What is Automated Workflow?
To put it simply, workflow automation takes a string of tasks and automates them using a workflow creation tool.
Issues crop up when we rely on manual labour to successfully and constistently do tasks that are essential to the business. While it is usually unintentional, these processes get delayed or errors occur due to simple human weaknesses, such as forgetfulness, being ill or over-stressed.
This is where we can look at digital solutions to help us manage and track our business processes.
The Arguments against Automation
When being introduced to automated workflow, some companies cite these two reasons for not adopting it. Both are based on a lack of information and understanding about how workflow can revolutionise business management.
1. "This is how we have always done it...so that is what we do!"
When employees are asked: "Why do we do it like this?", the answer is often: "Because that's how we've always done it here."
The sad reality is that people rarely take a step back and analyze the things they do every day to help reach the required business goals.
So, when introducing this concept of "workflow automation", it is good to sit down with your team and ask for each step:
"What do each of you do to get to this point?"
Using the answer to this question, map out your company's processes to gain a better sense of what's going on.
After going through each step in the process, you'll begin to see the time-consuming and disconnected steps, the pitfalls and gaps, which cause delays and errors.
It's helpful for any organisation to map out this flow of tasks and begin to challenge why they do this... and is there a better way?
2. "Our processes are too complex for a computer."
There is no process flow that is too complex that a good workflow development tool can't be used to handle it.
If a company is hesitant because their procedures require human choices and approvals, a workflow can deal with that too. It is true that there is always a human element in compliance that involves discretion and expert opinions, but over and above the necessary human insight, automated workflow focuses on having a system take care of the string of emails, reminders, reviews, submissions, etc. that fill up a day.
If an employee needs to review/approve a process, then the workflow will make sure it is in front of them ASAP. Also, when alerts are tied to workflows, this information is put in front of the employee as it happens–in real time.
Is Workflow Automation for You?
Companies and industries with strict compliance and regulation obligations benefit greatly from automated workflow.
Those operations that allow your business to run smoothly - the tasks that must be completed for the company's success - is where the most beneficial opportunities lie. It is here that the onerous manual tasks are alleviated by automating them with workflow rules and triggers. Each step taken can be automated and completed more reliably by a digitised system.
After the process map is evaluated, most people find many routine tasks that could be automated. And in almost every situation, the burden of inefficient spreadsheets or paper forms is also a strong motivation to switch to automation.
Once a company realises that the two main arguments against workflow are not valid, they embrace the move to automation with eager anticipation.
Feel free to explore Nimblex to improve your compliance management through solution creation and workflow automation.
Find out more about Nimblex workflow.