Reasons Why You Should Use Workflow Software Tools
Here are some of the amazing benefits that will help you get a better insight into your own company and how workflow software tools can bring about a change at every level. These strong reasons prove why you need workflow automation tools.
1. Wasted Effort and Time on Redundant Tasks
This could be a very familiar claim for you because redundant tasks shouldn’t be handled by your employees. It is highly time-consuming, wastes skilled employees’ capabilities, and can easily be automated by workflow management software rather than doing it manually.
2. Slackened Customer Engagement
Customers see your brand from a completely different perspective. All they see is a quick or delayed service provider.
Once you integrate workflow management software, you can easily witness the slowdowns and bottlenecks in your process. It gives you better insight into your business.
3. Overload On Top Management
Micromanagement is a problem in disguise because a lot of managers and team leaders assume they have to micromanage every employee to achieve desired results.
Most employees like to take responsibility if given an opportunity and it will also free up time for top-level management to focus on overall organizational growth than managing each individual person.
4. Lack of Accountability
Accountability is what it’s all about because whenever someone does a job they shouldn’t blame any mistakes on another person or team.
Workflow automation software will keep track of each person involved in a project and they are expected to take credit or fix any mistakes if it happens in their vicinity.
5. Lack of Communication
In every organization, lack of communication leads to delayed work and errors in tasks completed.
The workflow tool will finally bridge the gap and makes it easier to send or receive messages. Everything can be done in the form of comments and approvals are done automatically. Managers will receive notifications if they don’t respond in time and delegations are much easier.
Features of Workflow Automation Software Tools
There is no dearth of workflow automation software in the market. Choosing the best workflow automation software for the unique needs of your business is critical for business success. Here is a list of features you must look for in workflow automation software:
Ease of Use/Build
The decision of automating your workflow is a significant one for the business. The ease of building and using the software is a key must-have feature of the automation software. The software must help you build workflows easily using a visual drag-and-drop form builder. A low-code workflow automation software is easy and simple to build. Even complex processes can be represented through a visual flow chart, which is the foundation for automating process workflows.
Having a cloud-based business process management software (BPM) is better compared to on-premise solutions. Accessibility, reliability, and data security for web-based automation software are better than on-premise software. Data security and operability are better on the cloud.
Workflow automation must seamlessly integrate with third-party applications like ERP, CRM, etc. through API tools like Zapier.
Automated workflows must allow flexible customizations as per specific business needs. From simple to complex processes, the process workflow must be able to handle any type of workflow.
Reporting and Analytics
The data recorded by the workflow provides key business insights. Centralized access to data reports and process analytics empowers businesses with deeper process insights for process improvement and business optimization. Reports and analytics must be easily visible on a user-friendly interface.
The workflow automation software must provide the highest level of security for the data. End-to-end encryption of business data enables the safety and security of sensitive business data.
the workflow automation solution must be mobile-friendly. The mobile app enables anywhere, anytime access to the process status and approvals.
Workflow automation vendors usually price their workflow solutions based on the usage and number of users. The price must also include the cost of implementing, consulting, and support.
Cflow is a workflow automation tool that can set up workflows, and build forms and workflows within minutes. It comes with a rich feature set that creates workflows and automates tasks for key business functions like Human Resource Management, Sales, Finance, Administration and Facilities, IT, Marketing, and Purchases.
Comparison of the Top 15 Workflow Tools
Deciding on the right workflow tools for your business is by far the most challenging task for management. The right workflow tool can clearly define your business processes and helps you monitor and optimize your workflows. Most of the workflow automation tools available in the market provide useful reports and analytics that help in tuning the workflow for achieving better business outcomes. We have curated a list of the best workflow automation tools in the market based on the must-have features discussed above. This comparison ought to help you choose the right tool for your business requirements.
1. Cflow – preferred workflow management software for small, medium, and enterprise companies
Cflow is a popular workflow automation software that provides a number of useful features that streamline and optimize business process workflows. Key business workflows in critical business functions like HR and Admin, Procurement, Admin, IT, and Finance can be easily automated by Cflow. The powerful rules engine in Cflow enables users to create rules and conditions to suit their unique business requirements. You can either use a one-click setup or a full-fledged rules configuration to set up the rules engine in Cflow. Some of the features offered by Cflow include-
Visual workflow builder- you don’t have to be a techie to use Cflow. The visual form builder enables you to build process workflows and forms easily using the drag and drop option. This no-code BPM tool can be used by just anyone to create custom workflows within minutes.
