10 Reasons You Should Automate Your Workflows
Nobody likes being a paper pusher. An overflowing inbox, accompanied by stacks of reports on the floor, has become a symbol of entry- and mid-level corporate employment. For good reason, Automate Workflows paperwork seems to never end. With an endless cycle of reports, signatures, approvals, and filings, many employees become bogged down in the drudgery, with diminished productivity and weakened morale.
Of course, the paperwork has importance. But looking at ways to capture information electronically and automating your workflows can free up your valuable staff to work on projects that drive revenue and bring value to your organization. That makes them much more productive, and happier at the same time.
Does workflow automation seem to be a task too tall to tackle? The right partner, with experience in automation and customer relationship management, can help you streamline your processes. And workflow automation brings some serious benefits. Let’s examine a few of them.
1. Don’t Repeat Yourself
Just the act of examining your workflows with an automation view can reveal redundant activities. These time wasters are hidden from view, eating away at overall productivity.
For example, many times data entry is duplicated in other departments. You might find customer information being keyed in by the sales team, by a production manager, and in the accounts receivable department. Entering that information only once, into a system accessible by all, saves time and reduces error.
Another common redundancy is in document generation. This can be overcome with templates and forms in your workflow automation solution, allowing employees to quickly generate standard documents already filled with the appropriate client or vendor information, ready to send. That gets them back to more important tasks all the sooner.
2. Monitor Progress and Top Performers
Most workflow automation systems allow you to assign tasks to your staff, allowing you to balance the load evenly across the entire team. You can monitor progress, identify bottlenecks, and give your team the support they need to overcome obstacles to their productivity. Additionally, you can identify top performers and reward their work accordingly.
3. Enhanced Internal Communication
A workflow automation solution can facilitate necessary communication to ensure your team works as a cohesive whole. When a project phase is complete, when approval is needed, when a task needs to be rescheduled, etc., the system notifies the appropriate person for follow-up.
4. Better Customer Relations
Certain customer communications can happen automatically, freeing customer service reps from having to remember, or second-guessing themselves and sending a message twice. Integrating with CRM software allows the combined system to present representatives with a history of all communications with the client, thus avoiding duplicated efforts. It also helps you strategize, making contact at the right times to drive sales.
5. Drive Sales with Marketing Automation
Keeping track of a prospect’s journey through the sales pipeline can provide you with more opportunities for automation. Messages can be set at predetermined points to revive prospect interest and guide them through to becoming a customer.
Tracking customer habits to provide reminders to make a purchase is another fine use of automation. Such processes help you nurture leads, giving them the right information at the right time.
6. Make Billing a Snap
Invoices that arrive days after the sale can stall payment. Automating your billing processes ensures that invoices are accurate, arrive promptly, and help you get paid faster. Not to mention, it makes the accounting department much happier!
7. Provides Data for Strategic Planning
Being able to balance workloads with automation makes it possible for you to track the overall productivity of your company. It also shows you how much production capacity you have, helping you decide what new projects you can take on and what areas you need to improve in to stay competitive.
8. Fewer Mistakes
As more common functions become automated, you eliminate more errors from your processes. Entering data only once reduces the likelihood of a mistake. Even if you make a mistake, there’s only one place to correct it for the entire system to be back in sync.
9. Search and You Will Find
A major advantage to deploying a workflow automation solution is the ability to search across all data in the system. In a few seconds, you can find any communication or document you need, such as:
- Customer Invoices and Payments
- Supply Chain data
- Similar projects that you could duplicate to save time
- Activities performed by a specific individual or team
- Define search parameters by time, narrowing down the results
- Pulling up client and job information
- By making full use of search features, minimal time is spent searching for essential information, and also ensures that important information or documents are not lost.
10. Smaller Carbon Footprint
Save a tree! By greatly reducing the paper copies that circulate, workflow automation solutions contribute to a better environment for everyone. It can also be felt in reduced office expense and less time lost to moving all that paper around. It can also earn you the right to call your company and your products ‘eco-friendly’.
If you want to stay competitive over the next few years, now is the time to investigate workflow automation. The savings and productivity benefits, not to mention the boost to employee morale, are well-documented.
Do you wish your company was more streamlined and more precise in its operations? Talk to the experts at CogentNext Technologies to find out how these solutions can take your company to the next level.
By Chandra Subramanian, CogentNext Technologies