Workflow Automation: What Is it and Why does it Matter?

Workflow automation is a method of automating the flow of tasks in accordance with defined business rules. Learn more

Introduction

‍

Project managers have a plethora of tasks to complete. Juggling projects, timeframes, and resources can be stressful. Thankfully, workflow automation solutions can make project management easier by automating some of the most inconvenient, time-consuming, wasteful, and repetitive business procedures. If these make you think of some of the things you do daily, it's time to explore different options you have to automate your workflow, streamline your chores, and rediscover how you can automate the workflow in your organization.

‍

In this guide, you will understand what workflow automation is, how it can help you manage projects and the tools that can help you get started. So whether you're just beginning as a project manager or searching for ways to optimize your existing approach, read on for detailed insights into workflow automation.

‍

What Is Workflow Automation?

‍

Workflow automation is the process of creating, streamlining, implementing, and automating a set of operations that are automatically routed between humans, software, and data based on predefined criteria. Effectively, you can utilize technology to automate tedious, time-consuming chores, freeing up your time to focus on other vital aspects of your work. Workflow automation necessitates planning, strategy creation, and effective execution. Some ways entail selecting the appropriate technology, which includes evaluating functionality, business standards, usability, and prices. Another approach can be to maximize automation, resulting in less manual labor and better time management.

‍

Upgrading your firm to ultimate workflow automation necessitates the adoption of workflow automation technologies. They are intended to make business processes streamlined and more efficient. The aim is to flow data seamlessly between employees and from network to network, with no added processes in the way, so that the potential of failures is lessened. Workflow automation is the simplest way to transition your business from paper-based repetitive tasks to a robust digital structure.

‍

Who Can Use Workflow Automation?

‍

Every sector can use workflow automation to automate repeated alerts, permissions, and other crucial operations. Some sectors that can use workflow automation are:

  • Insurance, Banking, and Financial Services
  • IT and telecommunications
  • Transportation, Travel, and Hospitality
  • Consumer Goods and Retail
  • Manufacturing and Distribution
  • Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare
  • Utility & Energy
  • Other Industries with End-Users (government and academics)

‍

Significance of Workflow Automation

‍

Workflow automation comes with a heap of perks too. Here we have outlined the importance of workflow automation:

‍

Saves time

How much time is spent by your staff on repetitive jobs that can be automated? It's probably a lot. According to Gartner, accounting teams might spend up to 30% of their time on manual accounting rework. Automating those activities would save hours of employee time for a business. Employees are relieved of tedious, time-consuming duties when workflow automation is implemented. Instead, employees can use their time to help the business to grow effectively and efficiently.

‍

Saves money

Automation not only saves your firm's time, but it can also save costs. The first is a direct outcome of time savings, which unleashes your team to focus on revenue-generating tasks. Second, by using modern workflow automation technologies, businesses can lessen their dependency on the costly and out-of-date solutions people use to do manual labor. Third, fewer errors paired with increased compliance implies that businesses spend less money rectifying faults and coping with regulatory difficulties.

‍

Increases productivity

When your team is not wasting time on repeated chores, they have more time to concentrate on important work and thus become more productive. Employees are less prone to experience brain fatigue when doing mind-numbing jobs when repetitious work is removed. This can drive them to work harder on critical things that need their attention.

‍

Reduces errors

Manual operations are not only time-consuming, but they are also susceptible to errors. Handwritten forms can be difficult to read, and team members may incorrectly insert information from digital forms or do manual computations. Worse, the more repeated the work, the more likely staff may lose attention and make an error. You can almost eliminate human mistakes by using workflow automation tools to streamline data entry and approval operations.Β 

‍

Streamlines approvals

Manual approval methods waste a lot of time. They can stifle workflows, resulting in mistakes and missed deadlines. Employees often spend more time mailing and tracking down paperwork, signing off on work, and completing tasks. All of these problems can be eliminated if the approval process is digitized and automated. Sign-offs are automatically sent to the appropriate approver based on conditional logic as soon as someone accomplishes a stage in the process. Approvers get automated updates informing them that things require their consideration.

‍

The Advantages of Workflow Automation in Business Processes

‍

Here are some advantages of workflow automation in business processes:

‍

Advantages of workflow automation in Human resources processes

  • Significantly reduce paperwork
  • Source and hire people more quickly
  • Ensure that all procedures comply
  • Optimize workflow visibility
  • Improve the onboarding/offboarding experience

‍

Advantages of workflow automation in business processes in Finance

  • Ease document management
  • Save time on approvals
  • Set up recurring invoice auto-payments
  • Develop an exemplary payroll management system
  • Incorporate data with other accounting analysis software

‍

Advantages of Workflow Automation in Marketing processes

  • Assign tedious, repetitive work to the system
  • Ensure every piece of information is authorized by the right authorities
  • Create a consistent procedure for nurturing and following up on quality leads
  • Multiple campaigns can be auto-piloted and monitored from a single dashboard

‍

Advantages of Workflow Automation in Sales processes

  • Simplify list creation by standardizing the procedure
  • Ensure that all leads receive the same red carpet treatment
  • Never let a lead fall through the cracks due to human mistakes
  • Get a detailed report and analysis of ongoing activities
  • Send personalized promotional emails

