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Workflow Automation

Workflow automation has numerous business advantages, but primarily it lets you increase productivity and achieve consistent results. Also, by shifting internal processes to a professional workflow tool, your company delivers on the promises you make to your clients. 

In this article, you’ll learn about workflow automation, the benefits it offers to businesses, and how to pick up the right automation platform that will help you scale and stay competitive.

What is Workflow Automation?

Workflow automation refers to the use of technology that aims to automate repetitive, manual business processes.

Automation typically involves a defined, transparent set of tasks performed regularly with an expected result. Many automated processes involve routing documents among people and systems. While people still supervise all or part of the workflow at some stage, the workflow automation software can repeat the tasks as ordered without human input. 

Automation is a strategic investment that requires effort for implementation. However, it will pay off as you improve your operational performance and gain a competitive edge.

What Are the Different Types of Workflow Automation?

Experts distinguish between business process automation (BPA) and robotic process automation (RPA) within the broader category of workflow automation.

BPA relies on tools to complete workflows once performed by human counterparts. Excel spreadsheet calculations are an early example of BPA in the workplace.

RPA takes these capabilities to the next level with technologies that learns from data and automatically acts on tasks based on programmed logic and rules.

How Does Workflow Automation Work?

You can automate any repeated tasks, from work order management to audit inspection to employee onboarding. 

First, identify repetitive, rule-based workflows like data entry, document approval, or task assignments. 

Then, map out the entire process so you can replicate it within a software solution for workflow automation, for example, Fluix. You can set rules and logic that trigger specific actions to determine how the system will make decisions and route tasks. 

The software can automatically do everything from generating documents to entering data and naming files correctly. It can also connect with other systems and apps to integrate workflows across your entire operation.

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What Are the Benefits of Automated Workflow Management?

Automation platform can benefit your business across a broad range of competencies. You’ll increase your agility, mobility, accuracy, productivity, and efficiency while reducing costly factors like liability, time, and human error. Companies engaged in effective automation also notice:

  • Improved scalability
  • Significant cost savings
  • Improved communication between field teams, office, stakeholders, partners, and customers
  • Fewer errors
  • Faster, smarter business decisions
  • Improved data security and synchronicity
  • Fewer delays and bottlenecks
  • Enhanced compliance and audit documentation

Automated workflow management requires effort at the implementation stage, but it will pay off with improved operational performance and a competitive edge in today’s fast-paced business environment. Take a closer look at a few of the advantages of business workflow automation. 

Accountability and Transparency

Automation systems let you assign task managers to each part of the process, improving accountability and ownership. When integrated into a robust project management system, these functions give insight into changes made to task documents for oversight at a glance. Supervisors can quickly identify standout performers and address process bottlenecks.

Enhanced Productivity and Collaboration

Fluix provides professionally formatted templates and technical documents so you can customize forms for all your repeated processes. Our solution provides project visibility at each step of the process. Tracking capabilities let process owners instantly monitor project status while informing efficient, effective transitions from one project stage to another (design to production, for example).

Strategic Support

Workflow automation tools accumulate data on projects, people, profitability, and other process components. You can create custom reports based on this information for strong decision support about onboarding new clients, initializing new projects, and taking on new business activities. The system provides in-depth practical information about company wins and opportunities to improve.

Robust Search Functionality

Team members can use detailed search terms with broad criteria to quickly find the information they need for next steps. They’ll have immediate access to client details, inventory and supply chain management, payment and billing information, work hours, and countless other data points.

Workflow Automation Examples 

Workflow automation helps with a wide range of tasks and processes across various industries.

Healthcare. In the healthcare sector, for example, automation system reduces employee burnout and stress with predictive modeling programs that draw data from electronic health records and scheduling programs. The software recommends the best staffing model for appropriate resource allocation based on past patient behavior, busy clinic times, and other data points.

Procurement. Supply chain management is another area for automation. You can use automation system to manage delivery, keep track of stock, and make orders when necessary, with predictive capabilities that reduce waste and optimize your profits.

