. In the same way, an effective workflow automation system can improve your overall product.
This is because employees can better focus on their specific tasks and knowledge sets, leading to a higher quality product or service.
8. Easier workflow tracking
Finally, with automated workflows in place, it becomes much easier to track the progress of each task and project from beginning to end. This helps ensure that everything is moving along as it should be and allows for better decision-making and improved communication along the way.
Are There Any Differences Between SMB and Enterprise Workflow Automation?
While workflow automation can be used for both small businesses and enterprises, there are some essential differences between these two types of companies that you need to know before jumping into an automation project:
SMB employees aren’t as trained
Smaller companies tend to have fewer processes and workflow systems than larger enterprises do, so it may take more time and effort to automate specific tasks within a smaller company.
This is especially true if your employees aren’t as well-trained or don’t see why it’s necessary – they won’t realise how much time they’re saving by implementing a system like this.
Larger companies need less training
If you’ve got employees already familiar with workflow systems, you should find that it takes very little effort to train them to use the automated system. They may help implement it or suggest ways to work better or be modified.
This also means that if your company is large enough, there’s a good chance you will see the ROI within the first month of using workflow automation.
Are There Any Statistics on Workflow Automation I Should Be Aware of?
Automating your workflows can be an incredibly efficient way to improve productivity and efficiency. However, it’s essential to be aware of the statistics surrounding automated workflows before deciding to automate yours.
According to studies, businesses that automate at least one process see a 54% increase in productivity. Additionally, automated workflows can also help reduce errors by around 88%. With these kinds of statistics in mind, it’s easy to see why automating your workflows can be such a beneficial step.
How to Automate a Workflow Quickly?
If you’re looking to automate a workflow quickly, there are a few steps you can take.
- First, make sure you have a clear idea of the desired outcome of the automation process.
- Once you have a goal in mind, try to find an existing solution or tool that can help you achieve this goal.
- If an existing solution doesn’t exist, consider building one yourself using automation tools and programming languages.
By following these steps, you can streamline the automation process and get your workflows up and running in no time.
Workflow automation can be a beneficial tool for any business looking to improve its organisational efficiency and boost production. As long as you know what steps to take when implementing this type of system, whether your organisation is small or large, you’re sure to see a positive change in productivity and output.