Workflow automation is the process of using technology to automate work that would typically require human involvement. This kind of automation is essential for companies of all sizes because it saves time and money, boosts productivity, and lowers errors. When setup properly, workflow automation also greatly increases the quality of a business’s service or product.
We’ll cover how workflow automation is useful to businesses and some use cases for it below.
What does workflow automation look like in practice?
An email system that automatically sorts incoming emails into designated folders is a basic example of workflow automation. Workflow automation could also be used to take the emails put into those designated folders and use them to complete a process. For example, if someone sends you a request for a quote, workflow automation could be used to complete the process of generating and sending them a quote.
What advantages can workflow automation offer?
Increased productivity, decreased errors, enhanced efficiency, cost savings, and increased sales are all advantages of workflow automation. Implementing workflow automation in your finance department alone saves an average of 25,000 hours and $878,000 per year.
Additionally, automated workflows give organizations a greater understanding of their processes, allowing them to spot areas for development and implement improvements that increase revenue. This is a big advantage, considering only 2% of organizations have all of their processes documented.
What are the use cases of workflow automation?
Anything that can be done on a computer is a potential use case for workflow automation. However, whether it’s a worthwhile use case depends on how much time the process takes compared to how much it costs to automate.
While anything done on a computer could potentially be automated, we will go through some of the most common use cases below.
If you want to know if one of your processes is worthwhile to automate, feel free to contact us and we will assess your use case for free.
Sales and Marketing Workflow Automation:
Sales and marketing processes such as lead generation and qualification, email marketing, customer segmentation, sales reporting, and even content creation can all be automated. Automating these processes can help businesses close more sales and achieve more brand recognition. An example of this would be automating the sales research process. One method of automating this process would be setting up a workflow that researches prospects using the same tools as sales professionals, and then inputs the results of the research into a CRM tool.
Accounts Payable Workflow Automation:
Accounts payable processes such as invoice processing, payment processing, vendor management, invoice-PO matching, tax calculation, and financial reporting can be automated. As an example, an automated workflow could be created to streamline and automate the entire payment process. This could be accomplished by using an email with an invoice to create a purchase order, having a human approve the purchase order, automatically processing the payment, and then recording the payment, invoice, and purchase order.
Enterprise Workflow Automation:
The enterprise workflow is the management of business processes across an entire organization. This can be automated after all other business processes have been documented and automated. Once all other processes are automated, an automated workflow could centralize all process information across the organization, such as sales closed and employee performance, by displaying it in a single dashboard. This dashboard could then be used to drill down into individual business processes for further reporting. Since less than 2% of organizations have documented all of their processes, enterprise workflow automation can give you a competitive advantage.
Human Resources Workflow Automation:
The human resources department is responsible for the management of people and organizational culture. While many human resources processes cannot be fully automated, there are a number of uses for workflow automation within HR. As an example, automating the process of onboarding new employees can greatly improve the quality of the onboarding experience for new employees, as well as the time and effort it takes to onboard an employee.
Workflow automation is like using a low-cost and high-quality robotic workforce to perform all repetitive tasks within your business so you can focus on growing your business. It’s a crucial tool for companies of all sizes since it boosts productivity while enhancing efficiency and reducing errors.
By giving you a greater understanding of your processes, workflow automation can also help you find areas for improvement and implement changes that increase profitability.
The first step to implementing workflow automation at your organization is understanding what your processes are. From there, you can begin implementing workflow automation where it helps you the most first and give your business an edge over your competitors.
We offer a complimentary automation assessment and roadmap to all who want it. This roadmap shows you the value of automation and gives you a clear plan to implement it for your organization.
If you would like to schedule an assessment, or just have questions about automation, contact us today!