It takes quite some processes to make a business run day-to-day. These activities are what you find in the business workflow basket. If you own a business or manage one, you most likely know what that implies. There is sales, customer services, collaboration, documentation, approvals for payment, leave, CAPEX/OPEX, and a long list of other processes or workflows you find in a typical business – each one with a breakdown of different to-dos. A workflow automation system will help you manage all these processes efficiently.
What’s a Business Workflow?
By definition, think of business workflow as a repeatable process that consists of a series of tasks that generally need to be completed in a particular, usually pre-defined sequence. One point makes the start of the workflow, and there’s a line of tasks that flows from one stage to another.
From a value standpoint, workflows help to make sure that processes are done the right way every time.
You know, there are just some things that don’t require anyone to be supposedly ‘creative’ or ‘innovative’ about them. They’re done a particular way, and that’s just how they’re done.
One example is getting approval for documents that are going out of the company. It might start from a secretary creating a draft, then passing it on to a team lead, before the CEO takes a final look- or appends a signature.
The Case Against Manual Processes
At the start of a business, manual document filing can be quick, easy and necessary. However, as your business grows manual filing can become a very complex, straining practice.
Let’s pick the workflow that has to do with documents.
There’s the challenge of documents taking up a lot of space while they’re being sorted. Imagine having to allocate more rooms just for keeping files.
In the process of moving files around, and to different tables, a fire or natural disaster could mean the loss of very important information.
There’s also the difficulty with making changes. Every time you want to make a change you will have to make a copy, so you don’t destroy the original with any edits or comments you might add. That’s not to mention the really long time it takes to access documents needed in implementing these recurring steps.
How about the costs incurred due to loss of important information when manually moving files around, and doing every bit of it manually? You just can’t get enough of the downsides to doing this manually.
Putting These on Automation
But just as businesses are recognizing these processes and their depth, business process automation started to gain momentum.
Workflow automation is the use of technology to execute these recurring tasks or processes.
They’re largely a set of manual efforts anyways, so, why not just make them repeat automatically, with minimal human involvement? Workflow Automation is done to minimise costs, increase efficiency, and streamline processes.
If you’re among those who are still reluctant about workflow automation, you are missing out on a lot of opportunities to be efficient, and get more from the time your employees spend at work.
In an article by Recruiter, managers spend an average of 8 hours per week on manual unstructured data tasks. Imagine what that means in a month, or a year.
How Exactly Does Business Process Automation Benefit Your Company?
Workflow automation optimises processes by replacing manual tasks with software that executes all or part of a process.
Tools like MaxFiles can improve practices within your organisation through workflow automation. But away from the general efficiency you can expect, these are some benefits of workflow automation.
1. Improved operational efficiency
Business process automation, especially when you use a tool like MaxFiles, makes it so that no one on your team has to manually move tasks from one stage of implementation to another.
Also, there’s an increased rate of accuracy, which makes errors and bottlenecks in workflows nearly nonexistent. This contributes to higher process efficiency overall.
2. Company-wide compliance
In most industries, there’s just a standard way of doing some things – both as a way to control the process and as actual regulations. How much can you really control errors if some people have to do these things over and over again? Not much.
So, an automated workflow just follows a pre-defined logic to ensure there’s compliance at every step of different business processes.
3. Save on time, save on money
Only when you do an audit of the time it takes to complete the mundane, day-to-day tasks on your team – can you realise how much time your team could have spent doing more important work.
Imagine how much time it will take for people in offices in different locations to sign a single document if you have to take it to everyone manually!
The same goes for the money saved on these activities and run around.
4. Streamlines task management
One example of this is the payment approval process automation on MaxFiles.
The whole workflow involved in financial audits, reconciling accounts, preparing financial statements, and sending out standard invoices could happen with more speed and efficiency.
Documents get moved to the right person at the right time. Things like requests for signatures can also happen without a lot of runarounds, as typical of manual processes.
No doubt, workflow automation has so much to offer any business that is willing to do away with manual processes.
Want to find out more about how workflow automation can bring operational efficiency, cost saving, better human resource utilisation and other benefits to your business?
Read more about MaxFiles’ workflow automation here.