How to Achieve Operational Efficiency via Workflow Automation
Operational efficiency is the capability of an organisation to deliver products or services to its customers in the most cost-effective manner possible while still ensuring the high quality of its products, service and support. Unsurprisingly, improving operational efficiency is a fundamental objective for the majority of businesses.
The main contributing dynamic to operational efficiency is workflow. It’s therefore surprising how many organisations still depend on a large amount of manual processing, using legacy or siloed systems, paper-based forms and excel spreadsheets, rather than automating these mundane tasks that underpin the smooth running of a business.
Workflow automation is about streamlining and automating business processes, whether it is for finance, sales & marketing, HR or distribution. Deploying workflow automation to each department’s everyday business processes via will reduce the number of tasks employees would otherwise do manually, freeing them to spend more time thinking about value-added tasks.
This essentially allows more things to get done in the same amount of time and will speed up production and reduce the possibility of errors. Tasks simply cannot get ignored or bypassed with an automated approval workflow engine in place.
If the right processes are established then every employee will know what is expected of them and what they are accountable for. Any deviation will be escalated to management via a notification. In fact, management can benefit from being able to see exactly what is going on from a macro level, rather than having to request updates and reports.
If there is a bottleneck in the workflow then managers can make an informed decision and act on it immediately. With the ability to measure workflow, businesses can also understand where it is possible to improve.
Workflow automation can also help organisations maintain standards and compliance by configuring the workflow to make sure all essential activities and outcomes are tracked and escalated. Aligning a workflow approval process flow with policy makes it straightforward for users to comply.
Codeless Platforms’ Workflow & Human Interaction Capabilities
The BPA Platform can integrate all business systems within an organisation. The Workflow & Human Interaction capability can then provide organisations with a powerful and flexible workflow automation solution that ensures business rules are adhered to and administration is removed.
It permits users to receive and authorise multi-level workflow jobs, regardless of device and business system the workflow starts or ends within, and creates a 100% audit trail for complete piece of mind.
Here are a few examples of processes that can benefit from workflow automation:
- Bank account management
- Invoice processing
- Governance and compliance
- Automate lead follow-up notifications
- Trigger alerts regarding high-quality leads
- Notify account manager about contract expirations
- Supplier and contract management
- New product development
- Procurement process and work order approvals
- Upsell, cross-sell and cycle-based sell opportunities
- Follow up shopping cart abandonments
- Create automated email responses for enquiries
Getting the Best ROI from Workflow
Adding workflow capabilities to your system will revolutionise your business, but it is important to get workflow automation correct from the start otherwise it will only create problems in the future. Organisations need to understand what inefficiencies and business processes they want to address and make sure that everyone involved in the various workflows contributes to their design. If something is missing then the workflow won’t work.
Once it has been created and tested the workflow ideally needs to be documented and communicated to the users. Human interaction will be required at some point in the workflow, so employees need to know what is expected of them. Additionally, if someone leaves the organisation having the workflow documented will enable the next person to pick up the process very quickly, thus not adversely affecting the process.
If you would like more information on how automating workflow processes can improve your organisation, then please call us on 0330 99 88 700.