A business process includes multiple workflows that run parallel to each other simultaneously. Most of the time, these workflows are carried out manually, which wastes valuable time, increases workloads, and has a high chance of errors.
Let's take an email broadcast, for example. In this process, you’ll have to send the same email to thousands of email addresses. Now you know how hard it can be to send that many emails manually; it is tedious and detrimental.
This is where workflow automation comes into play. You can build a workflow and set a trigger to start the workflow.
Once you launch the campaign, the workflow automation platform will run your business processes on auto-pilot. In the case of the above example, the emails will be sent automatically to all the customers at the right time.
So, what exactly is workflow automation, and why does your business need it? Find answers in this informative blog.
Workflow automation refers to using a tool to build, execute, manage and troubleshoot a task without requiring manual assistance. Once the automation tool is configured, it can carry out the process on auto-pilot until the end conditions are met.
By automating the tasks, you can save time and minimize the workload of your teams. It increases productivity and lets them focus on more valuable tasks that can be highly incremental to your business.
Sending emails, submitting proposals, setting up reminders, scheduling tasks, and triggering an email series are some of the most common tasks automated by businesses.
A common misconception is that automation tools replace manual work, but this is not true. Workflow automation is used to help your teams by minimizing their workload; this will relieve pressure and increase productivity.
Tasks like sending emails, scheduling appointments, submitting proposals, etc., will only exhaust resources. Automating those repetitive tasks saves energy which can be focused on more valuable tasks.
As the tasks are carried out on auto-pilot, the process is completed quickly, saving time, energy, and resources, eventually minimizing expenses.
One of the major issues while handling repetitive and tedious tasks manually is the rise of errors. It is unavoidable as the process itself is long and time-consuming. But workflow automation eradicates this and delivers accurate results all the time.
As no human interaction is required, automation takes less time to complete the process, which is not the case when doing it manually.
Automation ensures that all processes take place at the right time. This reduces any lapse in the process.
If you take emails, for example - all the employees will get an email at the same time when it is automated. This increases transparency and engagement.
Since the process of automation is pretty simple, it makes it easier to assign DRIs. Workflow automation also has its own dashboards, which makes tracking and accountability simple.
As automation takes care of all the cumbersome and repetitive tasks, it empowers employees to focus on more valuable things, increasing employee satisfaction.
Workflow automation is suitable for any industry, irrespective of size. The sales and marketing industries have completely switched to automation. Here are automation examples from multiple industries:
Are you wondering how to make workflow automation possible?
Well, all you need is simple process automation software to run your business on autopilot. There is one major issue with automation tools, though - there are too many of them.
Here’s what you need to look for in automation software. These factors will help you find the right one:
The ultimate goal of workflow automation is to help business simplify their business process. So should the software; it should be simple and easy to use and navigate.
Look for software that has a user-friendly interface, the best customer support, drag-and-drop builders, and one-click navigations.
Ensure that the software has cloud-based storage and server capabilities. Standalone servers are highly susceptible to loss of data and security issues.
Consider the fact you already have a business where you use multiple tools for various processes.
When you choose an automation platform, ensure that it is compatible with your existing tech stack. It must have custom APIs that enable seamless integration possibilities.
As we said in the beginning, a successful business is a coordination of multiple processes running simultaneously. So choose a platform that has the right features to handle all your requirements.
Your automation campaign is up and running. Now, how will you track its performance and check if it is working and yielding results as you intended?
An ideal automation tool should have an intuitive dashboard that displays all the campaign analytics and KPIs in real-time. Only then can you measure the performance and make changes in your next campaign.
Businesses expect that all their performance-related data should be available in their hands. Multiple automation tools let you build custom mobile applications, so select a tool with mobile capabilities.
This is the most important aspect to look for in an automation tool. To keep up in this competitive market, you must be quick and create easily accessible business processes. This is only possible with low code automation.
These platforms let you build complex applications without the need for coding expertise. You can use visual builders to create applications, reducing the developmental downtime that occurs in traditional development.
Everyone on your team can use platforms like these without coding knowledge. They save costs and increase productivity greatly.
Finally comes the most influential selection factor, pricing. Platforms with low pricing plans don’t mean they are better; some cheap platforms will have hidden charges that will make you regret choosing them.
Perform thorough research, review articles from G2 and Trustpilot to see word of mouth surrounding the platform, and then take your decision.
These factors will influence your selection process, so ensure you check all the boxes before choosing the right one.
Before you start creating your workflow campaign, it is essential to identify which processes need to be automated. This will help you save time, focus on tasks, and reduce clutter.
Consider advice from your team and stakeholders. Are they cool with you automating some of their tasks? Do not proceed with the workflow design until you finalize the processes that require automation.
Even the simplest task might look complex if you don’t view it from the right perspective. The easy way to draw or visualize your workflow is through a flow chart or process workflow diagrams.
By doing this, you’ll know the process that precedes and succeeds one another. Also, visual plans are more easily understandable across the team instead of a documented strategy.
Once you’ve visualized your workflow, you need to define your end goal and what you want the workflow to achieve or solve an issue.
The end goals should be communicated to your team and stakeholders; this will align everybody's interests and help them make collaborative decisions.
Without an end goal or target, your workflow will be moving forward with no destination, and you might end up losing control of your process. So, defining your end goals is crucial, and you must do it before starting your workflow.
A process won't go according to plan every time. Sometimes it might go sideways. This happens even for larger scale and popular businesses, but they won’t worry about it because they would’ve already predicted an outcome.
At times, your process might fail, or there might be a delay, or a few bottlenecks might appear. You should be prepared for these with a plan B.
Businesses that don’t have a plan B are the ones that suffer in successfully completing the business process.
Alright, your workflow plan is ready, you’ve defined your end goals, and you have a plan B in case things go sideways. The next best practice is to train your team so that they can make informed decisions.
Communicate your plans with your teams and stakeholders, and upskill them before your assign automation tasks. This will reduce uncertainty and help your team invest their full potential to make the process successful.
Your team is now ready. Prioritize the tasks and start designing your workflow using the automation tool. Configure every aspect from start trigger to end conditions and once you’re done, launch the campaign.
Now, this is where most businesses fail; the best practice is not to abandon your workflow once you launch. The best practice is to dig into it; if the process fails, look for answers.
Track its KPIs to see how it is performing. If you feel it is not returning the required results, make alterations to the workflow and launch the campaign again.
Sometimes it is hard to get it right on the first try. A/B test your campaign, track the metrics and make constant changes to enhance the process. That is the only way you can truly achieve success with automation.
Once you find the sweet spot where everything is working fine, you can document the changes you made and employ them in your future processes to make them successful.
Workflow automation is the activity of running a business process using an automation tool without the help of manual assistance. This approach is getting popular because of its robustness and other benefits it brings to the business.
In this article, you learned about the benefits of workflow automation and how to choose the right software that would make it possible.
Let's save you the search - there's one tool that checks all the factors listed above – and it's called Hubler.
Hubler is a business process management tool that lets you automate your business process. It doesn’t need any manual assistance - once the campaign is live, it can run the process on auto-pilot.
It comes with drag-and-drop builders and seamless integration capabilities that can easily connect with your existing tech stacks. Put all the above-mentioned best practices to work using Hubler.
Get in touch with us to learn about pricing and how Hubler can be beneficial for your business.