In today’s global marketplace, businesses are facing intense competition from all angles, and automation is definitely the key competitive advantage. Automation using workflow software helps increase productivity, decrease costs, and ensure quality consistency across the board. As a result, organizations can provide better products and services, customer service, and operational efficiency.
Many organizations have already leveraged on and benefited from the technology of workflow automation. This makes it crucial for startups to consider the right automation strategy, implement it perfectly, and make the best use of it.
Your Automation Needs
There are many ways through which you can automate your business processes. Your business goals should drive your automation strategy and be the basis of your choice of type of automation and workflow software.
For most businesses, this is one of the most useful and practical types of automation. Especially for startups, this technology effectively boosts your capability to reach out to your target customers without putting too much load on your sales force. Communicating with your customers on time, mining consumer data, and relationship management are some of the marketing workflows that you can have in your software.
Backroom processes may be tedious, but they are necessary for business analysis. A lot of man-hours can be saved by using workflow software for bookkeeping and accounting functions. The software can be put to task in keeping track of accounts receivables and payables, billing and collection, invoicing, bank account balances, and other number punching processes.
Human Resources Automation
This area of business operations is another process-heavy department. Documentation and tracking are essential. A workflow software would especially be helpful in the distribution, filling out, routing, and safekeeping of the various standard forms required for HR movements and benefits.
Businesses with inventory to keep track of would need this type of automation. This would take care of processes such as supply chain management, order taking and processing, and delivery tracking among others.
Competitive Analysis Automation
As information about most businesses is now online, it is also possible to do your market scan through automated software. You can find out what’s going on and get a good view of the competitive landscape with just a few clicks on your computer. This type of software is especially useful in business intelligence and in crafting a sound pricing strategy.
Versatility and Functionality
The beauty of workflow automation is that it’s so versatile and flexible. Businesses can automate no matter how small or big they are. They can choose the functions to include in their software.
A small clinic, for instance, would most likely choose to automate its customer relationship management (for patient information, monitoring, prescriptions, “next schedule” prompts, etc.), billing and collections (for payments and insurance claims), and inventory management (for clinic supplies monitoring and ordering).
For an IT company, it would make sense to have software for project management automation, HR automation, and accounting automation. Meanwhile, a neighborhood grocery would need automation for their marketing and sales management, competitive analysis, inventory management, and maybe even customer relationship management if they make deliveries and plan to have customer promos and loyalty programs later on.
The Rewards of Workflow Automation
The investment in good workflow automation software brings in more savings and revenues for businesses. The impact on man-hours alone already translates to financial and operational rewards. This effectively “rescues” the 20% to 50% of work hours wasted by employees and executives on redundant and unproductive manual tasks.
There’s also the added benefit of minimizing losses from human error. A lot of businesses lose money because of input errors, mismanaged books, unmonitored collections, and poor logistics among others. Automation gives businesses more accurate information so that managers and business owners can make the right decisions for greater productivity and profitability.
Starting Big on Something Small
It will truly be rewarding for a startup company to invest in the big technological advantage of automation. With the limited capital, there’s not a lot of room for wasted time, money, and opportunities.
Internally, workflow automation results in better communication and engagement among working teams. They are more productive and motivated. Their tasks are effectively guided by information churned by automation software. They collaborate more efficiently, and all members are in sync in terms of goals, activities, and project updates. Delays are avoided and projects are kept on track with minimal or no hitches.
Externally, businesses can reach out to customers on a more personal level with automation. Communication with existing customers can be done promptly with autoresponders and prompts. New promos can be rolled out and even scaled by customer segments. New leads can be generated, qualified, and tapped to quickly convert them to customers.
Automation using a powerful workflow software would allow startup business owners to keep their eyes on their business goals and at the same time ensure that all operational processes are streamlined and being carried out without using unnecessary resources.
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