Intuitive User Interface – the user interface in Cflow is easy to understand and provides a bird’s eye view of all the processes managed by the software. The fully customizable dashboard provides users with all the information needed to manage and control the workflows and gain real-time insights into the process flows.
Public forms – this is one of the most useful features in Cflow that allows you to expose your Cflow forms to the web world. Using this feature, you can have a registration form or a feedback form on your website to gather information from the user/visitor. Public forms make it easier for you to connect with the users that are not directly associated with your organization.
Encryption and security – Cflow offers the highest priority to data security and safety. SSL encryption is provided to safeguard sensitive business data when it is being transmitted over the Internet. Critical business content is hosted on the AWS cloud, which offers high levels of security. Also, access to business data can be controlled and managed by providing permissions only to appropriate stakeholders.
Integrations – Cflow is a versatile program from the ground up designed with the user’s comfort in mind. It seamlessly integrates with popular and essential third-party applications like Zapier, SAP, ERP, etc to provide more features or external support to business workflows.
Reports and analytics – the business activity monitor (BAM) from Cflow provide real-time insights into process cycle times, efficiencies, and bottlenecks. All the information required for you to stay informed about the organization’s processes is available in an easily understandable format.
Document management – Cflow is designed to reduce the work and time required for managing documents. The document management system in Cflow allows you to scan, store, update, and manage documents easily online.
Pricing – Cflow offers a 14-day free trial. There are 3 pricing plans offered by Cflow – Happy priced at $7 per month per user, Joy priced at $11 per month per user, and Bliss priced at $16 per month per user.
With such critical process management features, Cflow is a preferred solution by over 20,000 users worldwide. Skip paper-based manual processes and accelerate day-to-day process workflows with Cflow.
Hive Automate is a powerful project management tool that is built on the Hive platform. This workflow project management tool is used by leading companies like Starbucks, Google, Toyota, and Comcast. Hive Automate provides robust project and task management features and workflow management tools for teams that require day-to-day collaboration. Using this tool, teams are able to complete their projects as efficiently as possible. Built into the Hive Platform, Hive Automate enables users to create workflows between Hive and other commonly used work apps. It is a simple automation platform for centralized management of all the business processes/projects.
Project management – Hive Automate allows you to manage all your projects from a centralized platform that is built for teams of all sizes. This workflow project management tool allows you to manage unlimited projects, tasks, and subactions efficiently. Flexible project views provide a comprehensible view of all project statuses.
Time management – the time management feature in Hive allows you to understand where your team spends their time. You can manage in-person, remote, and hybrid teams with ease. Time tracking by task, team-wide resourcing, and auto-schedule of meetings are some of the time management features provided by Hive Automate.
Team collaboration – you can work collaboratively in Hive by leveraging the team features like In-app messenger, In-app email, and customized project access. You can also attach emails to action cards and get feedback on your project’s creative assets from Hive.
Automate processes – put all your projects on autopilot with Hive Automate. You can label and group your tasks, automate repeated processes, and identify risks easily with Hive.
Hive Notes – organizing your work was never this easy! Hives notes allow users to create meeting agendas, edit collaboratively in real-time, apply notes templates, assign next steps, and comment tag and follow after the meeting ends.
Integrations – Hive integrates seamlessly with work apps like Slack, Microsoft teams, Google Drive, Salesforce, Gmail, and many other apps. Integrations with over 1000 work apps/tools improve the work efficiency of project teams.
Pricing – Hive costs $ 12 per user per month when billed annually. A free trial of Hive Automate is offered.
Kissflow offers a buffet of workflow management tools that enables you to combine projects, cases, and collaboration with core automation functionalities. The process workflow tools offered by Kissflow create a unified digital platform for all types of work, both manual and automated. The visual interface in Kissflow allows users to drag and drop elements easily to create any number of apps without having to write even a line of code. With Kissflow, users can either build on a ton of apps spanning multiple categories like Finance, HR, and Procurement or build a workflow from scratch.
