5 Processes to Automate with Workflows to Drive Productivity
Workflow automation can help your team become more productive.
So much work time is lost through mundane and repetitive tasks that impact the efficiency of your workers. A business can vastly increase its output by adopting software to complete these tasks instead.
Many processes can now be automated through workflows, freeing up employees to complete more complex, skill-based tasks. Adopting these strategies can help your business prosper, saving time, money, and energy.
What is Workflow Automation?
Workflow automation is where repetitive and redundant tasks are completed by a system automatically without manual input from a user. Instead of entering data yourself, for example, workflow automation will do this independently, following predefined rules.
Automating workflows gives employees more time to focus on skill-based tasks instead of repetitive ones, making the entire team more efficient. This is often performed by workflow automation software that adopts an easy-to-use interface and low code so the whole team can use it.
Automation is an industry that’s growing rapidly, so it’s something that your business should start to implement to avoid being left behind. According to Deloitte, the market is growing at a rate of 20% per year, and the industry is expected to surpass $5 billion by 2024.
How Does Workflow Automation Benefit Productivity?
Frees Up Time for More Skill-Based Tasks
Many tasks that automation can replace are low-skill admin and data entry tasks. Although vital in ensuring a well-managed project, these tasks take time and reduce the available hours staff have to work on more complex tasks.
By automating some or all of the processes, your employees can focus more on tasks requiring their expertise, allowing them to finish them quickly without rushing or wasting brainpower on other actions.
Improves Employee Experience
A team member who has had to enter data and complete mundane tasks will likely be unhappy, unsatisfied, and stressed. According to The American Institute of Stress, 83% of US workers experience work-related stress, which can be reduced by decreasing their workload through automation.
By removing their need to perform these often soul-destroying processes through workflow automation, they can instead work on tasks that challenge them and call upon their skills, improving their experience at the workplace.
Not only can this keep employee satisfaction high, which is good for retention, but a happy employee is often more productive and committed, leading to better quality work.
Humans are not perfect and are prone to making mistakes, especially when dealing with high volumes of data. Errors in manual processes during a project can set a team back or cost the business money.
With an automated workflow, you reduce the risk of mistakes, making your business far more effective. As long as the instructions the software needs to follow are correct and precise, automation can be heavily relied upon to produce accurate results.
Most Effective Processes to Automate
Creating and sending invoices can take a lot of time, even if you have a template to follow. One of the best ways automation can speed up this critical process is by creating an automatic schedule for sending out invoices.
Instead of having to send them manually and set reminders of when they’re due, you can automate this so that they’re always sent to your clients on time without any errors.
You’ll always need staff to help train new employees, but automation can help streamline the admin side of this process, particularly regarding data entry. Automation tools help speed up data transfer from one department to another, helping new staff get settled more quickly.
Automation can improve lead management by taking control of the lower-end tasks at the early stages of the sales funnel. For example, a workflow automation tool can automate initial customer queries and the follow-up process, allowing the sales team to focus on closing leads.
Automation can help streamline customer service through chatbots that can answer common queries. These tools can save resources and ensure that customers get immediate responses, helping you provide a great customer service experience. Automation tools in this sector mean staff can spend more time assisting with complicated issues.
Email marketing can benefit significantly from automation. With various tools, you’ll be able to schedule campaigns and automatically segment your audience so that they can receive tailored messages to boost engagement. Email integration with workflow automation can help your email marketing perform better and lead to more sales.
What To Consider When Choosing a Workflow Automation Solution
Your Business Needs
Before choosing a workflow automation tool, it’s best to conduct an audit to identify the tasks that could benefit from being automated. Use this time to find out where most of your employee’s working hours are lost to identify where improvements can be made.
Sometimes the reason your output is low may be because of other issues, such as a lack of project management tools. Be sure to use all the services available to you before turning to automation, regardless of whether you work in-house or as a freelancer. If you’re the latter, look for project management tools with features like task visualization, calendars, and timelines to track your progress and stay on top of projects. Many of these tools may suit you better than workflow automation.
The Features of the Software
The workflow automation tool you choose will be a massive part of your business, so you need to fully understand what the tool is capable of and how the features compare to your needs.
For example, you may find an excellent automation workflow tool to speed up onboarding. However, if you’ve found that you need to focus on saving time with invoicing, this software may not be the best for you.
Take the time to find a tool that matches your needs and ensure that it can do everything you’re looking to get out of it.
The Cost of the Software
Workflow automation is going to be an investment. You’ll need to see if the costs of the software outweigh the potential savings it can provide for your business. An automation tool that can help you generate legal documents more quickly will be more convenient, but you need to check first that this convenience will save you money and help you increase profit in the long term.
Ease of Use
The entire point of automation is to streamline processes for your employees. It defeats this purpose if the software is hard to use and complicated to understand. Choose an automation tool with an intuitive UI that requires little to no coding to use. You don’t want staff making mistakes with the tool just because they don’t know how to use it.
Workflow automation is a strategy that can lead to excellent results for your business. By freeing up more time for employees, which makes them feel more satisfied, they’ll be far more productive and efficient, improving your ROI for every project.
New automation tools and software are constantly emerging, and it’s a growing market that businesses of all sizes should adopt to generate results. See where automation can improve your business and access a productivity boost that can enhance your profitability.