There’s a flow to completing every task within an organisation, whether your team is a large or small one. Let’s say there are just basic checklists associated with getting jobs done, across different departments. That’s a workflow.
So, automating this process or checklist, is what is called workflow automation. For better context, it refers to the streamlining and execution of projects by automatically routing tasks between people, technology and data based on pre-defined business rules.
In a report by McKinsey, of about 60 percent of occupations, at least one-third of the activities that make up a specific job could be automated. A survey by Smartsheet also shows that 40% of workers spend a quarter of their week on repetitive tasks. That’s technically a whole day.
The gains of workflow automation are immense, especially when it comes to saving long hours employees usually spend on mundane, often manual, day-to-day tasks. But then, it’s helpful to understand how specifically this relates to different departments in your organisation
Workflow Automation in HR
Recruitment probably has some of the most tasking and process-intensive workflow in any organisation. And that’s just one of the deliverables on the desks of HR managers/teams. There’s also the actual work of managing existing employees.
There’s a bunch of paperwork that human resource managers have to handle. Think of generating contracts and documenting them. Or, managing employee requests like leave or pay review.
These could all go digital and placed on autopilot, with an automation system that links documents to workflows. They would already be templated, and automatically customised for each person/situation. That’s a major reduction in paperwork.
Then, using predefined rules like keywords, recruiters can assess and shortlist job candidates faster. Many organisations in Nigeria rely on tools like Workflow Engine on MaxFiles to narrow down applications, which usually come in hundreds and thousands.
Before you know it, you would only have a few applications left for your team to review. And when they’re eventually recruited, workflow automation would be setting up a welcome experience that will provide swifter onboarding.
It’s like, when someone gets in the organisation, they already have what’s waiting for them to give them an introduction, and every information they need to function efficiently.
Since HR managers need to have a view of how people’s responsibilities flow, both for oversight, and as a way to ensure company-wide compliance to procedures.
Maybe way above what HR has, a lot of documentation happens in finance departments. Starting with the need to manage these documents, the value of a functional workflow automation here can’t be overemphasised.
One thing is the degree of human error this helps to remove. There’s also hundreds of hours companies get to save from things like approval processing, which is almost an everyday thing with finance.
Imagine being able to schedule auto-payments for recurring invoices, or automatically notify line managers of required approvals. That’s some back-and-forth avoided.
This also helps to improve payroll management, by allowing you to automate the process of finalising payrolls for each month. Payment approval notes could get to a CEO or any other approving manager in good time.
Marketing & Sales Operations
Marketing departments often have multiple initiatives going on at the same time, with some of them repeating everyday. Say some content review, or marketing collateral to be created, you can automate the process of working on this, and moving it through the hierarchy for approval.
Using tools like MaxFiles’ Workflow Engine and similar workflow automation tools, teams can collaborate on projects, and assign tasks for review among employees, wherever they are.
Workflow automation in marketing also means managers can assign tasks and define clear processes for storing, nurturing and engaging with leads. Leads can seamlessly be moved to different stages of the sales process, with the right person engaging with them at each point.
Same goes with sales. Spotler reports that over 50% of sales teams have recorded substantial increase in conversation rate by infusing a bit of automation to task assignment on time.
With this, you’re sure all leads get the same experience when they get into your funnel, and the ongoing lead management happens without hitches.
After a bad customer service experience, 39% of customers will avoid a company for two years. Interestingly, having to explain their problem to multiple people is seen as poor customer service by 72% of consumers.
It’s inevitable to get into the bad books quickly when every customer problem is a new issue to address from top-to-bottom. Then, you have delays to ticket resolution as another factor.
That won’t happen with a system that automatically escalates issues to the right department or agent. No delay. No duplication of support requests.
Using an automation tool to connect with customers, and resolve issues, also means you can study the trend of complaints – giving you and your team reliable data to work with, on product or service optimisation.
Managing business processes can happen without needless complexities. Unnecessary delays in essential business processes like these could get costly, with a spiralling impact on operational efficiency.
MaxFiles is a Document Management System with a workflow engine and other functionalities that help businesses take digitaltransormation to a whole new level.
Find out more about how MaxFiles’ end-to-end solution can improve workflow implementation within your organisation.