Dashboards – users can get real-time information on every process from the intuitive dashboard in Kissflow. All the information is provided in an easily readable and understandable format.
Analytics and reporting – you can generate custom reports and use the dashboards to derive actionable insights from Kissflow. The dynamic reporting feature provides key insights into processes via process metrics and custom reports.
Visual process design – you can create your workflows visually and make quick changes as and when required. The visual process design simplifies the creation of process workflows greatly.
Dynamic routing – all the items/tasks in Kissflow are automatically routed to the right team members based on the business rules and conditions. Complex business decision branches can be easily handled via the dynamic business rules feature.
Intuitive user interface – the simple and easy-to-use interface simplifies the operability greatly. You can also access data from multiple devices and translate it to higher efficiency and speed. The bird’s eye view provided by the user interface helps identify bottlenecks, track task flows, and drastically improve process efficiency.
Rest API – cross-system orchestration is made possible via robust and extensive APIs. You can link your workflows with third-party systems via Zapier for rapid integration.
SLA manager – the SLA manager in Kissflow ensures that all the SLAs are monitored and executed consistently.
Scalability – process workflow tools like Kissflow scale as the business expands. It supports multiple teams across locations and more.
Document sharing – the document sharing feature allows you to easily attach documents from your file storage. Kissflow lets you manage and share documents contextually.
Pricing – Kissflow pricing starts at $360 per month for up to 30 users. A 14-day free trial is also offered.
As is evident from its name, Smartsheet is a workflow management software based on spreadsheets. Smartsheet allows users to organize tasks, schedules, processes, and more on spreadsheets. Smartsheet is a spreadsheet-like project management tool that has won quite a few awards for becoming a favorite business tool quickly. Users that are comfortable working in Excel, but are looking for a break from complex formulas would find Smartsheet very easy to work with. Users can perform several calculations across multiple sheets easily with Smartsheet. It is an interactive workflow tool that provides several features like workflow automation and visualization of tasks in Gantt charts, calendars, and card views.
Project planning and management – Smartsheet allows you to standardize key project elements, increase the velocity, and improve collaboration with scalable options that fit individual work requirements.
Dynamic portfolio management – users can manage projects, portfolios, and resources with a holistic view across projects. Smartsheet also improves flexibility and agility for faster and quality delivery of projects.
Accelerate program planning and delivery- you can empower your teams to collaborate with speed and accountability for driving successful outcomes, faster.
Real-time visibility – Smartsheet allows you to enhance reporting with rich, real-time metrics that summarize the progress of tasks across projects, and increase stakeholders’ confidence.
Integration – Smartsheet integrates seamlessly with most of the enterprise systems and apps to provide everyone with real-time insights required to innovate and execute dynamically.
Critical path feature – this feature highlights all the tasks that directly impact the project completion date in order to keep an eye on important milestones.
Pricing – Smartsheet is priced at $7 per month per user. The minimum number of users required for a subscription is 3 and a maximum of 25 users. A free trial of Smartsheet is available for a period of 30 days.
Monday.com is considered among the top workflow software tools that are highly effective in automating manual processes. The uniqueness of this workflow creation tool is that it does not restrict itself to project management alone. A lot of fine-tuning has been done to this tool by eliminating the typical features of workflow tools to include a focused structure and views that clarify the sequence of work that needs to be executed. The format of this tool vaguely resembles a spreadsheet, only a better-looking one.
With monday.com, you first put tasks on a board and then add in the steps required to complete the task. For teams that are currently using spreadsheets to manage their processes/projects, monday.com is the ideal choice for automating workflow management. This tool can round out your workflow with alerts, notifications, integrations, and automation. Notable features of monday.com include:
Visual task management platform- you can plan, organize, and track all your team’s work in one place with this workflow tracking tool. It is an easy and intuitive digital workflow tool that can be used to create your workflow without any training whatsoever. You can create the ideal workflow within minutes using 200+ ready-to-use templates.
Visual super table – monday.com operates with a visual super table that provides over 200 templates and 30+ drag-and-drop column types that allow several options to customize your workflows. Groups, updates, items, and sub-items can be synced in real-time in order to keep everything within the context of your actual project, workflow, process, and everything in between.