HR. If we talk about onboarding, HR departments can automate the process, which may include tasks such as form completion, document signing, training assignments, and equipment provisioning for new hires. You can even automatically schedule appointments for your new hires with other employees and mentors. Automating a survey after the person’s first few weeks allows you to gather valuable data about the onboarding process and adjust as necessary.

Hiring. When you’re looking for the best new talent in your industry, consider automating search and referral. For example, you can use process automation to write and publish employment announcements, screen resumes, share job postings with qualified team members, schedule interviews and conduct background checks.

Automation can minimize these problems by providing new employees with important documents, automatically scheduling meetings with mentors and other employees, following up with surveys that ask about their early experiences, and a whole lot more.

Customer support. And automation can manage and prioritize incoming customer support tickets, route them to the right agents, and even provide automated responses for common issues, improving response times and customer satisfaction.

How Do Automated Workflows Compare to Traditional Workflows?

Automated workflows and traditional workflows differ in terms of efficiency, accuracy, speed, and overall impact on an organization. Let’s look at an overview of how workflow process automation stacks up to its traditional counterpart.

 Traditional WorkflowsAutomated Workflows
EfficiencyOften time-consuming and slowRapid and efficient
Manual Data EntryProne to errors and inconsistenciesFewer errors and better data accuracy
ScalabilityLimited by human capacityEasily scalable to handle increased workloads
ConsistencySubject to human variabilityConsistently follows predefined rules
Decision-MakingDependent on human judgmentMay include automated decision logic
Reporting and AnalyticsLimited real-time data accessProvides real-time analytics and reporting
Notifications and AlertsManual notifications, prone to delaysAutomated alerts for timely actions
Compliance and Audit TrailsRelies on manual documentationDetailed audit trails for compliance
Human Resource DependencyHigh dependency on human laborReduced dependency on human resources
Error HandlingManual error identification and resolutionAutomated error handling and notifications
IntegrationsMay require manual data transferSeamless integration with other systems and apps
Cost EfficiencyCan be costly due to labor needsOften leads to cost savings by reducing labor
Customer ExperienceSlow response timesFaster customer service, including around-the-clock responses
Adaptability to ChangesSlow to adapt to process changesEasily accommodates process changes
Employee SatisfactionMay lead to frustration and burnoutEnhanced employee satisfaction by reducing repetitive tasks
AccuracyProne to data entry errorsEnsures data accuracy and reliability

What Is the Current State of Workflow Process Automation?

According to a report by Grand View Research, the global automation market was worth $9.54 billion in 2022, with projected growth of 33% by 2030. Companies will increasingly adopt hyperintelligent automated solutions, which blend process mining, machine learning, intelligent document processing, business process automation, robotic process automation, and other forms of artificial intelligence.

Data process automation will be one of the fastest-growing subsets of workflow process automation, reaching a projected value of $5 billion in 2027 according to Forbes. With data extraction software, you can quickly and accurately clean, extract and manage the data you need to optimize operations, reaching a level of precision that human employees are unable to match.

What Statistics Should You Know About Workflow Automation?

These numbers illuminate present and future opportunities in the automation space:

  • 66% of companies surveyed by McKinsey in 2020 said they were piloting automation for at least one business function, compared to 57% in 2018.
  • McKinsey also reports that companies can effectively automate at least 50% of their typically operational process.
  • Intelligent Automation Network found that 42% of survey respondents are currently investing in robotic process automation and 57% plan to do so over the next year.
  • According to a market data report by Gitnux, businesses can potentially reduce labor hours by 77% by automating routine tasks.
  • Gitnux also reports that 75% of companies feel they have a strong competitive advantage because of automation and that 62% of businesses have identified at least three operational bottlenecks they can solve with process automation.
  • TechTarget reports that almost all employees of small and medium-sized businesses (94%) spend significant time on repetitive tasks. Among these individuals, 66% said they could become more productive with automation and 90% said the automation process improved their jobs.
  • Data from Oracle indicates that automation in the marketing space can boost the number of leads by at least 80%. At the same time, qualified leads rise by an impressive 451% and conversions rise by 75%.

If you’re inspired by these stats, it’s time to invest in the tools you need for effective automation.

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