An un-automated workflow often causes the stress and tension to business owners. First of all, it is associated with expensive costs; late payments, slow sales approvals, and payments for goods never received all become very expensive errors. Then there are all kinds of paper forms, e-mails waiting for approval and sticky notes flooding your desk and taking away more of your precious time than actually needed.
Now, how can you get rid of all that stuff and make your business processes faster and better organized?
Automation is the process of using control systems to operate equipment or even various processes. Business automation can be done using a software tool or hardware tool in the case of linear actuators or other automation hardware.
Now imagine a simple, streamlined communication process with one dashboard to see all of your requests. Each initiated workflow has its own line of communication to account for any irregularities and discussion in the business process. The work just flows – no email addresses required.
You also need to establish a clear approval hierarchy. Organisation hierarchy is seldom the same as the approval hierarchy for a business process. A well-implemented business process workflow tool, will not only have these approval hierarchies codified into itself, but will also ensure that each process has its own specific hierarchy as deemed by it. The boss doesn’t have to be on every step (unless she/he wants to).
When you automate your workflow, you create an owner for each step of the process. Initiations, approvals, rejections, and input are all bound to an individual who performed the action. By enabling that level of information transparency in your business process, you enforce accountability on yourself and your colleagues. A great workflow management system will also give you insight into who gets their job done quickly and who needs help to handle the load.
Finally, think of what you could do with all the data that has been accumulating for, let’s say, for two months? You could know how many requests came in, how many were approved, how many rejected, how long each one took, and which step in the process takes the longest. Since the mode of communication is streamlined and accumulation of data is centralised in an automated workflow tool, you get insights that tell you if your current business process is bottling up at some point – if it’s actually making life easy for your employees or if it’s making things more complicated.