Comprehensive data views – you can view your data in several easily understandable formats like Kanban, Calendar, Timeline, Gantt charts, workload, and forms. Such formats help you understand process performances in the way you are most comfortable. From complex to colorful to basic, you can view data in any format you want.
Mobile compatibility – with monday.com, you can communicate easily with anyone you wish to in the team from any location and any device you are using. Share files and images, updates, feedback, etc in real-time via the mobile app that is compatible with android and iOS devices.
Automations – you can set up automation within seconds to take care of your routine tasks. Automating routine mundane tasks helps eliminate human error and improves productivity.
Integrations – monday.com can be seamlessly integrated with common work tools for a connected view of business data. You can connect your data with over 40 integrations with different tools so that everyone has access to the same data. You no longer need to switch between tools with monday.com and stay focused on strategic work.
File storage – you can store your files wherever you do your work so that everything is organized in one place. Drag and drop of files, advanced search capabilities, file upload, and feedback – everything can be done from a single place.
Customer support – the customer support team at monday.com provides 24/7 support to customers. Daily webinars that guide you from everything from the basics to advanced workflows are provided by customer support.
Pricing – monday.com is priced at $6 per user per month. A free plan is offered for up to 2 users. The free trial period of monday.com is 14 days.
ProProfs is among the preferred digital workflow tools that enable efficient online project management. It is a smart workflow management software that offers real-time updates on the project life cycle. The intuitive dashboard enables users to manage tasks, subtasks, and deadlines effortlessly. Seamless file sharing enables data-driven discussions anytime, anywhere. Custom workflows can be created as per unique business requirements. This tool enables seamless team collaboration via the cross-functional team management feature.
Single source of truth – the intuitive dashboard provides a single point of view of project progress and status. Take one look at the project dashboard to see progress as it happens. Status of processes/projects, time spent on each task, whether there are any queries within the team – all in one quick glance at the dashboard. Access projects in a single view, add users to any project, drag and drop projects to prioritize, and any time anywhere access with the intuitive dashboard.
Efficient task assignment – you can manage the project flow by assigning tasks efficiently. Primary and secondary tasks can be assigned to appropriate team members for an enhanced and streamlined workflow. Seamless file sharing and meaningful conversations with team members can be done via ProProfs.
Online project planning- the online project planning tool allows users to plan projects and tasks via the shared calendar. You can also sync milestones with other calendaring tools like Outlook, Google Calendar, iCal, etc. The tool also enables users to track who is working on what and track project deadlines.
Collaboration of disparate departments and teams- the powerful dashboard keeps the in-house and remote teams on the same page via effective collaboration and streamlined communication. Get timely notifications and stay updated on the latest developments and milestones with ProProfs.
Discussions and sharing – the file sharing and task comments feature provided by this business process workflow tool enable users to share project files easily and connect our project management online.
Tracking of Client time and Invoices- this workflow software provides timers that can track and calculate billable and non-billable hours for the clients. You can create time sheets that track the time spent on each project. Automated invoicing makes client billing a hassle-free affair. You can add your customization to each invoice to reflect the essence of your brand.
Reports and analytics – users can generate easily understandable and delightful reports via the powerful analytics feature provided by the software. Summary of the project status, breakdown of the tasks along with their timelines, and financial summaries are presented by the software.
Pricing – ProProfs is available in two pricing plans – essentials priced at $2 per user per month, and premium-priced at $4 per user per month. Both these plans offer a free trial period of 15 days. They also offer special discounts when the number of users is more.
Kintone is a workflow management tool that allows high levels of customization. Among the top workflow automation tools, Kintone is used by top companies like Volvo trucks North America, Japan Airlines, LiveWell Colorado, and Shiseido. This is an interactive workflow tool that allows users to build a wide variety of customizable apps from scratch with the help of templates or from existing spreadsheets. This digital workflow tool can be customized for project management, sales CRM, customer databases, expense reports, equipment management, shared to-do lists, product feedback, and many more workflows. The easy-to-use visual drag and drop workflow builder lets you create workflows with rich text fields, date fields, drop-down menus, number fields with built-in calculations, and spaces for attachments.
Custom workflows – you can map out your steps, automate tedious tasks, assign tasks, and even change workflows as your processes evolve with Kintone. Creating new workflows or changing existing ones takes only a few minutes.
