Take a moment to think about the benefits of workflow automation. Is your organisation working at maximum efficiency or is there some room for improvement? Are projects carried out in an orderly fashion or is the average day punctuated with confusion and mistakes? These are some of the indications that your current office technology is not providing the most effective solutions.
In other words, you can improve existing levels of workflow automation to always ensure streamlined operations. Understanding the advantages of this approach begins by appreciating its basic principles. What is workflow automation for business? What are some of its main features? It helps to establish answers to these straightforward questions before moving on to discuss the finer points.
A Quick Look at the Fundamentals of Workflow Automation
One core tenet of workflow automation involves replacing the legacy techniques of manual and paper-based processes with more efficient digital alternatives. The ultimate goal of efficiency requires engaging the appropriate employees with the most relevant tasks at the right times. Other goals include the elimination of common errors, the ability to quickly share information and ensuring superior levels of accountability during every stage of a project.
Our strategy outlines the stages which define the workflow automation solution:
- Establishing and monitoring automatic processes
It is a strategy that is intended to encompass a host of in-house issues. From developing robust e-commerce website solutions to proactively monitor the progress of a specific task, a workflow automation platform is designed to provide businesses with the right information at the right times. Let us take an in-depth look at some of the other advantages of this approach.
What are the Benefits of Workflow Automation?
Any type of automated management system is ultimately valued by the advantages that it can provide within a fast-paced business setting. Here, we highlight some of the benefits of workflow automation. We will understand why organisations of all sizes are choosing to implement automated workflow management software. The points below should serve to cement this observation.
A Reduction in the Number and Severity of Errors
It’s true that mistakes can and will occur from time to time within a busy office environment. The main takeaway point though is that automated workflow systems are designed to minimise their frequency and mitigate their impact. If an error is indeed made, it can be identified and corrected in a timely fashion. There are two benefits associated with this scenario.
First, it is much less likely that the business will suffer any type of downtime and ongoing operations will not be jeopardised.
Secondly, quickly detecting any mistakes will help to guarantee that similar errors will not be made in the future.
Workflow Automation Tools Foster In-House Connectivity
The efficiency of any office can be improved when communications between stakeholders are clear at any given time. This is more relevant when we remember that standard IT infrastructure dealing with equally challenging tasks has become increasingly complex. Modern workflow solutions supervise the dissemination of data between multiple parties within a centralised platform. This often reduces the number of applications that need to be accessed to complete a specific task. Once data is pooled in such a manner, it can be easily examined, interpreted, manipulated, and shared when appropriate.
In other words, this type of automation helps employees and management communicate with one another. We can now begin to appreciate why workflow automation tools are sometimes referred to as teamwork partners.
Higher Levels of Productivity
Another beneficial side effect of dedicated workflow automation tools involves their ability to enhance in-house productivity. Here are some of the pitfalls associated with outdated approaches to workflow management. Do they sound familiar?
- Updating information (such as customer contact details) may require a significant amount of time.
- Pipeline management can be confusing and no longer efficient.
- Employees may be forced to tackle decidedly redundant tasks.
- Poor communications between management and team leaders might occur regularly.
- Approving certain data sets could represent a time-consuming process (leading to embarrassing project delays).
One of the principal benefits of workflow automation is that employees will be able to devote their time to more essential and relevant tasks. Examples include marketing, product development, client engagement, and analysing the progress of a specific advertising strategy.
Reducing the Number of Manual Tasks
Redundant tasks and wasted time represent a concern within the modern office environment. To put this observation into perspective, recent studies suggest that a staggering $5 trillion a year is lost due to repetitive tasks within the workplace. It is therefore clear that more efficient approaches are required.
Workflow automation software helps to eliminate redundant activities, providing much more targeted and relevant solutions at the appropriate times. Pre-defined rules can be created to expedite the completion of a project. CRM workflow automation techniques improve client relations. Tasks can be quickly delegated to the appropriate professionals. The discrete stages of a project can likewise be tracked; allowing managers to determine whether target margins are being met. These advantages would hardly be possible when using legacy and/or otherwise outdated systems.
The Ability to Multitask
Multitasking is almost always a requirement within the modern office and yet, problems can be encountered if efforts are not focused on the right direction. Here are some examples of the multiple responsibilities that management faces regularly:
- The onboarding and training of new employees.
- Analysing and approving upcoming projects.
- Addressing content marketing needs.
- Invoicing, billing and similar payroll concerns.
- Monitoring ongoing expenditures to ensure that the business remains within a certain budget.
- Covering annual leave, absences and meetings
In the past, multiple tools and applications may have been required to stay on top of these concerns. Mistakes would have inevitably occurred. Open-source workflow automation bundles now offer a top-down sense of control. Workers can therefore tackle multiple tasks while enjoying superior levels of insight and clarity.
Transparency, Oversight and Accountability
Another impressive aspect of dedicated workflow automation solutions is that typical labour-intensive approaches such as micromanagement can be vastly reduced. Duties are much clearer and goals are defined from the very beginning. Management can also delegate tasks to the appropriate individuals. Confusion is ultimately eliminated; providing a much-needed sense of transparency.
In the same respect, cutting-edge workflow automation software addresses many understandable security concerns. Managers can choose what information is shared and who is provided with access. Passwords can be created and different security tiers may be created when dealing with sensitive data (such as client details or proprietary product information). Not only does this increase in-house levels of accountability, but it ensures that the business is complying with all relevant GDPR.
A Highly Motivated and Productive Work Environment
Whether referring to the ability to procure efficient accounts payable solutions or restructuring an existing HR department, the benefits of workflow automation are huge. However, one of the greatest advantages involves the simple fact that employees will always remain highly motivated. Workflow motivation can foster a productive work environment; ensuring a high ROI and creating a goal-driven culture.
Not only will employees be keener to accept new challenges, they will understand that their talents are being leveraged in the most effective ways possible. This results in higher levels of worker retention while eliminating the costs often associated with lengthy and in-depth onboarding programmes. Simply put, a well-oiled machine always produces impressive results. Dedicated workflow automation platforms will help to “connect the dots” in a centralised and efficient manner.
Leverage the Power of Modern Workplace Solutions
Are you curious to learn more about our accounts payable platforms? Perhaps you would like to learn more about our e-commerce packages or what types of security protocols are present. From bespoke email workflow automation systems to robotic process automation workflow and everything in between, the professionals at SmartOffice are providing targeted solutions to a growing number of high-profile clients. Our case studies illustrate this attention to detail.
Likewise, we can tackle extremely complex projects based solely on the needs of your organisation whether you own a start-up company or you are looking to take your organisation to the next level. Please take a moment to contact one of our team at SmartOffice. We will be happy to answer any additional questions as well as to schedule a call-back at your convenience.