Many Calgary businesses are exploring or implementing process automation processes to improve efficiency and reduce costs. The following are 12 examples of workflow automation, also known as process automation.
Workflow Automation Examples in Operations
Obtaining and Approving Work Orders
In any size of manufacturing business, it is crucial that supplies arrive on time to ensure that the production line is not effected. The larger the business, the more employees a work order must pass through before being approved for sendoff. This can often lead to human error, time wasted and lost work orders. By automating the work order process, orders will be easily trackable, sent along more quickly, and will improve the accuracy of the information since compliance is guaranteed in the online system. This process will make the work orders visible through the entire approval process up until they are sent off so that everyone is informed.
Field Data Collection
Industries such as oil and gas or construction are often based on large projects that include many employees. Numerous employees are expected to input project data when they are in the field or on the remote site whether the project is in the initial stages or nearing the end. The speed and accuracy of the data received is crucial when the project manager budgets time and cost for the project. Therefore, data inputted by paper can be slow and unreliable at times. By automating the data collection process, remote field data collection can improve the quality and speed of the data received, decrease transportation costs of employees, and work to streamline the business by acquiring faster, accurate data.
Finance & Administration Workflow Examples
In any business, employees make company purchases and submit expense reports for reimbursement. In larger companies, once the employee submits the report, they have no idea what happens next or when to expect their repayment. By automating this process, the expense reports will be visible in a system where the employee can view its progress and the accounting team can have all necessary information in one place. Automation is more predictable, speeds up the process, improves employee satisfaction and reduces human error when it comes to expense reports.
Invoices are a company’s lifeblood. They are necessary to pay the bills and employees, buy supplies, and turn a profit. Invoices are often processed manually which can lead to delays in the company. If this process were automated, it could reduce time and human error, increase productivity and provide an online record of payments received. Automating invoice processing would lead to a faster and more accurately-represented cash flow.
Accounting Process Automation
We have a separate article for accounting process automation.
Sales and Marketing Process Automation Examples
Management of a Marketing Campaign
When it comes to managing a marketing campaign, there are countless elements to maintain simultaneously. The campaign manager must perform marketing research, public relations, brand awareness and media relations to name a few. If some of this process was automated, the campaign could be more focused on the product and stick to a schedule. Automating processes like press releases or digital marketing elements would allow the process to become more streamlined, reach the market faster and allow others to see the approval process while it happens rather than when it is finished.
Provisioning the Sales Account
It is key that each new client is treated similarly, both internally and externally. Within a company, numerous departments are involved with a new customer, whether referring to the accounting, sales or human resources department. By automating parts of this process, each department could be notified simultaneously with the same information or immediately after its updated by a different department. This consistent automation would lead to faster processing, dependability, immediate information transfer and overall improve the employee’s experience.
Throughout the year, a company will come across numerous prospects who expressed interest in their product or service but did not purchase. Often with big companies, these leads can add up to a lot of potential profits. With a lead management system, the company can receive reminder notifications to contact these individuals in the future to see if they are still interested in purchasing from them. An automated system can remind employees of specific dates, individual information, follow-up phone calls, proposal deadlines and more. These automated systems can make converting leads into clients a much easier task.
Information Technology (IT) Workflow
Service Requests for the IT Help Desk
As helpful as computers are for the modern day business, they still have their issues. Most companies will have some form of IT department that deals with issues related to network connectivity, operating systems, syncing, etc. By automating part of this process, companies can save a lot of time. Technological issues can greatly impact an employee’s productivity, so the quicker the issue can be resolved the better. By automating service requests, they can be customized and sent to the specific expert, resolved quicker, and increase the user experience by getting them back to work more quickly than if the request was made manually.
Maintaining User Accounts
Employees join new companies and leave old companies constantly. There is a specific set of steps followed for each process by the IT department in order to add or delete the employee from the company database. Therefore, if the company automated this process, it would be more efficient, easy to follow, and easy to troubleshoot if it for some reason does not follow the set procedure. Maintaining user accounts can be easy enough, but tedious when repeating the same task over and over again. Automating the process would save the IT department time to work on other technological issues rather than performing the same mundane task.
Human Resources Workflow
Onboarding & Offboarding Employees
When hiring new employees, a company performs similar steps for each individual in order to integrate them into the company. Therefore, when a company is dealing with employees leaving, similar steps used in the hiring process are now reversed for each individual. These processes would be easily automated to save company time and energy by creating a streamlined process that would be exactly the same for each employee. This would allow quicker integration or deletion, offer the employee an instant transition and reduce company costs associated with this process.
Employee Performance Reviews
Creating performance reviews annually is tedious for everyone involved. Employees provide a template for the employer, where then it is filled out by the employer and reviewed with the employee. This process is time-consuming and could be sped up with automation. Employees could be sent automated notifications to reminder them of the process and then be automatically provided with the correct documents to proceed. Having the process online and automated will speed up the review process, guarantee compliance of both parties, make it easily trackable and make everything automatic so that there is no uncertainty about which documents are required.
Company Travel Requests
Depending on the company’s nature, some employees will have to travel for business. The larger the company gets, the more people will travel and the farther they will go. These employees will submit travel requests and it is the HR department’s job to know what type of travel is it, where it is logged and who takes care of the details. This can be complicated when numerous requests come in at the same time and could be simplified by process automation. By automating travel requests, the process can be streamlined, requests can be tracked easily, sent directly to the correct department, and save the HR department a lot of time.