Over the last few years more and more businesses are being encouraged to utilise automated workflow solutions to streamline processes across their organisations. Whilst the theory behind workflow automation is clear to understand, ‘to make the flow of documents, information or tasks perform independently in accordance with defined business rules’, it can be unclear where to start.
“Workflow is for big business”
Something we hear quite a lot is that “workflow is for big business”, this absolutely is not true. Whether your business has 1 employee, 1 thousand employees or 1 million employees there will always be efficiencies gained by automating certain processes.
Think about your personal life, automation is increasing on a daily basis. You likely have an automated reminder to wake-up, maybe you have an automated coffee at a set time in the morning, ice on demand or a direct debit to pay a bill. These are all examples of automation.
Automation in our personal lives lets us focus on more family time, why not let business automation allow you to focus more time on clients, employees or revenue generating activities.
How will Workflow automation work for me?
Automating workflow offers a large number of benefits to businesses, below are just a few high-level examples of how you can make workflow automation work for your business:
Reduce administration errors
By eliminating the manual process of inputting data, workflow automation reduces administrative errors. This is especially important for business-critical processes and matching data against legal or regulatory requirements.
Generally, the number one reason clients contact us about implementing workflow automation is to increase productivity. For instance, using automated workflow to match and verify a PO number against an invoice will automatically trigger the next task in the process.
Collaboration and team working
An often-overlooked benefit of workflow automation is the collaboration opportunities it provides to organisations of all sizes. One such example of this is the use of workflow automation to manage mailroom processes. A digital mailroom allows mail to be routed to individuals or teams to take action, based on business rules, and comments can be attributed to specific documents to aid processing by other departments as well as providing an audit trail of who has viewed or taken action.
Workflow automation, and business process automation (BPA) in general, provides business leaders with real-time access to the status of business tasks, including opportunities for process improvements. With more precise data and projections business leaders can understand current and future business needs and income.
Identifying the need for Workflow automation
In preparation for developing workflow automation for your business there are some important steps to take:
- Identify the areas of the business where workflow automation can be used to perform business tasks.
- Audit your business processes to ensure they are still fit for purpose.
- Involve your employees that currently perform manual tasks.
- Review your business goals and objectives against potential process automations.
- Decide on a pilot project. You may have identified 3, 5, 10 or 50 potential areas suitable for workflow automation but like with any project choose one area to define the process.
How do I choose the solution that works for my business?
Not all software solutions offering automated workflow will offer the same benefits or features, so it is important to consider the complexities of your current business processes.
Are you using legacy systems? If yes, does data need to be migrated or integrated with the new solution?
Do you want the ability to create your own workflows? Or are you looking for a fully managed solution with ongoing IT set-up work?
There are many complexities to automation, so make sure to choose a partner that understands your objectives and can add value to your business.
Get in touch
Are you thinking of automating your business workflow? Get in touch via our online form. Our workflow automation will send your message directly to one of our specialist advisors who will be in touch to discuss your workflow automation needs.
About the author
Jade is the Group Marketing, PR and Communications Director at OASIS Group. She has worked in the information management industry for almost a decade and writes on a majority of topics, including ESG and sustainability which is a personal passion of hers.