Automation is the process of automating certain tasks within a business workflow. This is often done to increase efficiency and accuracy at work. There are many software options for workflow automation. The best choice for your company will depend on your specific business needs.
This article will explain workflow automation basics and show you ten ways it can be applied in your business. We’ll also offer tips for choosing the right software.
What is Workflow Automation?
Automation of workflows is the use of technology to automate certain tasks within a business’s workflow. This is usually done to increase efficiency and accuracy at work. There are many software options for workflow automation. The best choice for your company will depend on your specific business needs.
It is important to think about all the tasks that are currently being done manually in your company before you choose a workflow automation tool.
An automated faxing system can be useful if you are transferring customer calls to another department using faxes sent via email. An automated electronic filing system can be more efficient if you are having trouble tracking paper documents and emails related to particular clients or projects.
You can create your own solution using programming languages such as Visual Basic if none of the tools you have available meet your needs. This makes it much easier to set up and manage the workflow automation solution that you require.
Ten Workflow Automation Ideas and Examples
- Filing messages: Some companies save email messages about specific clients and projects in a client management platform. Others are saved on an employee’s computer or sent to another department. Sometimes, messages that have been sent multiple times can take several days to reach their destination.
Automated electronic filing systems can speed up this process by routing messages through your workflow automatically without the need for employees to input. This system ensures security as each message is encrypted and transferred securely from one department to the next in a matter of seconds.
- Collecting documents: There is often a delay between the time documents are printed and when they’re filed.
Automated workflow systems, which include scanning stations and printing stations, can reduce this lag time. This allows employees to quickly scan paper-based work to an electronic platform that allows them later to file.
An automated solution that scans barcodes from paper documents and converts them directly into software can help to reduce errors in data entry.
- Management of Personal Task Lists. Many people use large task list to keep track of what they need to do in a given week or month. However, it is easy to lose sight of the order that the tasks were added and to forget about certain items.
Employees can save time and manage their to-do list by setting up workflows that prioritize tasks and send notifications at certain times.
- Tracking Projects: Every project may have its own process. One person might be responsible for most of the work and others will take on supporting roles. Business owners must know what to do, as each employee has a different position.
Also, after all tasks have been completed for a project, employees must know where each task is located within the workflow structure. This will allow you to decide if future projects should follow that path.
This is made easier by an automated project management system that automatically shows employees where each project fits in your workflow and the next steps.
- Handling customer complaints: Agents need to be able to identify who is responsible for handling complaints about customers that are not related to their immediate product feedback or service. They also need to know how to send them.
A customizable automated complaint management system can be used to assign tickets to specific complaints to employees best equipped to resolve the issue as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Companies can also design an automated survey to assess customer satisfaction after a certain amount of complaints have been addressed. This will ensure that they are meeting their clients’ needs as efficiently as possible.
- Management of Paperwork: Small businesses, in particular, still use paper-based management systems. This can result in a lot wasted time and money as well as human error.
Automating your workflow with custom software allows you to manage all your company’s paperwork electronically, without worrying about lost or misplaced documents.
- Processing Orders: Many companies have an order processing department that handles everything, from customer orders to billing and shipping. Although this can be time-consuming and complex, it can be simplified with Aproove’s workflow automation system that includes order tracking.
This system allows employees from other departments to easily access the most up-to-date order information, and can pinpoint where a product is during the workflow process.
- Tracking Shipping: Some employees spend much of their time shipping. It is important to set up custom workflows to allow employees to track both outgoing and incoming packages from multiple carriers.
Your staff will be able to quickly determine if an order should be processed immediately or if it can wait until later on the week.
- Automating Invoicing/Accounting tasks: On one side, you have invoicing and accounting related to accounts receivable. You also have invoicing and billing tasks for accounts payable.
To ensure your business remains profitable, you will need an automated way to perform each task automatically. This will ensure that customers are billed accurately and on-time, while suppliers are paid promptly.
- Customer Surveys: Companies should send surveys to customers after they have returned or received products. This will allow them to evaluate their experience with certain items and services, and determine if improvements can be made.
Customer satisfaction is a key factor in company success. An automated system that allows all parties to customer interactions to access the survey is crucial for creating a seamless and efficient workflow.