Explore the ways in which automation improves productivity, efficiency, and employee and customer experience.
From triggering a new business process to realizing the final result, your company-wide operations include an endless number of tasks, employee communications, and data, all of which are key to your company’s success.
And during a time when the pace of business and volume of competition has never been greater, your company can’t afford to be anything less than completely digitized and agile.
So often, though, managing business processes in a meaningful way requires a continuous analysis of how those processes operate, noticing gaps and errors, identifying improvements, and creating better workflows that deliver on corporate strategy.
Manual workflows can be cumbersome and error-prone, but an effective workflow automation platform can connect your data, systems and people in a way that gives employees the right tools to execute on their role, streamline the repetitive processes that waste time and money, and deliver on company needs.
What is workflow automation and how does it help?
Workflow automation triggers a series of steps in a business process that would otherwise be done manually. It kicks off the initial process, connects and accomplishes the multiple steps, and delivers the final result while identifying and mitigating possible errors and missteps.
Essentially, it uses rule-based logic to manage things like data entry, data extraction, email communication, and other key needs in your many day-to-day business processes to lift the burden of manual work and help your people do more of the meaningful and strategic work that impacts your business.
Benefits of workflow automation
Empower communication and create accountability
When it comes to business processes, communication is key. Whether it’s email, slack, or any other software system your company may use, the lack of integration causes so much information to get lost in the shuffle. This may include lost reminders, forgotten follow-ups or due dates, or a calendar update that an employee didn’t accept.
With workflow automation, your tasks and processes become easily streamlined, ensuring each employee gets notified of a certain responsibility, understands the necessary expectations, and can deliver on an appropriate due date.
Likewise, workflow automation empowers you to assign a single person to lead the task at hand, creating greater accountability. This may mean creating a document, generating a report for sales, building a form or landing page, or communicating key performance indicators to management. By automating your workflow, the to-do list is clearly defined for the employee responsible, minimizing the guessing-game often associated with uncertain communication.
Reduce costs and errors
When managing multiple people, systems and data within your business, errors and missed hand-offs with processes are a common obstacle to streamlining your workflows. This can include invoice approval, supply chain management, general data quality, and any number of other tasks that inhibit your company to operate at its best.
With workflow automation, these processes become leaner and digitized, enabling the business to operate at its highest level. This saves time and money by empowering employees to rid themselves of the repetitive and often error-prone processes that become cumbersome. Employees become optimally effective, and processes follow suit.
Workflow automation examples
With workflow automation, processes can transform from manual and repetitive to streamlined and easy with the right software. Here are some examples of how workflow automation can help deliver the competitive edge that you need within an evolving marketplace.
- Human resources
From parsing resumes, scheduling interviews, and candidate communication, to onboarding and employee engagement, HR is rife with manual tasks that can slow down processes and make people feel disengaged. Workflow automation speeds up sourcing and pre-hire activities, streamlines employee surveys and performance management, and enables HR teams to stay organized and be more effective.
This way, human resources can focus on building relationships with candidates and employees to create the optimal culture that supports productivity enterprise-wide.
From email campaigns, social media posts, content development, and lead tracking, marketing has its hands full. Automation workflows enable your marketing team to stay organized, execute on initiatives, track progress and KPIs, and easily create documents to help report to your company’s leadership team without missing a beat.
When your marketing team can harness creativity and execute campaigns without worrying about the step-by-step tasks along the way, they can be most effective in terms of delivering on corporate strategy.
- Finance & Accounting
Finance and accounting is the profit center of your organization, but the manual spreadsheets, word documents and manual communications in your department is error-prone and time-consuming. Budget approvals, contract reviews, travel and expense management, quarterly- and year-end reporting can create an ocean of data that’s difficult to manage. This can be handled easily with workflow automation by deploying fuzzy matching, AI and other features that can understand your processes at a deep level and help you make better decisions faster.
From an internal IT standpoint, you have a ticketing system and backlog that can be overwhelming. Onboarding and offboarding employee technology, managing an endless queue of employee needs, and maintaining compliance, security and governance can be difficult with limited bandwidth. And that’s independent of leading your company’s digital transformation initiative which is vital to maintain a competitive edge.
Workflow automation takes care of these tasks for you by streamlining processes, creating better communication, and enabling your IT team to get more done, faster, with the resources you have.
Catalytic’s recent guide, “10 Digital Trends Driving Your Operations Strategy in 2021,” details all the ways digital will impact operations across your entire organization.