So you’ve heard about workflow automation, and it’s all anyone’s been talking about.
But what exactly is workflow automation, and why is it so important?
Here are the top reasons why you need to implement automation into your daily work routine.
What is workflow automation?
It is a common term in our current tech-savvy society, but what exactly is it? Simply defined, workflow automation helps to streamline and execute a series of tasks automatically through digitalisation. Such tasks are routed between people and data based on pre-defined business rules. It is customisable according to your business needs, as different types of work require different kinds of workflow automation. For example, a legal firm would require automation in their billing process, routing between company staff and external clients. Respectively, for other industries, the type of tasks being automated would be different.
For many companies, workflow automation through digital workflows in digital adoption platforms is used in their day-to-day processes, which has many benefits, especially in using workflow automation to handle repetitive tasks.
Time savings & increased efficiency
Through workflow automation, administrative work is translated into a process where users only need to key in essential details, and the system takes care of the rest. Going back to the legal firm’s example, staff members could key in a legal case number and automatically send requests to clients for them to submit their documents. This is especially useful because, in such cases, legal firms usually have a large volume of cases to handle.
For example, documents required from the client for a divorce case would differ from those needed for a criminal case. Hence, staff members would be able to save time as they would only need to select the type of case and key in the respective case number, and the system would automatically request the required documents from the client. This could also be applied to the law firm’s other needs, such as billing processes, leave systems, etc.
Thus, agile workflows dramatically increase overall efficiency by helping your employees to work faster to achieve their project objectives in their project pipeline, allowing them to make full use of their work hours and work smarter, not harder! Other tips to maximise your work efficiency include creating a weekly workplan, applying the pareto distribution to your workload, or having project kick-off meetings for your clients.
By implementing workflow automation in your processes, there is much lesser dependence on human employees. A significant benefit of this would be that your system would continue operating whether or not there is a staff member overseeing it. In traditional systems, such a situation would not be possible, as an employee must be around to manage processes. The whole process would need to be put on hold in their absence until they return to work.
Automating resource utilisation will make such problems a far way concern. Processes which can be handled by the system, such as automatic reminders of deadlines, would be sent via the system rather than requiring a staff member to send such reminders manually.
By automating, you can free up work hours to do more high-level tasks, such as integrated project management, brainstorming, and other essential functions. By upskilling and training your staff to do these higher-level tasks, you and your staff members will benefit as your company now contains more skilled individuals, and staff members will have a more robust portfolio under their belt as well! This would help to increase your workplace productivity to achieve your OKR and KPI goals overall, leading to more engaged employees and a more conducive workspace to foster a high-performance culture.
Clearer communication & consistency
With automation, you can ensure more transparent communication and consistency as the system handles everything, and the process chain will always remain the same. This means that steps in your process chain will always be consistent, making it much easier to trace back when any issues arise or when there is a need to check the past timeline.
It also ensures more transparent communication between employees, as they can simply check the system logs for past executions of processes. This means that there would be a clear record of which employee executed which process and the process steps would always be consistent as the system carries them out. Employees would also find it easier to improve the process as they would have a clearer picture and can identify redundant steps in the process, then remove these unnecessary steps to improve the process efficiency.
Workflow automation tools also eliminate the possibility of human error, where employees may forget to attach a document or send a particular email. Although some may say that this lack of human touch is detrimental as there is no longer that sense of “warmth” from communicating with a person, it is clear that automation for administrative processes would greatly benefit users thanks to the added efficiency. As a result, this reduces the processing time, allowing both employees and clients to benefit from workflow automation.
Strong cyber security
Another way to automate processes is to store documents automatically in one online location so that employees would not need to print out files and store them in a physical file storage. This could include storing signed agreements as well. Some traditional companies may shy away from this idea of workflow automation as they fear storing their documents online instead of in hardcopy form would increase the risk of cyberattacks. They may fear this could lead to detrimental consequences such as losing important client information and being exposed to confidentiality leaks.
While such consequences may have been true in the past, this was mainly due to the lack of cybersecurity measures. Workflow automation is highly secure when the proper measures are implemented. For example, when storing documents on a cloud, many systems require two-factor authentication (2FA) for users to log in before accessing the cloud storage. This helps counter cyberattacks as the added security barrier is difficult for hackers to breach since users need to verify their identity before being allowed access. Digital certificates, a form of electronic password using the public key infrastructure (PKI) utilised in digital signatures, also enable individuals and organisations to exchange data over the internet in a secure manner. Additionally, files stored on cloud servers are usually encrypted, raising the difficulty for hackers.
Hence, storing your documents using secure online cloud storage would help to automate your work process further and make it easy to access them in future. Additionally, e-signing documents would increase efficiency even more as clients no longer need to wait for hard copies of agreements and hand-sign them. Security concerns would no longer be an issue as cloud storage is highly secured, especially with regular software updates. You can have peace of mind that your confidential documents can be stored safely!
Workflow Automation with Tessaract
With fast-moving digital acceleration in technology, companies must keep up with the digital transformation and business transformation trends to avoid being left behind by competitors and clients. Through workflow automation, it is clear that many companies are benefiting from increased efficiency, cost savings, clearer communication and even higher cyber security. It also helps employees as they now have more time to do higher-level tasks instead of having to devote most of their working hours to completing many tedious administrative tasks.
With the countless workflow automation software options in the market, it can be confusing for you to choose one that best suits your needs. One option would be Tessaract’s business management software, which provides all the functionalities discussed above. With its secure cloud-native storage, automated email systems, digital signing client onboarding tools and other functions, it is an all-in-one system which can help you boost your business productivity exponentially. With Tessaract's corporate tools, you can do away with repetitive tasks using workflow automation and focus more on growing your business!
Power your business with Tessaract today!