In today’s competitive environment, making process improvements can allow you to focus on the things that matter most – building your business, training your staff, connecting with clients, and delivering products and services that are second to none. But if you (and your team) are managing everything on your own, it’s harder to find time to tackle the broader issues facing your business – which is where process automation solutions can help.
After all, according to George Westerman – a principal research scientist with the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy – “technology’s value comes from doing business differently because technology makes it possible.”
Of course, depending on who your business process automation and workflow software vendor is, you’ll receive different tools and capabilities, but in general, you should look for options that can be deployed in the cloud, so they’re always up to date, and can be accessed from anywhere. And although every organisation’s needs will differ, you should look for a solution that gives you the power to automate:
- Document management
- Task alerts
- Email marketing campaigns
- Customer communication
- Payment reminders
- Document review and approval
- Employee requests
Reasons for process automation
Automation solutions provide a customisable approach to business process improvement that can help your team and your organisation work more efficiently and realise their full potential. Just a few of the benefits you’re likely to see include:
- Greater efficiency – Because your team can do more in less time, you can reduce the number of new hires needed, and give special projects or important assignments to your current staff. After all, with fewer reviews, approvals, and requests to oversee, or fewer payment reminders and customer emails to write, your team can focus on developing products and services that meet your organisation’s goals and can help grow your business.
- More collaboration – By choosing process automation software that gives you a shared, secure space for files, and the ability to receive alerts when documents have been updated or changed or assigned by one team member to another, it’s easy to keep everyone on your team on the same page. And with a space to discuss files and projects, add notes, and address any concerns, automation solutions can help reduce the number of emails in your inbox, and make communicating and collaborating with the team – even when you’re miles apart – easier.
- Better customer support – When your help desk or customer service team is tracking requests manually, it’s easy for issues to fall through the cracks. By using an automation system to create tickets automatically, you can eliminate the risk, help your customer service representatives respond more quickly, and create a better overall customer experience.
- Improved employee performance – By automating certain aspects of your business, you can reduce the number of errors caused by manual processes. In addition, you’ll have a more focused staff – so those processes that aren’t yet (or will never be) automated are more likely to contain errors.
Along with creating a more efficient, collaborative environment, process improvement efforts can help you retain staff and improve employee satisfaction. According to a study from the Society for Human Resource Management, 55% of respondents said it was “very important” to their job satisfaction that they had opportunities to use their skills and abilities, while 43% said teamwork within their department/business unit was “very important.” Moreover, 39% said collaboration between their departments or business units was “very important.”
By eliminating menial or repetitive tasks, and giving your teams a shared space to work together, you can create an environment that’s supportive and satisfying for them, allows you to deliver a better customer experience, and creates efficiencies that improve your bottom line.