Five Reasons to Automate Your Workflow Now
By Mike Raia Posted April 23, 2019
You know it’s true—your inefficient processes are impacting productivity, efficiency, and perhaps even competitiveness and employee morale.
In all kinds of teams and industries, messy, manual workflows are still surprisingly common, and they're hampering your company's potential. You don't have any more time to struggle through manual, inefficient workflows. It's time to be quicker, more efficient, more competitive, and more employee-focused. It's time to automate your company's workflow.
Here are five reasons why it's time to make workflow automation a high priority.
Manual workflows are clogging up your team’s time and energy
Have you ever had a request/approval weighed down in an email chain that causes delays and confusion? Does someone on your team waste time re-keying information from paper records or disparate systems? Is your shared drive a caution zone with disorganized versions of files that cause missed deadlines?
If you're living with a manual workflow, it's likely you've experienced one (if not all) of these mishaps and frustrations.
Plus, manual processes create an invisible workflow that impairs management's visibility to identify and solve problems.
You want to increase speed and efficiency
In an automated workflow, every employee knows what their responsibilities are, and when deadlines need to be met. Your organization becomes more predictable and more focused because everyone understands what to do and when.
All the processes employees need to do their job show up in their self-service portal. Employees no longer need to rely on distant training classes or clunky printed binders because the workflow automation system prompts them through each step.
The system provides alerts and reminders to keep the process moving. These alerts flow to both employees responsible for a task, and to a manager who oversees the process. Plus, if an employee leaves or is temporarily unavailable, their tasks can be delegated, and work does not fall through the cracks.
You need to improve employee morale
Consider how much more focused and happier your workforce would be if they no longer had to send constant email reminders, wrestle with paper forms, or decipher scribbled notes. Each automated process boosts employee morale and permits more time for employees to focus on the real, value-added work of your business.
They can accomplish more with less effort and less support. You can build exception handling into your workflows so that there are fewer email discussions and lengthy deliberations about how to address them. Plus, as mentioned earlier, employees don’t need as much time in training since the system lets them know what to do next.
You need to reduce your business risk
Workflow automation increases the accuracy of information by limiting options in dropdowns. Accuracy is especially important when dealing with legally-required information. Workflow automation lets users select the right option rather than key-in information and prevents required fields from being left blank.
The system routes decisions and approvals to only those individuals specified in business rules. You can also build in multiple checkpoints, so that process outcomes are correct in every case. Management never has to go on a fishing expedition to oversee workflow tasks because the information is available to them in real time with robust drill-down capability.
Your customers demand better service
When customers become frustrated by errors in manually generated documents or wait on the phone for answers, you may lose business to competitors who provide efficient, automation-enabled customer service interactions. Meanwhile, when internal team cooperation is reduced due to manual workflows, it may become apparent to your customers and cause concern and/or defections.
It also creates friction between departments, adds to organizational chaos and inefficiency, and wastes employee time. Employees feel angry when their repeated requests for information are ignored or when they receive a sloppy, disorganized paper trail as a handoff.
With automation, the task moves into their queues only when all the information they need has been entered into the system correctly, delivering quick and accurate results for your customers.