Developing logical workflows helps any organization run more efficiently. Even if a process is completely manual, having a sequence of steps to follow can ensure consistency, cut down on errors and omissions, and make processes go faster.
Of course, today many workflows can be automated, no matter what industry you are in. Automation obviously speeds things up, and it can reduce errors and ensure data capture to meet reporting and regulatory requirements.
But workflows aren’t static entities that will always be ideal because they’re ideal today. Improving workflows should be a goal, and every six months or so, you should step back and review automated workflows to see where improvements could be made. Here’s why reviewing your workflow automation is essential to maintaining your competitive edge.
Customers and Marketplaces Evolve
Technology isn’t just affecting your business, it’s affecting your customers’ everyday lives in profound ways. Customers who were happy to log in to your website to check the status of their orders a couple of years ago now want a mobile app that will allow them to do the same thing. Or perhaps your competitors are able to manufacture products at a faster rate and you need to modify workflows to ensure you stay ahead of them. The point is, people and technology change, and when this happens, expectations change too. Re-evaluating workflows is simply smart business.
Today’s Employees Aren’t Deskbound
Another reason to periodically reassess workflows is that your employees may be working differently than they did last year. You may have more employees in the field who don’t want to have to come back to the office to submit their expense reports. Adding mobility to processes can be a tremendous time-saver for many processes. But automation that works great over the company network may need fine-tuning to work efficiently for mobile, so you have to ensure you have the tools to make processes mobile while keeping them secure.
Some Improvements Are Evident Right Away
When you find a better way of doing things, the satisfaction can start immediately. Suddenly you don’t have to put that completed paper form on an HR manager’s desk, because you can submit it electronically and know that she will receive an email or text alert that her attention is needed. When your sales teams can turn in expense reports while on a long layover in Dallas, there’s less worry about lost receipts, and reimbursement checks can be cut sooner. Automating IT help requests keeps phone lines open and makes recordkeeping simpler and more straightforward.
Benefits Accumulate Over Time
Immediate benefits aren’t the only reason you should periodically re-evaluate automated processes. Those benefits accumulate over time. The two minutes each employee saves by automating timekeeping for payroll adds up when you have 100 employees and don’t have to worry about hiring another payroll clerk to process everyone. Automating a process (or automating it better) may take a little extra time right now, but it will be more than offset by the cumulative time saved when everyone uses that process.
Automation of workflows doesn’t require a huge capital investment, hiring consultants, or contracting with programmers. PerfectApps makes it easy to automate paper processes by creating electronic forms identical to your paper forms (so people are comfortable using them from the start), and then linking them together into workflows that eliminate time sinks like lost or illegible forms or the effort of typing information multiple times into multiple systems.
With PerfectApps, non-technical people can create forms and workflows with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, so manual workflows are made automatic and time and resource savings commence immediately. The ways PerfectApps can be put to use are practically unlimited. Check out our demo video and see for yourself how PerfectApps can be the perfect automation solution for today and tomorrow.