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We’ve been hearing about the advantages of “automation” for more than a century. From the days of the Industrial Revolution and onward, automation has been a word that represents ease and efficiency. It’s a word that has made life easier for the vast majority of the world’s population and is generally a term that we welcome when we’re looking to save time and money.

So, maybe you’ve recently heard the term “workflow automation” and you figure it’s something positive but you’re not sure exactly what it is. Well, it’s simple really, and once you’re familiar with the term you’ll quickly realize that adding automation to your workflow can increase your bottom line and help both you and your customers.

What is workflow automation?

Workflow automation is best defined as a way to take a tedious, onerous task – one done manually – and convert it to one that is largely automated. The automation is designed to make the task easier and quicker as well as more enjoyable and less monotonous for the employee.

What are the benefits of workflow automation?

Businesses that are using outdated, manual processes can certainly benefit from automation.

  • Automation greatly reduces human error from manual entries or oversights
  • Businesses can improve their capacity for scalability with automation
  • Processes that reduce costs can be created
  • Automation streamlines task management
  • Automation reduces time in a process cycle

Here’s a little more detail on how these benefits play out.

  • Employees feel less pressured to get multiple tasks done in a short amount of time. As a result, employee retention is greater and employees are generally happier at their jobs. Indeed, the work environment is improved overall.
  • By using workflow automation software, employees spend time on tasks that add to their productivity and your bottom line rather than wasting time on menial tasks that are frustrating AND time-consuming. As a matter of fact, research also shows that with an automated workflow system, you can save about 50 percent of the cost associated with a particular manual process. For instance, emailing clients can take seconds rather than hours.
  • Work becomes more consistent across the company. This is especially important for large businesses with multiple employees doing the same things as there becomes less chance for human error that affects everyone.
  • Workflow automation keeps improving. If you’ve invested in workflow automation software early on, you’ll find that the number of tasks you can conquer with this software continues to grow. Tools are becoming more and more sophisticated and will continue to do so in the coming years. That’s certainly a money saver!
  • Scaling up becomes much easier with workflow automation tools. Adding products and services becomes simpler, for example, and companies won’t find the need to hire lots of new employees in order to do this. There’s no need to purchase new equipment, expand office real estate, or lengthen employee hours. This all helps your business maintain a competitive edge without a huge capital investment.
  • With this software, hiring remote workers becomes more of an option. As long as an employee has a reliable internet connection, they can literally work from anywhere and still be in regular touch with clients and customers. There will be no need to invest in additional infrastructure.
  • With workflow automation, your customer experience becomes a much better one and customers are happier and more satisfied. That means they are more likely to recommend you to family and friends or to offer positive reviews online and elsewhere. Customers want quick communication, and with manual processes, they don’t always get it. This software truly makes your company a 24/7 business, even when there are no employees in the office or on call.

Certain kinds of emerging technologies aren’t for everyone, but it’s easy to understand how adding automation to your workflow can put more money in your pocket while keeping both your employees and customers happy and satisfied.

At Stillwater IT, our experts can help you realize the benefits of workflow automation and recommend the product that is right for a business of your type and size. For a free consultation about this and our other IT services, call us at 604-899-1105.