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Workflow Automation 101

Workflow Automation, Workflow, Automate Business Processes

What is workflow automation?

workflow automation

a technology solution, which automates the tasks, resources and internal operations that form the process known as “workflow.”

Workflow Automation comprises automating resources, tasks, and the internal operations of your organization’s business processes. Think of it as a technology solution that essentially automates your workflow process into one efficient routine. Workflow Automation, or workflow management, automates the operations of your business in terms of work being shared efficiently between workers. Let’s say you have a contract that needs to be approved immediately. Instead of having to go to one employee after another, wasting valuable time, an automated workflow process would immediately route that contract to a decision maker with the time to devote to the task.

Even more important than saved time and fully utilized assets, documents within the workflow process are more secure and safe. An automated workflow process ensures the right documents are in the right hands at the right time. All those cluttered desks, lost data, and misplaced files? Gone.

How do I know if I need workflow?

Does your organization suffer from…

  • bottlenecks in the business process because of busy decision makers?
  • employees swamped with work while others have nothing to do?
  • employees choosing the more interesting/valuable work, while other more important tasks are left idle?
  • valuable employees spending too much time doing low-value tasks such as searching for documents, losing important files, and duplicating work?

Which problems can be solved with workflow?

Workflow Automation can essentially break up any business process into a series of automated actions. Automating your workflow allows you to streamline the decision making process, improve overall efficiency and make informed decisions, along with many other considerations and benefits. Check out this list to see all the things your organization can gain from workflow automation. Although not all processes can be automated, most workflow that can be split up into well-defined steps can be greatly improved.

Where do I start?

In order to begin automating your business processes, you’ll need to identify the source of your pain. You should know which processes aren’t exactly “cutting it” for your organization and what could be improved upon. Next you should know and understand the regulations that go along with handling sensitive information. These rules will dictate how your workflow process will be structured. The next step is defining the process. What types of documents will be handled? How can we improve upon the processes we already have in place? Defining your goals is also an important step in the process. Be smart about what you’re doing and set parameters that not only help you better understand what you’re doing, but also measure your progression. Finally you should test and re-test the new process you’ve put in place. Remember that “slow and steady wins the race”. Take a look at look AIIM’s article,” 8 Things You Need to Know About Business Process Automation and Workflow” for a more comprehensive guide on workflow automation.

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