Business TipsWorkflows

3 workflow automation examples: from challenges to benefits

Our workflow automation examples will demonstrate how to get the most out of automation for your everyday processes.

Workflow automation still remains a buzzword that people struggle to conceptualize in reality. Why? As if kick-starting organizational change isn’t difficult enough, existing workflow automation solutions assume you’re already familiar with their tools and are simply waiting to spend your money on the best solution that presents itself.

Just remember that it’s absolutely ok not to understand everything that a solution advertises. The market is saturated and it’s easy to get confused when trying to choose the product that best addresses your business needs. And let’s be fair, sometimes we’re not even sure what exactly our business needs are.

That’s why we’ve come up with three typical workflows just itching to be automated.

Document workflow automation: solving document disarray and saving time on data entry

A study by Unit 4 revealed that office workers around the world spend 69 days a year on administrative tasks, costing companies $5 trillion a year. In the same study, 67% of respondents said implementing digital or software solutions is a necessary step towards remaining competitive.

If done efficiently, document automation reduces the entire cycle of document management. Document automation software bypasses many steps that would otherwise be dependent on human interaction, placing unnecessary demands on employee time. Worrying about things like rearranging, creating, uploading, and downloading documents is a thing of the past.

The good answer illustration

Here is a simple document workflow automation example:

A client of a law firm wants to sign a trust agreement. Lawyers from the firm meet the client for an interview, take down the client’s instructions, and make notes. They then scan these instructions and enter all the required data into the database. The next step is completing a draft.

First, you need to find the template you need, then fill and edit it according to your particular case. You save the document and send the copy to the client. But the client wants to make some changes to the trust agreement and emails the staff about them. After all the edits, the staff sends the document to the client for the final review. And if it works for them they are supposed to be ready to sign it. The lawyer appoints a meeting with the client and finally signs the document. All those copies are saved in the law firm’s document system.

As you can see, the process is complicated. And despite this, 65% of legal professionals identify time lost on administrative tasks as their biggest pain point.

If the law firm had automated their document workflow, they would have increased their chances of getting the final trust completed on the first attempt. Thus eliminating any need for revised versions and ongoing email correspondence. This is just one example of the initial investment in automation quickly paying for itself. The ROI that automation achieves is quickly exacerbated by reducing the number of documents needing to be managed. Remember that printing and storing paper documents costs on average more than $600,000 per year.

Let’s take a look at how the same process is completed using a single automation platform:

list-item-1 The law firm representative creates a template and modifies it according to the specific case, then adds fillable fields and signature fields.
list-item-1 The representative then assigns roles and fields to these roles. Some of these fields are required and some are optional. The representative also sets the signing order.
list-item-1 Once the document is sent, recipients can view the document and fill only those fields assigned to them.
list-item-1 If a recipient rejects or edits any fields, the representative will be notified and can create a new version of the document.

 

Choose the end-to-end workflow solution that gets everything done in one place.

Challenge

  • Documents disarray. Poor management, inconsistent tracking, and no defined process for retrieving and storing large quantities of documents. 
  • Required to meet all confidentiality and privacy regulations, as well as other compliance requirements.
  • Collecting, storing, and structuring data was impossible due to not having remote access to documents.

 

Solution

  • Cloud-based document storage. 
  • Automation document software running in a browser.
  • Robotic process automation combined with all popular services integrations.

 

Benefits

  • Better, faster, and cheaper services
  • Policy compliance adherence
  • Reduced approval cycles
  • Reduced manual data entry
  • Defined document management and clear tracking
  • Improved employee satisfaction
  • Better workload management

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HR automation: enforcing compliance and improving remote collaboration

Hiring is one of the most difficult and critical tasks for any business. The process of screening applicants for hire can keep your HR professionals busy for days or even weeks.

According to CareerBuilder, 71% of employers said automated applicant tracking software helped improve the candidate experience.

The good answer illustration

Closing contracts preceded by written instructions, templates, hiring processes, and onboarding could be partially or fully automated.

