Why Workflow Automation Software Is The Key To Improve Productivity
Investing in a workflow automation software solution allows organizations an opportunity to optimize, streamline, and automate repeatable workflows to:
- Reduce the time and resources needed to execute the workflow
- Reduce or eliminate the possibility of human errors
Technically, all workflows (or business processes) can be automated, provided you have adequate technology and resources to do so. With the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning, more and more workflows can now be automated.
A workflow automation software solution acts as a crucial backend technology that allows automation to happen. This post will discuss all you need to know about investing in a workflow automation solution.
Why You Need To Implement Workflow Automation
Do you need to invest in a workflow automation software solution? Will your investment be justified?
Not to mention, automating workflows can translate into introducing significant changes to your business’s existing day-to-day operations, which can be very challenging on its own.
However, there are numerous tangible benefits you can get by automating your workflows, which in the end, will justify your investments both in resources and time.
Here are some of them:
Improving your business’s competitive edge
Workflow automation can decrease the time required to execute a workflow, reduce overall costs, and improve quality and consistency. Ultimately this will allow your business to be more competitive in your respective industry.
Automating your workflow can potentially reduce your labor costs. For example, with a workflow that must be executed by three people manually, we can either eliminate the costs associated with these three labors or allow these employees to work on other more meaningful tasks.
Automation can also help in energy savings. For example, when a workflow is fully automated, we can reduce heating and lighting requirements. Automation will also improve consistency and accuracy, which will ultimately translate to reduced waste.
Reduced human errors
Human errors can potentially cost businesses much money. In various industries, work-related errors have resulted in trillions in wasted productivity and resources, and whether you can reduce human errors or not will make or break your business.
With workflow automation software, you can reduce or even eliminate human involvement in a workflow, effectively reducing the number of these costly errors.
Easier and more transparent management
By automating workflow, managers can have an easier time tracking the efficiency of each workflow. On the other hand, they can also make sure their teams are not overworked by requiring them to work on repetitive and redundant administrative tasks that align well with their core competencies.
Improved customer experience
Successful implementation of workflow automation will ultimately result in faster product/service delivery to your customers without sacrificing quality. In the long run, this can improve the quality of customer experience, and happier, more satisfied customers will ultimately result in business growth both in revenue and profitability.
Better control and monitoring
Not only does a workflow automation software solution allow businesses to track the workflow’s execution, but it also means businesses are not limited by business hours. Automated workflows can be consistently executed outside business hours, allowing the organization to be even more productive.
Improved employee morale
A common concern in automating workflows is employees getting disgruntled because they are worried about being “replaced” by automation. However, various studies have suggested that automation of repetitive and redundant tasks will improve employee satisfaction. On the other hand, all-in-one workflow automation software like Aproove will also act as a workflow management solution, providing employees a more seamless way to execute their tasks and get their work done.
Workflow Automation Best Practices
1. Optimization before automation
It’s essential to embrace the golden rule of automating a process: the process must already be as efficient as possible before we automate it.
Or else, automation will be counterproductive since automating an inefficient workflow will only amplify the inefficiencies.
Before a workflow is automated, it should be optimized through workflow management, which will involve three key phases:
- Workflow mapping: visualizing the workflow into a workflow diagram. Workflow management solutions like Aproove can allow you to map a workflow via a drag-and-drop tool easily
- Workflow analysis: analyzing the workflow diagram to identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks to develop an improvement plan
- Workflow optimization: implementing the intended changes to ensure the workflow is as efficient as possible
Implementing workflow management before automation will also improve the workflow’s transparency and accountability, which can be helpful in workflows that are only partially automated. We can, for example, monitor which employee is performing which task to ensure both the human factors and automated workflows can work hand-in-hand effectively.
2. Optimize your data
Automation is only as good as the data that powers it, period.
If crucial data/information is not available for your business, then automation will not be optimal, or worse, you might not be able to apply automation at all. For example, if a specific task within the workflow relies on manual data entry, this data entry process might be a potential bottleneck for the automation.
That said, make sure all data entry and data collection processes are optimized and (if possible) automated to minimize human errors and maximize efficiency.
3. Start small, think big
While the ideal goal is to automate all workflows, we should start small and prioritize due to limited time and resources.
Identify which workflows should be optimized and automated first to ensure you can make the most of your investment in workflow automation software.
In picking a workflow to automate, there are three main approaches to consider:
- Reactive: picking a workflow that is visibly inefficient and/or has issues
- Strategic: picking a workflow with the biggest potential impact for your business (i.e., will directly improve revenue)
- Customer-centric: picking a customer-facing workflow that will directly impact customer satisfaction (i.e., shortening wait time)
A workflow automation software can be the key for your business in achieving growth by improving your organization’s efficiency and productivity. On the other hand, automation can help your team avoid burnout in executing repetitive administrative tasks, which can improve your team’s morale and productivity.
Workflow automation can allow businesses to reach their goals while minimizing errors, reducing wastes and costs without sacrificing quality.