Workflow automation refers to software that allows companies to increase productivity by organizing the flow of tasks and information, especially when it comes to the tedious-but-necessary tasks. Essentially, workflow automation serves to help streamline a company’s business processes.
25 years ago, signing up for classes at a state university required a student to physically visit an on-campus computer workstation, wait in line for a machine, log into the university’s website, and manually enter the codes for the classes.
And by the time all those steps had been completed, the classes in question could have reached capacity, requiring the student to find start the process all over again.
Fast forward to the present, where the implementation of workflow automation allows students to select courses on their phones or personal devices, completely eliminating the steps of travel and waiting from the process.
The same concepts can apply to the needs of any business. For example, a customer’s contact information and order may be required to appear on multiple forms to ensure order confirmation and record purposes. While manually entering the information on each form would be aggravating and time-consuming, workflow automation would allow the information to self-populate on all forms after being entered once.
Above everything else, workflow automation will boost production. Every business has to deal with a flow of information, but that doesn’t mean they have to devote all of their energies and resources to properly handle the flow.
By streamlining and improving the processes already in place, workflow automation allows more work to get done because of the time saved. Workflow automation can accomplish the necessary aspects of the job requiring time and accuracy while freeing up employees who would otherwise be manually entering information. The job gets done, and employees can focus their energies on other business concerns.
In other words, more stuff gets done with minimal errors and less wasted energy.
In addition to the amount of work that can get accomplished on a day-to-day basis, workflow automation can save the business money.
Every business task costs money: money for labor, money for production, money for administration, money for verification, and money for implementation. Workflow automation smooths out the processes involved with these various costs, decreasing the amount of time and resources needed to complete each step.
If it takes five steps to complete a business task, but you can get it done correctly in three steps, you’ve saved the business from paying for two unnecessary steps.
If you’ve ever had to fill a form by hand, used an ink pen, and made an error, you’ll appreciate the ability to reduce mistakes in business processing.
From incorrect information to smudged letters, errors appear on manually processed forms all the time. Trying to translate the errors before manually entering them correctly into a business system can cost time and patience, making an already difficult job harder.
Automated workflows can eliminate the volume of errors by encouraging one person – usually the customer – to correctly fill out a form once. The automation then syncs that information with the online forms and records needed to complete the process, eliminating the need for multiple people to translate and reenter the required information.
Why answer the same question five times? Take the answer when offered and keep going.
The whole concept of automation started from a desire to smooth out a rough process and make things easier for everybody involved. That desire becomes especially important during the final approval process.
Employees can spend hours trying to manually deliver approval forms to the right administrator, hours where the lack of a decision can cost time and money for both the business and its customers. Automated workflows allow the information to be sent to the correct officer based on the data already entered into the system, creating a direct path to the final approval.
Additionally, the automated workflow system can be configured to alert the administrator to new documents requiring approval and to allow for e-signatures, eliminating the need to print hard copies for signature and rescanning.
The endgame of any business interaction: the customer leaves satisfied, and the business builds on the experience.
Workflow automation can streamline and enhance the business process, which leads to the creation of good customer experiences. If one customer can rely on a business to perform the task well, other potential customers will soon follow.
Want to learn more about workflow automation? Contact E-Docs USA today or try out our free online demo and see just how protected your records could be.
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