In recent years, a company’s biggest success has been measured as one which:

list-item-1 Provides HR employees with more responsibility, making decisions at the lowest acceptable level, and taking personal responsibility for the results.
list-item-1 Provides continuous improvement and development, supported by metrics, training, simplification, and automation.
list-item-1 Focuses on compliance and control, in particular on better discipline regarding data confidentiality and embedding results from control training incidents.
list-item-1 Develops an open and transparent approach to changes such as directly involving the HR team in the dialogue about organization, design, capacity development, etc.

 

In this instance, technology plays a critical role in the transformation. Day-to-day remote support, employee onboarding, internal job applications, employee data management, performance reviews, and many other similar processes, have become impossible to complete without automation. By automating away the slower, paper-based processes, HR teams are able to enhance their efficiency by eliminating tedious manual tasks. Doing so allows them to focus more time and resources on complex issues like decision making and strategizing.

Challenge

  • Slow and confusing onboarding process
  • Confusing compliance measures
  • Lack of transparency
  • Poor remote collaboration

 

Solution

  • Automated information input and document management 
  • Streamlined onboarding processes
  • Implemented compliance automation (read more HERE.)

 

Benefits

  • Better communication
  • Remote hiring
  • Eliminated manual errors
  • Time saved
  • Reduced costs
  • Transparency

Here you can find more information on how to implement automation for your HR department.

Tasks automation: avoid routine operations and inspire creativity

When it comes to business processes, 60% of all employees stand to save 30% of their working time by implementing automation. As much as 45% of the activities individuals are paid to perform can be automated by adapting the technologies mentioned in this post. Some of these tasks include generating sales leads, approving paperwork, and processing documents. Contrary to popular belief, multitasking can be counterproductive and cost companies 40% in lost productivity simply due to employees having to constantly switch between tasks.

Employee productivity is affected by many variables. Often, simply shifting from paper to email is not enough. Most projects involve complex stages that demand coordination, especially if they’re shared between teams. The same tasks are often created from scratch over and over again. Communication takes time. If something requires an urgent update, it cannot be done when a team is not synchronized.

The good answer illustration

From sorting and responding to emails, posting on social media, and scheduling appointments to sending invoices, filling out forms, sharing calendars, confirmations, and reminders, all these tasks can be completely automated.

Task management tools allow you to track all projects in your workflow while simplifying your to-do list as well as centralizing and dividing tasks into smaller steps. By using automation tools, you can avoid task overloading by creating reusable templates and setting notifications.

Planning and scheduling automated workflows is easy when you’re able to view all the existing processes. By using the drag and drop interface to add and organize tasks, you can easily manage assignments, recipients, notifications, etc. This allows you to quickly recognize the key processes and understand how they’re connected. Once deployed, employees can set priorities, statuses, and schedule ‘sprints’ and “breaks”. Admins can use workflow analysis tools such as reports, dashboards, and KPIs to ensure their processes run smoothly.

Challenge

  • Poor tasks management 
  • The need of face-to-face bottlenecks solving
  • Missed deadlines

 

Solution

  • Identifying tasks that can be automated, specifically repetitive activities 
  • Standardizing the entire review and approval processes
  • Capturing all information and documents
  • Completing activities audit trails
  • Creating custom reports and dashboards
  • Collaborating on documents

 

Benefits

  • Efficient, consistent experience for applicants and reviewers
  • Meeting compliance and regulatory requirements
  • Saving time on repetitive actions
  • Real-time collaboration with team-members

Long story short

When considering the workflow automation examples mentioned above, it’s important to note the following key points:

Documents go first. Automating your document workflow means you can forget about document exchanges and costly errors that eat up time and money. Issues such as waiting for approvals, lost documents, and so on, are also a thing of the past.

Hire anywhere and anytime. Remote hiring is another point to consider. HR automation helps you set up fast and efficient hiring and onboarding processes that ensure clear and precise decision making for both parties.

Think creatively. By automating repetitive actions and task management, you can finally give your employees more time for brainstorming to inspire their creativity and improve the overall quality of their work.

Moreover, consider that the costs associated with printing paper documents, storing them, securing their information, and tracking data can be completely managed with a single end-to-end workflow solution. Try it to see all the benefits for yourself.

Learn more about the challenges companies face when conducting business and get a practical explanation as to what companies can get from implementing airSlate in their day-to-day processes with the Automation in Action: Industry Use Cases course from our airSlate Academy. Enroll for free today!

 

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