‍

Advantages of Workflow Automation in IT processes

  • Allocate complaints and escalations to available team members
  • Avoid making multiple support requests
  • Validate scheduled updates with stakeholders
  • Get a grasp on Shadow IT
  • Manage assets and monitor use patterns

‍

Examples of Workflow Automation

‍

Workflow automation can ease and streamline important business operations and departments. Some of the workflow automation examples are

  • Automating document approval and signing
  • Directing workers, partners, and customers through procedures
  • Simplifying invoicing and other accounting and sales-related operations
  • Addressing customer queries and requests efficiently

‍

Uses of Workflow Automation

‍

Workflow automation can assist organizations across many sectors. Furthermore, this innovation can be applied in different departments and niche areas. The following cases illustrate how workflow automation can be used in many businesses and departments:

‍

Healthcare: Workflow automation is used by medical providers to set schedules and on-call rotations. Automation tools are also used by providers to assist with patient registration and discharge, as well as to exchange patients' electronic health data. Workflow automation allows healthcare personnel to concentrate on more essential tasks.

‍

Legal: Workflow automation is used to automate invoicing, update new client details, post and monitor contract reviews, and handle case deadlines in the legal industry and inside enterprises.

‍

Information technology: Automation is used by IT departments to assist teams. They utilize workflow automation to automate software design pipeline orchestration, data management, data collecting, testing code development, new account setup, service requests, and test and code deployment.

‍

Financial: Workflow automation is used by financial and corporate firms for data entry and account approval procedures. It is also used in the company to automate operations such as paid sick leave-off requests and paycheck adjustments.

‍

Marketing: Workflow automation can benefit different parts of marketing processes by automating operations linked with brand management and campaigns in a predetermined order.

‍

Sales: Sales departments usually automate the acceptance of proposals and quotations, the connection of salespeople to leads created by website interactions, and the preparation of a task list whenever a prospect arranges a meeting with a sales representative.

‍

Human resources: Automation streamlines HR operations like employee onboarding, timesheet approvals, offboarding, and personnel changes.

‍

Operations: Workflow automation is used for different functions, including report compilation and job assignment.

‍

Processes in Workflow Automation

Here are the processes involved in workflow automation:

‍

  • Identify a recurring activity: Determine which procedures may benefit from automation. Consider whether anything is easy enough to automate or whether your team agrees on or requires automation in each scenario.

‍

  • Establish your goals: Automation provides benefits such as higher ROI, quicker time-to-market, and improved team productivity. Establish your personnel automation targets.

‍

  • Team training: The cooperation of all stakeholders is required for the success of automation. Present its benefits to functional managers and invite them to provide feedback.

‍

  • Create a strategy: In the workflow management software, create the methodology. Make a template, construct the pipeline, and grant access and restrictions to each process and user.

‍

  • Keep an eye on key performance indicators and ROI: To assess the effectiveness of workflow automation, compare the state before and after the changes, as measured by reports and data insights.

‍

Why Should Workflow Automation Software Tools and Apps Be Used?

‍

Workflow automation software tools and apps should be used because:

‍

  • Workflow automation software and apps are innovating the workflow process by providing standardized network automation, approval procedures, and data synchronization across apps via integrated API solutions.

‍

  • The major change is a move in design toward low-code workflow automation, which expands the scope of who can construct and deploy processes to include decision-makers and direct collaborators. As a result, firms can shift away from top-down organizational structures to more balanced, collaborative systems that accelerate process improvement.

‍

  • Businesses can use AI-powered automation tools to apply predictive analytics and insights for optimized operations by drawing on data trends and machine learning. The tools have the potential to revolutionize the IT network ecosystem.

‍

  • Workflow automation software and tools have capabilities to help IT regulate and navigate network challenges. Visual workflows simplify workflow structure and administration across IT networks.

‍

Workflow Automation vs Robotic Process Automation

‍

Due to the recent surge in the popularity of robotic process automation, several teams have halted to assess whether they need a workflow automation solution or robotic process automation. Each of these two technologies adds value to organizations in different ways depending on the solution. Here we have the difference between workflow automation vs robotic process automation.

‍

  • Workflow automation is a technique that defines processes by defining their essential components β€” such as triggers, work, inputs, and outputs β€” and then searches for possibilities to automate tasks, communications, position updates, and other workflow actions. Low-code workflow automation technologies provide a visual interface for business users to create, modify, and automate workflows.

‍

  • Robotic process automation is a piece of code that performs a specific task. Bots are usually hand-coded and must be re-coded if the mission changes. Multiple bots can be programmed to do a sequence of activities, but if any of the jobs is changed or amended, the other bots also require additional code support.

‍

Conclusion

‍

Automating the workflow can impact the company's performance, enthusiasm, and profit. This solution involves a detailed analysis of your business operations and expert evaluation of the weak points that can benefit from automated processes. As the march toward digitization accelerates, routine processes must be automated. It is no longer a matter of choice but rather of survival. Businesses that want to keep up with their rivals can explore workflow automation solutions to help them stay on track.

‍

Zorp helps businesses automate various processes, from human resources to marketing to sales. It offers a simple and easy interface that makes it effortless to make digital forms and workflow approvals. It offers customized templates and integrations to create workflow automation that is easy and efficient.Β 

‍