An Introduction to Workflow Automation
Workflow automation is a game changer for businesses of all sizes, bringing efficiency and collaboration to new heights. It’s an automated series of actions that improve everyday processes whilst dramatically boosting your company's productivity.
In this post we’ll explain what workflow solutions can do for your business. But first, let’s discuss the basics.
Workflows are made out of tasks or jobs which need completing related to one another. This is usually at different stages within the same process (or processes). Automating these repetitive operations saves time & money. And naturally, the time spent on menial tasks like data entry could be better utilised to increase sales and profits for your company.
A recent study found that office workers spend 40% of their days on repetitive tasks such as data entry and maintaining contact lists, whilst according to McKinsey another 31% utilise some form of automated workflow process in order-to free up resources so they're not bogged down by repetitive work such as filling out spreadsheets every month with new leads.
What is workflow automation?
Workflow Automation is when you identify tasks employees perform and automate them with tools, apps & technology. We're talking about lead management, data input, follow up emails or even human resource marketing.
Switching a manual task to a self-operating workflow process saves your business money but more importantly removes the risk of error from these processes which might otherwise happen if left unchecked.
There are several reasons why businesses have adopted workflow automation; some common improvements include:
- Staff job satisfaction (because nobody likes manually entering data for hours)
- Data and task accuracy
The benefits of automating your business aren't just financial. Automation allows you to free up time and resources so that they can be reinvested in other areas, like marketing or customer service.
What types of business processes can you automate?
The benefits of automating business processes are enormous.
Imagine a world where you could spend less time on routine tasks and put more of your creativity into areas like marketing or sales.
Marketing automation is massively beneficial because it enables you to spend less time on mundane marketing tasks and more time on value added work. The key benefits are seen by businesses in any sector where manual, repetitive tasks are a feature of daily work.
Let’s take emails for example. With workflow automation you can personalise your emails at scale so they become much more personal with laser focused content. You can use labelling within the workflows to send a campaign to contacts who have already shown an interest towards what's being offered.
A popular example of email automation is creating what’s known as drip campaigns. This is where you take a contacts email address and create an automated sequence of emails to run over a set period of time.
Here's an example of what a drip campaign flow looks like:
- When adding a new prospect to our automated workflow, we send them an email welcoming them and providing information about what they can expect from us moving forward.
- We then continue nurturing this customer by sending regular updates on products or services that are of interest as well as any relevant news stories which may impact the client's business decisions in future.
- You can choose the cadence that your messages go out at. So for example it could include one additional reminder message three days after their initial contact with you - if it has not been seen yet then these messages will go out every day until they reply back again!
The onboarding process can be a time drain for your staff as they have to manually input all of the new hire’s information. With automated workflows, this takes up much less of their day which means that they can focus on other tasks such as training new recruits properly. This can be a painstaking and time-consuming process. Luckily, with automated workflows you will never have to worry about this again.
If you’re using a single centralised system you can keep all of your employees details in one place. So when an employee joins your company your HR team can manage payroll as well as insurance policies and medical schemes through the system. This will ensure that simple human errors like double payments or incorrect data won’t happen.
If there are specific triggers for approving travel requests then you don’t even need human intervention anymore - just set them up once then let this powerful system handle everything else on its own.
- Employee productivity and effectiveness can be quickly boosted by automating HR processes.
- Quick data processing and sharing eliminates the need for time-consuming paper-based HR processes.
- This also helps to cut storage and printing costs associated with paper files. In addition, automating HR processes helps to ensure compliance with policies and procedures.
- This is especially important in safety-sensitive industries.
- Finally, automating HR processes allows companies to spend more time analysing their hiring practices and making improvements.
As a result, automating HR processes can have a positive impact on company growth.
Accounting & Finance
Are you struggling with your business's accounting process? Do staff requests for reimbursement and approval spread across a department, or is there an abundance of data entry that you need help to automate?
Automation equals faster turnaround times. When we remove human error from these processes, this frees up time to actually get on with the signing off holiday reimbursements or budgeting approvals - essential tasks that are necessary for employees to feel appreciated by the company.
Another great benefit of automation in accounting and finance is expenses.
We all know the feeling of frustration when we're running low on money and waiting for it to land in your account. It doesn't have to happen. You can create an automated workflow so that team members automatically process expenses or reimbursement requests, rather than emailing back and forth with your accounting department.
Workflow automation can save your business time and money. It’s a powerful tool that can help to improve employee productivity and efficiency. With Pipedrives Workflow Automation feature you can streamline your processes across several departments such as marketing, finance and human resources. Workflow automations are quick and easy to set up and can save you up to 40hrs a week that was previously spent manually following tedious steps.
Interested in implementing workflow automations in your business?