Custom alerts and notifications – project and task deadlines are effectively tracked by this workflow automation tool. All the team members are notified of approaching delivery deadlines so that no work slips through the cracks. Automated reminders and alerts let all the team members know when the ball is in their court.
Mobile friendly and accessible – you can access, edit, and manage workflows from any smart device or desktop. This is a perfect business process workflow tool for busy teams that are always on the go.
Permissions and approvals- setting appropriate permissions and approvals ensure that only the right people see your workflows. Automating the approval process ensures that all the necessary approvals are done on time and the appropriate team member is notified after approval.
Continuous tracking of processes – Kintone helps you track the status of each task and process. Every aspect of the task is recorded and documented, which makes process audits a breeze. Proper documentation also ensures that all the processes comply with the company’s policies and standards.
Integrations – Kintone lets you expand its capabilities with free native plugins that are built by the team as well as third-party integrations like Slack, Gmail, Quickbooks, WordPress, MailChimp, etc. These integrations are done via Zapier or API integrations.
Pricing – the cost of Kintone comes to $24 per user per month with a minimum user requirement of 5. They also offer a free trial spanning 30 days and special discounts for educators and non-profit organizations.
8. Next Matter
The next matter is a workflow management platform best suited for scaling businesses. You don’t just get a workflow automation tool with Next Matter, you get a dedicated partner with management consulting and technical expertise, a personalized implementation and onboarding plan, technical support for integration and platform design, and guided rollout and onboarding sessions for teams. The customization and automation features provided by Next Matter enable teams to create workflows quickly and efficiently. You can easily scale processes without even knowing how to code or having IT project management skills or needing consultants. Next Matter is a complete automation platform that is built for operations.
Automated task management – this workflow tracking tool automates task management with the help of scale management. The task management tool creates a to-do list that writes and updates itself. Task assignment, notifications, and scheduling are some of the capabilities that Next Matter brings to task management.
Intelligent task pooling – all the tasks under the automation software are pooled logically into dedicated work streams and to-do lists. Individuals can clearly see what is assigned to them at any given time. All the tasks and processes that are ready for pick up in their department are visible to the team members. Managers also get to see all the tasks and processes at the organizational level. They can easily delegate or reassign tasks to manage capacity or absence.
Focussed execution view – Next Matter provides a single page, focussed execution view of all the tasks and processes. Users get complete transparency of the status of all tasks and processes, which helps them hand in their best work. You can view operations processes end-to-end, track progress in real-time, and get a singular task view and clear work instructions.
Seamless collaboration with external users- users can collaborate easily with partners and suppliers directly via Next Matter. You can assign single or multiple process steps to external collaborators. The flexible notifications feature allows you to deliver messages or notifications to external users via any channel. External users get a frictionless branded execution experience with Next Matter.
Workflows within minutes – you can create end-to-end processes within minutes using the no-code drag and drop builder. Build your process workflows step-by-step, assign stakeholders, and include real-life requirements like parallel activities, deadlines, decisions, conditionals, and reviews with Next Matter. You can also improve operational efficiency by adding checklists, direct camera access, work instructions, custom forms, data fields, and anything else that the team needs.
Integrations – this workflow tool can be integrated with tools that your business uses every day. Push data to sheets, update CRM records, send Slack notifications, create PDF documents, and automate all the steps that slow down your teams. Combine with iPaaS layers like Zapier or Integromat to set up your custom integrations.
Permissions and security – this workflow automation software provide the highest level of security for sensitive business data. Advanced permissions feature can be used on processes, instances, and folder levels to define visibility and accessibility rights. Automatic documentation and archival feature save process instances, files, and data safely. All your processes are audit-ready at all times with a full process audit trail and timestamps made available with just a few clicks.
Live management overview and reporting – managers can view the status of any process live or create custom reports. All the ongoing work is neatly summarized in stages view or zoom in to get a granular view of any process or detail. Standard reports like progress overview and open tasks are directly shown on the dashboard.
Pricing – Next Matter is available in USD and EUR pricing. There are 4 pricing plans available: Starter priced at $29 per month per user; Professional priced at $49 per month per user; Enterprise priced at $99 per month per user; and Custom plan for annual billing for 50 users. Startups, Educational institutes, and NGOs get a price discount.