What can drive your business growth? Try answering this question without talking about business automation. The burden of manual tasks challenges the operational efficiency of every department of an organization. Be it admin processes or finance, HR, IT, marketing, sales, or field service. Manual tasks make processes error-prone, slow, difficult to track, and opaque.
So, workflow automation is all about removing the manual steps in a complex business process. And streamlining it for simplicity and increasing service quality. Also, workflow automation is one of the essential digital transformations necessary for any business in the current market.
Why does your business need workflow automation?
When you try to comprehend what your business will achieve through workflow automation? The one-word answer for this is ‘better operational efficiency.’ To produce KPI-driven results, your employees need to focus on their KRAs, and for that they must get rid of any kind of productivity leaks. But, manual tasks are often the reason for productivity leaks for them. Paperwork, reparative tasks, compliance adherence, document management, menial tasks, self-services, and approval chains, all are productivity leaks.
Likewise, there are numerous jobs that if left for manual handling, they start intervening the productivity of the employees. Every department or business process can benefit from the workflow management software. Because such a software not just eliminates the need for manually handling the menial jobs of a process, but also makes the workflow more organized, systematic, and transparent to track.
How do different business departments leverage workflow automation?
- Human resources:
HR can use automation to source, verify and recruit candidates faster, ensure compliance adherence in all processes and provide swifter onboarding/offboarding experience
- Finance department:
It can simplify document management with the aid of automation. Save time on approval processing, can schedule auto-payments for invoices that are recurring. Automation can create a smart payroll management system
- Marketing department:
Marketing practices, like social media posting, web traffic tracking, autopiloting multiple marketing campaigns, etc. can be made much swifter through automation. Collaborating on workflows with teammates and vendors in multiple locations, content approval, scheduling of appointments, all such repetitive processes get simplified and more systematic through automation.
- Sales Team:
Sales funnel levels such as lead capturing, customer connects, scheduling of meetings, reporting & analysis can be standardized through automation.
- IT Team:
Raising IT tickets, escalations, avoiding duplicate support requests, assets management, and tracking are some of the basic workflow automation outcomes for the IT department.
Why Workflow Automation Needed in Field Services?
In general, the idea of workflow automation is mostly discussed concerning on-premise business operations or digitally networked business processes. But workflow automation is equally relevant and needed for efficiently delivering the field services. The field operational challenges often stem up from a lack of remote visibility into field activities. For driving growth in business that operates through field services, field visibility is necessary. Because transparent visibility into the field’s activities, and related processes pinpoint the bottlenecks that hinder the overall productivity of the field workforce.
Workflow automation in field services can take care of processes like:
- Job scheduling and dispatching
- Route planning & tracking
- Work order management
- Pre/Post inspection reports
- RFQ & quote management
- Time-tracking & timesheet
- Invoice & payments
- Contract & warranty management
- Inventory management,
- Claims & reimbursement,
- Reporting & analytics.
However, it is important to select an integrated field service management software. Good if the software can fit all the field operational processes. Otherwise, at least, it should function as a single tool capable of automating a maximum number of field processes. This single-dashboard access to different functionalities enhances the interface of the software. It lessens the complexity of the software.
How to select the right kind of workflow automation software?
What is your challenge when you decide to power your business operations with workflow automation? The only difficulty you will face will be related to selecting the right kind of workflow automation software. Because the market will bombard you with a plethora of options. There are just a few points that you need to consider as you make your selection.
- First and foremost is cloud operability. In current times and the future ahead, on-premise versions of automation tools are not much relevant. Especially, in terms of accessibility, data scalability, and reliable security.
- The customization scope of the software matters the most. Because customization improves the capacity of the software in alignment with the specific requirements of a business.
- The software must support cross-system integration with other cloud apps, because that makes it easy to improve the features, usability and capacities to the software
- The software should facilitate mobility so that users can use the app from any remote location and anytime.
The benefits of workflow automation can vary because it applies to many goals. Such as better team productivity, increased ROI, faster time-to-market, better service quality. To build software that can serve your business needs efficiently, it is important to define your goals rightly to the custom software developer. Because then only the developer will be able to accurately design the wireframe of the software to ensure that it will closely serve the business purpose.
Suyash is a customer experience manager at FieldCircle, a field service technology company. A writer by heart, he loves to spread the word around how customers interact with business across channels and the role of next-generation technology in customer experience and business success.