Ultimate Guide to Workflow Automation – ibism
Ultimate Guide to Workflow Automation

As per research, organizations could lose up to 30% of their revenues due to inefficient workflows.  Manually assigning tasks, repetitive paper-work, miscommunication, distractions, interruptions – all of these contribute to inefficiency.  Agility, flexibility and precise execution can make the difference between success and failure for any organization, and this is where workflow automation comes into the picture. 

Find out more:

What is Workflow Automation?

As stated by Microsoft Founder Bill Gates: “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency.”

Workflow automation can be described as the use of rule-based logic to automate manual work. Workflow automation can save businesses time and money, minimize errors and boost productivity by ensuring that the right people are working on the right task at the right time. 

Do You Need Workflow Automation?

Workflow automation can assist organizations to standardize work, ensure compliance of preset business rules and policies, eliminate human error, and provide visibility and accountability at every stage of the automated process.

If you’re struggling with any of these issues automated solutions can be very useful.

Human errors

Human errors can seriously impact your bottom line – for example a marketing manager failing to provide timely details to a potential client may lose the client to a competitor.

Time

There is an age-old saying “time is money” — in a deadline-driven environment, faster the works get done, more things can be accomplished, resulting in better end results. Each task carried out by a human has a cost attached to it, be it hourly pay, salary, or commission. If employees are engaged in repetitive tasks frequently, they are wasting time that could have been utilized more productive work.  The opportunity cost of manual repetitive tasks is very high.

Capacity

Businesses often face limitations while processing orders or requests or otherwise completing tasks on time, primarily due to capacity constraints, especially in time of the peak sales period. Some businesses may hire extra or temporary staff or invest in expensive software to increase their production capacity.

Accountability 

In large organization, work is often passed through different set of people. Without an organized workflow system, it’s difficult to know who is responsible for what, and if a problem arises it was caused by whom? 

Miscommunication 

 Effective communication is of critical importance to maintain a business relationship. Customer requests or complaints sometimes can easily be overlooked when you are relying on outdated manual systems which may result in dissatisfied customers end up taking their business elsewhere.

Inability to track tasks

When you are working on several tasks at a time, it becomes difficult to keep a tab on everything, which may result in errors or a missed deadline 

Information hoarding

Insecure employees often hoard important information pertaining to their area of work, to try and increase their perceived importance in an organisation.  This is can be very detrimental to the effectiveness of teams or processes.

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To really get the most out of your workflow, you need to use the right software. Want to learn more?

Benefits of Workflow Automation

Automating manual workflows and processes delivers the following key benefits:

Efficiency

Workflow automation can assist in streamlining business processes; eliminate redundancies and unnecessary tasks to enable effective utilization of people and systems already in place. Automation eliminates tedious tasks from employees, improving engagement and allowing them to focus on more skill-related activities.

Streamline communication

Workflow automation streamlines communication enabling effective collaboration. Work information can be directly sent to relevant employees without physical restrictions.

Identifying Redundancies

Workflow automation allows you to identify and eliminate bottlenecks in your operations faster to create value for your business.

Accountability

Accountability is critical to check who is doing what and how well they are doing it. Managers can assign specific tasks with clearly defined timelines to ensure everyone understands what is at any given point of the process.

Reduces costs and error

Automated workflows can assist organization in preventing human errors entirely or mitigate them in a timely manner.

Some other benefits of deploying workflow automation include improved customer satisfaction, greater job satisfaction, and better vendor relations. 

Increased productivity 

Consider an e.g., where an employee spends two hours executing a particular manual task. If the task can be automated and completed within 30 minutes, this will save One hour 30 minutes, which can be utilized on other important tasks.  As per studies conducted by Forrester, employees recorded an 8 to 15% increase in productivity while using workflow automation.

Transparency

Any high-quality workflow automation software such as ibism provides a dashboard to show real time status of a process.  All information related to the process can shared transparently with the team, and bottlenecks and information hoarding can be easily identified.

How to Map out a Successful Workflow Automation

Identify problems

To effectively implement workflow automation, management must identify what areas need workflow improvement. This can be ideally done by creating a visual flow chart of the current workflow which will help identify issues such as repetitive tasks, errors, and bottlenecks.

Define Business Goals

Once the problem areas are identified, you should next define what your business goals are, how those will be achieved by the help of workflow automation? What process would be used to measure their effectiveness?

Train Employees

Once the problem areas and the respective solution (specific vendor for workflow automation) are identified, the organization needs to ensure that employees are trained to use the new workflow software competently. Humans are reluctant to change — it is important to engage employees from the initiation of the process so that they can clearly understand how the software is going to help them achieve their goals.

Execute automation

Once the workflow automation system is launched it shall be monitored closely. How well does it work? Does it meet your expected needs? Continuous monitoring and assessment of the new process are critical to identify bottlenecks and recognize areas for further improvement.

Evaluating Workflow Automation

Well implemented workflow automation can give your organization a competitive advantage, as it reduces operational cost while improving performance. 

Workflow automation process should be simple enough for others to understand, operate, and maintain it. Operational and maintenance guidelines should be clearly spelled out and made available to parties involved. Then, allow employees to test run the system, and monitor how effective they are at it.

If you want to remain competitive in today’s marketplace, improving efficiency is essential. Stop wasting your team’s valuable time and energy. 

It’s time to learn more about how automated workflow solutions can transform your business and enhance your bottom line!

 

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