6 ways to use workflow automation
What is workflow automation?
Workflow automation is the process of using software to automate essential business tasks.
Why your business needs workflow automation
Automation drives better business outcomes as it does exactly what it’s configured to do, without the risk of human error. For your business this may mean:
Better customer service
Workflow automation software can track all customer interactions, helping agents better serve your customers. Customers won’t have to repeat information they’ve shared in previous interactions, and agents can refer to past conversations to demonstrate that they’re paying attention.
Automating simple tasks saves time and money. Once you’ve set your “if this, then that” business rules, tasks can move forward with little to no human input. For example, you can auto-approve supplier invoices or employee timesheets if they meet certain criteria, or route them for approvals or exception management if they don’t.
Greater visibility into operational performance
With workflow automation, you don’t have to ask team members about the status of tasks — you can just access your dashboard to see what’s happening across the business. You can also run reports to see how you’re performing in key areas, such as in managing your inventory, resolving support tickets or completing projects on time.
Your workflow can route tasks to individuals, send reminders and notify others if action items are not completed within a set timeframe. This sets accountability for deliverables, making sure things get done so your business can continue to run smoothly.
6 ways businesses can use workflow automation
Most businesses benefit significantly from workflow automation across the following areas:
1. Accounting and tax
Many accounting tasks are repetitive, so they’re easy to automate. You can automate reporting to the ATO, set up approval workflows and schedule payment reminders for customers.
If lead nurturing and management is part of your business processes, workflow automation tools can ensure you never lose track of potential customers. Automation can remind your team to follow up with warm leads, schedule discovery calls and show you the status of all leads at a glance.
You can automate several types of employee management tasks, such as:
Schedule reminders for new hires to sign their employment contracts and complete their personal and tax information.
Instantly approve leave requests, according to business rules or route requests to the appropriate manager.
Automate rostering based on employee availability, skills and certifications.
Payroll and timesheets
Schedule reminders for employees to submit timesheets before payroll deadlines, and auto-approve complying timesheets. Automate payroll calculations to ensure accuracy.
Keeping track of expenses, receipts and loan payments is much easier with workflow automation. You can digitise your records and store them in the cloud, so they’re accessible from wherever you are. You can also automate accounts receivables, letting your software do the work of reminding customers when payments are due (or overdue).
Automate tasks to relieve project managers of administrative work and give them more time for client interaction.
6. Supply chain
Workflow automation greatly improves inventory management and demand forecasting, helping you optimise stock levels. It can also “learn” from data — if demand has increased in the past two quarters, your software can automatically reorder inventory to prevent stockouts.
How to implement workflow automation
It’s important to avoid a piecemeal approach to workflow automation so you don’t end up with a plethora of point solutions that don’t integrate well with each other. Disconnected systems cost businesses:
financially in software subscriptions and integration costs,
strategically in missed insights with the systems not “talking” to each other, and
in lost productivity with too much time spent on manual workarounds.
The best way to implement workflow automation is to choose a business management platform that brings all your key workflows together in one place. This way integration is seamless, user adoption is quick, and workflow automation across functions can give your business transformative efficiency and productivity gains.
Automate your workflows with MYOB
MYOB is a business management platform that allows you to manage all your business workflows in one place. You can digitise and automate your business processes for your customers, employees, supply chain, projects, finances, and accounting and tax.
With MYOB, you pay for what you need today but can scale your platform and add on new modules and capabilities to meet tomorrow’s requirements. Streamline tasks, build powerful connections and grow confidently with a solution that’s future ready.
Disclaimer: Information provided in this article is of a general nature and does not consider your personal situation. It does not constitute legal, financial, or other professional advice and should not be relied upon as a statement of law, policy or advice. You should consider whether this information is appropriate to your needs and, if necessary, seek independent advice. This information is only accurate at the time of publication. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information contained on this webpage, MYOB disclaims, to the extent permitted by law, all liability for the information contained on this webpage or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.