Workflow Automation

Workflow automation improves productivity, efficiency, and customer experience.

 

Definition

Workflow Automation refers to the design, execution, and automation of processes based on workflow rules where human tasks, data or files are routed between people or systems based on pre-defined business rules.

Why It's Used

By automating workflows, especially those that are primarily handled manually by employees, significant improvements can be made in:

  • Efficiency
  • Productivity
  • Accuracy
  • Audibility
  • Job Satisfaction

Workflow Automation Examples

Here are some examples of processes that can benefit from workflow automation software:


IT/IS

IS Service Requests

Security Access Requests

New Account Setup

Change Requests

New Project Requests

Security Incidents

Finance

Purchase Requests

Expense Approvals

Salary/Wage Changes

AP Automation

Marketing

Campaign Approvals

Collateral Approvals

Brand Management

Facilities

Office Relocations

Resource Scheduling

Facility Access

Move Requests

Sales

Quote Approvals

Contract Reviews

Pricing Discounts

Proposal Approvals

Product Discounts

Legal

Legal Holds

Contract Reviews

Client Intake

HR

Benefits Changes

Timesheets

New Hire Management

Employee Onboarding

Employee Offboarding

Vacation Requests

Purchasing

General Procurement

Capital Approvals

Vendor Management

Invoice Approvals

Product Pricing


Simple or Complex, Your Workflows Can Be Automated

The process automation of a given workflow process can involve one simple request/approval process or encompass several different workflow tasks and resources, triggered by set business rules. For instance, an employee may request a capital expenditure by completing an online form.

This triggers workflow automation that routes the employee's request to their supervisor for approval. If the supervisor approves, the request is then routed to a different area of finance based on the amount of the request (e.g. Under $25,000 is routed to a Finance Manager while over $25,000 is routed directly to the CFO). Once the request is approved by the appropriate Finance approver, it may then be routed to the relevant purchasing agent based on the type of request (IT purchase, Marketing purchase, Event purchase, etc.)

All the steps and actions in the workflow process are tracked and reported in real-time as well as for long-term trend analysis. For instance, department managers can report on service levels and identify weak points or bottlenecks. In addition, requestors have visibility into request status for better planning. As needed, information regarding the request can be automatically transferred into ERP, CRM and other business systems.

Workflow automation provides several benefits over manual processes:

  • Policy compliance adherence
  • Reduced approval cycles
  • Reduced manual handling
  • Improved visibility
  • Improved employee satisfaction
  • Continual process improvement
  • Better workload management
  • Reduced errors

Workflow Automation systems provide administrative users with an environment for creating and editing workflow automation schemes, usually through a visual/drag and drop interface. Shapes and connectors represent the people and tasks to be performed for any given request so an automation scheme can be built based on real-world activities. This allows for rapid prototyping of workflows in an easily understood schema.

Workflow Automation Vendors

Companies like Kissflow, Worktec, Flokzu, etc. provide simple tools for small businesses while companies like Integrify provide robust tools for mid-size and enterprises companies. The difference between SMB and Enterprise software is in the feature set, interoperability, scalability and service/implementation component.

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