Factors to Consider While Considering investment in Workflow Automation Software – ibism

Mature organisations are always on the lookout for ways to minimize operating costs, reduce wastage, and improve process’ performance.   This can be achieved with the right workflow automation software, however, organisations are reluctant to take the plunge  New software implementation can be a risky project, with actual costs far exceeding initial estimates.

Given that human labour is getting more expensive, automation is generally associated with cost-cutting. However, this should not be the sole criteria to invest in an automation tool.  A good workflow automation software can save costs, while at the same time improving process compliance and organisational efficiency.  While it is vital to understand how much money will automation can save an organisaton, it is difficult to estimate the benefits of increased productivity, which can far outweigh the cost saving benefits.   

Here are some factors to consider which can help make this crucial investment decision easier for CXOs. 

The Cost of Automation

An easy way to estimate the potential cost saving of workflow automation would be to calculate the hours of manual work saved and multiply that with the average hourly salary of the team that executes that process.

Most software vendors provide demos and trials, which can help you estimate the hours that a particular automation can save. 

There are a significant number of processes such as reporting, approval, notifications, which can take considerable time and add up to a significant number of man-hours over the course of the year.

Re-allocating these employee hours saved to more important tasks will also increase an organisation’s productivity, thus benefiting an organisation more than just the cost savings. 

Additionally, workflow automation result in reduced errors, miscommunications and mishaps 

Look at these quantitative and qualitative aspects will help inform CXOs about the cost viability of the tool in a holistic manner.

Value Add

The primary goal of implementing workflow automation is to streamline manual tasks.  These tools allow employees to focus on higher value tasks, projects and ideation that machines or automated processes cannot handle, thereby increasing employee and customer satisfaction.

Reliability

Automated solutions do not need unscheduled breaks or holidays, do not fall ill, nor they log unproductive work hours, and neither they change companies for better opportunities.

Operational Bottlenecks

Bottlenecks in operational workflow can hamper productivity and increase cost of operations. If the processes in the organisation are not efficient enough to deliver a product to the end-user quickly without multiple approval steps, then workflow automation can certainly help prevent bottlenecks from occurring. There are also certain tasks that computers and machines can complete more efficiently and effectively than human beings.

Is automation cost-effective

Organisations should consider the below questions before making an investment:

  • Fully loaded employee cost of employees involved in manual processes, (including variable factors such as taxes, training, expenses, and holidays)
  • How much does the technology cost, and the duration (including monthly or yearly fees), including annual maintenance and potential upgrade cost
  • Productivity rate of automation compared with employees.
  • Estimates of time lost to human error and bottlenecks due to unavailability

Most workflow automation tools will generate more savings than the cost of implementation and maintenance. However, if the company has only a few tasks to automate, it may not make sense to invest in an automation tool. In such cases, companies can consider using a simpler or cheaper automation tool to perform those tasks. Inversely if a lot of time is spent on tasks and processes that could be easily automated, investing in serious workflow automation tools will be worth it in the long run.

To see how we provide significant cost savings on those business hours and add value to your business, please get in touch with IBISM representative.

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