- Workflow automation is expertise that automates time-consuming guide work like information entry or lead nurturing.
- Workflow automation software program makes use of rule-based logic to automate guide work corresponding to sending follow-up emails.
- The advantages of workflow automation embrace streamlined communication, empowered workers, and better effectivity and productiveness.
- This text is for small enterprise house owners or entrepreneurs who need to be taught what workflow automation is and the advantages it affords small companies.
Workflow automation is a straightforward method to economize, enhance productiveness and enhance your workers’ work expertise by eliminating tedious, time-consuming duties. For your corporation to get probably the most out of workflow automation, you will need to perceive precisely what it’s, the way it works and the advantages it affords.
What’s workflow automation?
Workflow automation expertise automates guide duties that may be time-consuming, like information entry. The purpose is to enhance and velocity up your on a regular basis enterprise duties, in addition to to attenuate the probabilities of errors.
What’s extra, analysis by CMO Council discovered that companies lose as much as $1 trillion annually because of mismanaged duties. That is one motive utilizing workflow automation software program might help your corporation save money and time.
“Workflow automation software program is a product that permits you to set up the work that must be finished by you and your crew, whereas automating a number of facets of these workflows, corresponding to creating reminders, updating job assignees based mostly on sure circumstances, and sending emails to purchasers,” stated Abir Syed, CPA at UpCounting.
Key takeaway: Workflow automation software program handles sure time-consuming duties inside your corporation, corresponding to lead nurturing.
How does workflow automation work?
Workflow automation software program makes use of rule-based logic to automate many widespread enterprise processes, together with these throughout the finance, advertising and human assets departments.
Some of the common makes use of of workflow administration software program is at the side of electronic mail advertising. It might automate a number of elements of the method, corresponding to follow-up emails, lead nurturing, affirmation emails, contact administration and drip campaigns. [Read related article: How to Create Triggered Emails]
In human assets, workflow automation software program can enter worker info into payroll techniques, insurance coverage insurance policies, expense accounts and some other official techniques you utilize for HR duties. Automation eliminates a number of the time required to conduct these duties, in addition to the prospect for error within the entry of delicate info.
Workflow automation may also make it simpler to share info between crew members, guarantee compliance, and streamline necessary processes like hiring and onboarding to make them quicker and extra environment friendly.
Because it additionally leaves little room for error and sometimes offers with tedious processes and many info, accounting is one other common use for workflow automation. You may automate issues like reimbursement requests, expense processing, journey requests, and bill reconciliation to save lots of time and scale back worker frustration.
Key takeaway: Workflow automation makes use of rule-based logic to automate numerous varieties of guide work. It is notably common for advertising, accounting and HR-related duties.
What are the advantages of workflow automation?
When used accurately, workflow automation software program can profit your corporation in some ways.
Workflow automation can considerably enhance communication between your crew members. Since workers usually cite stress on account of poor communication as a motive for leaving an employer, such a software program might provide help to scale back turnover. Workflow automation improves communication by eliminating the necessity for crew members to remind one another when one thing must be finished; they’re going to obtain these reminders mechanically.
By automating your workflow, you may assign accountability to a crew member for each a part of the method, decreasing the probabilities of one thing slipping by way of the cracks. Every step of the method is assigned to somebody. This not solely helps guarantee all the work will get finished, however may also reveal inefficiencies or weak spots in your course of.
Price financial savings
Office automation might save your corporation cash by eliminating expensive errors and streamlining your processes to assist workers full them extra effectively. It may additionally help you get monetary savings on administrative labor, since repetitive, time-consuming duties shall be finished mechanically.
As a result of workflow automation conveys to workers their precise position within the course of and the duties they’re chargeable for, they’ll handle their work extra successfully and take accountability for something that goes fallacious. Thus, managers don’t must oversee each step of the method or verify in on workers.
Workflow automation software program makes it very simple to assign roles, house out duties and grant approval tasks to acceptable crew members. This hurries up processes that beforehand required supervisor intervention. [Read related article: Machine Learning vs. Automation]
Dorna Moini, CEO of doc automation software program supplier Documate, stated workflow automation permits workers to commit their time to higher-value assignments. “In client-facing industries like legislation, finance, and insurance coverage, this will result in serving extra purchasers in a shorter period of time with increased revenue margins.”
When workers have extra time for the necessary work they care about and had been employed for, and with the software program dealing with the extra mundane and human-error-prone duties, you are certain to see extra high quality output out of your crew.
Key takeaway: Workflow automation software program might help you streamline communication, get monetary savings, improve effectivity, and empower workers with accountability and the time to concentrate on what issues.
