When we talk about workflows and process automation, we refer to technologies that help us to optimize the implementation and execution of business processes and allow us to have an organized process that will make easier the discovery and quick solution of any error or problem. This topic is part of a discipline called Business Process Management (BPM), which seeks to replace manual tasks by automation and digitalization in order to increase efficiency and quality.
Usually a business process is automated to improve its performance, to optimize customer experience or to reduce associated costs. In fact, these are some of the benefits that the automation of processes brings to businesses.
What are workflows?
A workflow consists of an orchestrated and repeatable pattern of business activity enabled by the systematic organization of resources into processes that transform materials, provide services, or process information. An effective automation process has to be able to become integrated with other applications. The term “workflow” or “workflows” is used as a synonym of “automate a process”. Digital workflow replaces manual processes by automating hand-offs and other repetitive tasks, that can be completed without human intervention.
By implementing a workflow and automating tasks, every duty is placed within a pre-established order and hierarchy. This work system allows you to connect your employees with all the business processes related to them.
Organization and technology are key concepts for a company to succeed. Thanks to workflows, processes are automated and organized in an easy way, where every business departments are connected.
6 reasons to integrate workflows in your business
- It integrates all business processes and optimizes decision making procedures.
- It improves communication within the company, making it more agile and safer.
- It optimizes information flow.
- It makes a clearer division of labour, which allows the execution of tasks in a much more effective way.
- It saves time and increases business productivity.
- It improves customer services and attention.
Learn about the advantages of using workflows
In business, using a manual process allows you to detect sales opportunities and follow them up. The sales team receives the interest of a customer, they write the request down in an Excel spreadsheet and send the customer a price by mail. Then, if they remember, they follow up the enquiry. The problem with this system is that does not allow you to know the number of enquiries that are on hold so it is a bit hard to convert the leads.
This system neither gives you an employee performance indicator. On the other hand, the workflow helps you understand and improve the whole sales process. It allows you to measure the effectivity of the process and to optimize it. Using a workflow, you can also obtain an employee’s performance metrics to see if they are meeting established goals, working as contributing members of the team a to help ensure business operations are successful.
In addition, it significantly reduces errors in typing, information loss and other issues that may limit the execution and analysis of the processes carried out within the organization.
By measuring the status of your organization, through reports that evaluate response times, delays, pending activities, sales achievement, rejection and other processes, you can take the necessary decisions to improve the structure of workflows and the effectiveness of each task.
Applications and workflow systems
Workflow applications automate a variety of activities or tasks allowing you to monitor each stage of the process and provide the necessary instances to improve practices.
An effective workflow system empowers an adequate integration with different information systems such as databases, document management, messaging, ERP, etc., enabling the extension of a workflow, from a simple process to the integration of several interrelated business processes.
Workflow is an essential tool for companies that attempt to keep growing in an increasingly competitive market. The benefits are innumerable, but also some challenges appear.
In conclusion, for an innovative and up-to-date company to work successfully, it is necessary to establish an automated workflow system. This workflow will allow you to improve production by correcting errors before they occur, thanks to better external and internal communication and providing a better experience to customers.
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