4) Improves transparency –
workflow automation is based on specified business rules and tasks that are clearly outlined. The tasks are usually based on rules that specify the sequence of tasks and expected outcomes for each task. The stakeholders responsible for execution of each task are also specified in the workflow. Employees are clear about what they need to do and what to expect from each task. The transparency and visibility into process operations are greatly increased through automation.
5) Eliminates micromanagement –
micromanagement brings down the morale of employees and makes them feel that they are underutilized. Constant supervision of employees’ work and issuance of instructions is considered as a nuisance by employees and distracts them from doing their work. Automating process workflows eliminates the need for micromanagement, by specifying that tasks for each stakeholder. With a workflow process, employees consistently perform predefined tasks that are assigned to them and are well aware of the due date for their tasks. So, managers need not constantly follow up on approaching deadlines or keep a tab on task statuses. They can spend less time micromanaging and focus more on strategic work. When workflows specify the tasks for each team member, it increases the accountability. The more accountability, the need for micromanagement reduces proportionally.
6) Improves communication –
manual processes lack the transparency and clear communication channels. Employees are not clear about whom to approach in case of a query or issue or clarification. As mentioned above, manual processes lack transparency and visibility into task statuses and dependencies. If there is a delay or a bottleneck in a process, the entire team spends too much time figuring out where the issue is. A well established workflow ensures seamless communication between the tasks and stakeholders. Employees are clear about the appropriate communication channels and where to get answers for their questions. Clear communication fosters better productivity and good relationships with management.
7) Enhances customer service –
when the delays and errors associated with manual business processes are eliminated, the quality of customer service automatically improves. Automating the repetitive and mundane tasks in a process frees employees and gives them more time to focus on customer oriented tasks. Automated workflows can streamline customer communication in order to improve customer experience.
8) Improves process compliance –
manual processes are run by human intervention, hence, it is difficult to bring about standardization. The scope of errors and inconsistencies is high in manual processes. Human bias is another disadvantage in manual processes. Through automation, organizations can bring about standardization in the way processes are executed and expected outcomes. Well established workflow processes, automated tasks and standardized procedures bring down human error, improves compliance, and minimizes costly human biases. Given the myriad of regulations and policies that an organization is expected to follow, compliance may seem like a costly endeavor. Moreover, the cost of non-compliance is much higher. Compliance with company’s policies and procedures is improved significantly in automated processes. Along with improved compliance comes better governance and control over the process outcomes.
9) Measures process performance –
that which can be measured can be improved. It is difficult to keep track of all the tasks and outcomes when executed manually. Key process performance parameters need to be tracked in order to ensure that the process is on track. Without established workflows, organizations collect data manually at departmental level. These manual methods are both time-consuming and inhibit macro-level view of process performance. Automating the process with appropriate workflow software makes it easy to gather and analyze KPIs for every process. Process performance is closely monitored with the help of workflow tools.
10) Increases employee satisfaction –
the main intent of automating processes is to save time and money. Repetitive and redundant steps consume substantial time of the work hours of employees. Employees also lose interest in their work due to the pressure from such mundane tasks. Automating such tasks relieves them from tiresome work and gives them more time for focussing on meaningful tasks. Employee satisfaction increases by automating key business processes. Involving employees in more meaningful work improves employee engagement as well.
11) Documentation and audit trail –
manual business processes involve large volumes of paperwork for documenting the tasks and their outcomes. The possibility of error and inconsistencies in manual paperwork is high. The paperwork is susceptible to damage and misplacement. Manual documentation does not provide an accurate audit trail. Automating business processes ensures accurate and updated documentation. Storage, recording, tracking, and managing documentation is done accurately via automation. Accurate audit trail is possible with automated processes.
12) Improved billing with automation –
automating the billing process helps ensure timely delivery of invoices and improves tracking for payments and communications. Manual processes are prone to delays and missed approvals. Automating the invoice billing and approval process results in faster payments by clients and improved cash flow for the business. Automated and integrated billing functions reduce staff workloads and paves way for timely and accurate delivery for all customer invoices.