What are the important thing options of workflow automation software program?
When selecting workflow automation software program, it’s best to search for a number of necessary options:
- A straightforward-to-use builder: You need all your workflow automation processes to start with an intuitive builder or design device that permits you to create, edit and share your workflows. Search for a builder that makes the software program simple for anybody to make use of and permits for fast edits and previews.
- Entry management: Probably the greatest methods to make sure information stays correct inside your workflow automation software program is to make use of a service with an entry management choice. This lets you assign steps to particular customers and management who can view and edit which parts of the workflow.
- Participant alerts: To maximise effectivity in your workflow, search for software program that permits you to ship alerts to crew members when it is their flip to finish a job.
- Integrations: Search for software program that allows you to totally automate your workflow with related integrations. You desire a device that may seamlessly combine with different platforms you may use, corresponding to CRM software program, an electronic mail advertising service or Google Analytics.
- Progress trackers: One of many advantages of workflow automation software program is that it will probably monitor your progress and pinpoint the place you could possibly enhance effectivity. A monitoring characteristic exhibits you at a look how your tasks are coming alongside.
- Knowledge safety: With information breaches always on the rise, it is necessary to decide on software program that has robust safety measures in place. Search for suppliers with browser safety, encryption and password-protected information.
- KPI studies: Stories in your key efficiency indicators allow you to see any productiveness bottlenecks instantly and provide the info it’s worthwhile to shortly repair the issue.
Key takeaway: Options to search for in workflow automation software program embrace information safety measures, entry management choices, progress trackers and an easy-to-use interface.
Fashionable workflow automation software program
Listed here are some common workflow automation software program choices and the the explanation why small companies are utilizing them.
UiPath makes a speciality of hyperautomation that saves companies effort and time, improves the worker expertise, and helps guarantee compliance throughout a number of industries.
“[I like] UiPath because it has a large person base, and its fundamental model is free,” stated Michael Sena, spreadsheet automation marketing consultant at Senacea. “Furthermore, it may very well be used with out programming, however on the similar time permits you to increase its use with code. UiPath StudioX can be nice for small and microbusinesses that need to take a look at easy RPA (robotic course of automation) options utilizing predefined constructing blocks.”
ClickUp is designed to be an all-in-one productiveness app that mixes the features of job administration, phrase processing, chat, aim administration and extra into one product.
Syed stated ClickUp is the perfect workflow automation software program he has come throughout. “That is principally on account of its huge variety of integrations, excessive stage of customization and automation, and an especially beneficiant free tier. After all, relying in your group, it could not meet your wants, as it is a software program meant for the plenty.”
Integrify is a low-code workflow automation platform that gives an easy-to-use builder, versatile customization, a number of pricing choices and devoted buyer assist.
“Not all workflow automation software program can deal with the advanced wants of companies,” stated Allan Borch, founding father of Dotcom Greenback. “[Integrify] has all the mandatory options that may match the wants of these companies in numerous fields. Moreover, it makes use of a service-based method, together with assist and consulting for finest practices and course of enhancements. Most of all, it affords nice comfort, as you may entry it by way of a browser and even on cell.”
Pardot is the workflow automation software program created by Salesforce. It’s a versatile platform that comes with all of the assist and innovation you’d anticipate from a big firm like Salesforce.
Wade Stembridge, advertising supervisor at akaCRM, is an enormous fan of utilizing Pardot to arrange workflow guidelines to automate his advertising actions.
“Right here I additionally construct lead-capture kinds and nurture campaigns, which mechanically updates our CRM,” he stated. “Our automated scoring system helps our gross sales crew keep knowledgeable on what leads are actively engaged, serving to them convert prospects quicker.”
Zapier is an automation device that mechanically shares info between your internet apps, making it simple to attach all of the packages you utilize every day and velocity up your productiveness.
Ian Kelly, vp of operations for NuLeaf Naturals, stated he likes the simplicity of Zapier. “In actual fact, it nearly jogs my memory of enjoying The Sims, as a result of you’ll be able to intuitively construct workflows for widespread however tedious duties. For instance, for those who at all times desire a duplicate of each message, you may arrange that workflow as a substitute of manually duplicating and infrequently forgetting to do that. Zapier can be appropriate with Fb, QuickBooks, and Google Drive, so you may apply workflow automation to social media, advertising, and bookkeeping along with each day work.”
Key takeaway: Among the hottest workflow automation suppliers are Zapier, Pardot, Integrify, ClickUp and UiPath. Small enterprise house owners we spoke to love them for his or her ease of use and numerous helpful enterprise features.