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The benefits of workflow automation include an increase in the company’s productivity, efficiency, and customer experience. In this article I will cover these benefits alongside workflow automation software, tools, and apps, as well as tips to get started.

1. Work Is Standardized

Workflow automation can streamline workflows by standardizing the various processes for certain tasks.

It clearly defines the steps of the process for all users, optimizes processes by reducing variability, ensures consistent quality since every user is on the same page, and allows for the process to be infinitely repeatable.

Workflow automation reduces the amount of human error and enforces a predefined process of best practices for completing tasks. When work is standardized, you can accomplish more in less time with less human intervention, making the overall business process go smoother.

There are a variety of workflow automation software tools and apps that you can use to standardize your business workflows!

2. Fewer Errors

Manual processing opens the door for plenty of human error. Implementing workflow automation, though, introduces scalability while also minimizing mistakes due to uninformed decision-making that can pop up throughout the process.

Data entry can be tedious and is often a minefield of errors, but it’s not the only opportunity for simple human error in your business operations. If these errors go unnoticed, it can lead to massive disruptions in your profitability and your general project management process.

This is why one of the top benefits of workflow automation is the ability to minimize errors altogether.

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3. Simpler To Collaborate

Another top benefit of workflow automation is how it streamlines the process of collaborating as a team.  Using a process automation tool can connect multiple entities—people, software, and tasks—without having to manually enter every data point. 

Workflow automation software does more than allow communication between employees; it can provide views of things like task completion, CRM updates, human resource operations, and a variety of other useful metrics.This means everyone is working from the same set of information.

Integrating workflow automation solutions allows your entire project management process to operate smoothly while incorporating the most important people with their relevant tasks.

This means you can simply collaborate without bogging people down with parts of the process that doesn’t concern them.

Jira Software, as an example, allows you to communicate and collaborate in real-time and is an effective management tool for all of your business processes.

summary of the benefits of workflow automation
Here's a summary of the benefits of workflow automation.

4. Increased Productivity

Any business process automation should be increasing your productivity and reducing simple, repetitive tasks (otherwise, why do it at all).

When you and your team are able to worry less about the manual work involved in an approval process on a piece of content, for example, then you are able to devote your focus to doing your best work.

There are plenty of low-code to no-code apps and workflow automation tools that can streamline processes for just about everything. When it comes to no-code automation tools, Zapier is the premier tool for robotic process automation (RPA) utilizing integrations with other tools like ChatGPT, Asana, or even Outlook.

5. Easier To Identify And Fix Bottlenecks

In any business process, there are areas where tasks aren’t completed as quickly or as effectively as they should. This is why one of the benefits of workflow automation is the ability to identify and fix any bottlenecks you may come across in any of your business processes.

Examples of use cases for workflow automation in this regard include smoothing out the onboarding process by identifying where the approval process for access to certain documents, templates, etc. is held up by waiting for a human to simply click a button.

This can become an automated business process with a simple drag-and-drop on an automation platform.

6. Save Time And Money

Decision fatigue is no joke, and one of the primary benefits of workflow automation is that it can eradicate a ton of decision-making processes that were taking up employee time when they could have simply been part of an automated process.

When considering the pricing of workflow automation tools and apps, the savings far outweigh the costs of purchasing and utilizing these tools by drastically reducing the amount of rework or double-checking required before completing projects.

This not only saves money, but saves the time of your employees doing this rework and allowing them to focus on more important tasks. 

Workflow management is all about finding the right tools that can help save time and money while improving quality and efficiency.

Whether you are in healthcare or the CEO of Microsoft, there is nothing more important than maximizing the efficiency of your processes and workflow automation software and tools are the best way of accomplishing those goals.

7. Mitigate Inefficiencies

Similar to identifying and fixing bottlenecks in your business operations, one of the benefits of workflow automation is to mitigate inefficiencies. Your workflow management system may have extra steps that, on paper, seem effective but might be costing time, money, or lessening the customer experience without being too noticeable.

Stakeholders might notice the follow up process for onboarding clients, for example, might take several hours or even days when some of the process could be automated entirely.

While a special interaction may be needed at some point, onboarding clients as quickly as possible and giving them as much information as possible may be the difference between a positive customer experience and a negative one.

Jotform is a great example of workflow automation tools at their best when it comes to mitigating inefficiencies. Jotform specializes in reducing manual tasks by employees by automating the data collection and data entry process from start to finish. This means employees have the information they need, when they need it, without having to double check any of the data.

8. Streamline Communication

While we touched on collaboration earlier, we didn’t talk about communication tools and the benefits of workflow automation when it comes to communicating as a team.

Routing teams to multiple different tools and platforms for different tasks can be frustrating and confusing, especially when those tools don’t have simple ways of communicating built within the tool.

While there are some truly great tools out there for communicating as a team, finding a workflow automation system that has some type of built-in communication capabilities is important. This means you can spend less time switching between tools and more time getting your best work completed.

Finding workflow automation software that can keep team members updated with tasks and processes via notifications or built-in chat systems can streamline your team communication without adding any additional friction. 

Pneumatic Workflow is a workflow automation software that excels at streamlining communication among your team members.

9. Manage Multiple Tasks Effectively

Managing multiple tasks is one of the most time-consuming pieces of project management. The mental toll of switching between tasks can be exhausting and can slow down your entire team when there are so many tasks to be done simultaneously for a smooth execution. 

Workflow processes include plenty of important administrative level tasks, but these processes also include minor tasks that all have to be executed in quick succession.

Managing these tasks and employees can be tedious. Having a workflow automation tool that manages these tasks, statuses, and employees can nearly eliminate all the low-level administrative tasks.

The best workflow automation tools for your team will likely include the ability to handle multiple tasks, manage notifications for team members with upcoming or overdue tasks, and calendar integration.

10. Measure Performance Of Business Processes

One of the major benefits of workflow automation is the ability to measure absolutely everything in real-time.

Even if you can’t get everything you want automated, being able to see and monitor the data of how processes are improving can help you make informed decisions on where your team’s time is being eaten away or where resources are being over-allocated on specific tasks.

If you already have established workflows, business process automation software can measure the performance of your workflows and help you determine if they are effective workflows in the first place. What worked once upon a time may no longer be effective in your current landscape.

The only way you can possibly know to improve is by measuring and analyzing as much data as possible.

11. Grow Customer Satisfaction

When work is standardized, time is saved, communication is efficient, and multiple tasks are being juggled effectively, then it only makes sense that the customer begins to reap the benefits of your workflow process automation.

When you eliminate delays to the customer and improve your product or service, then they are going to take note.

One of the absolute best benefits of workflow automation is being able to notice and scale your customer satisfaction over time by simply improving your workflows with the help of RPA (robotic process automation) tools.

If measuring customer satisfaction is a part of your business workflows, then an app like Qntrl may be worth looking into. It utilizes machine learning algorithms to source customer feedback and include it in future improvement suggestions for your workflow automations.

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By Galen Low

Galen is a digital project manager with over 10 years of experience shaping and delivering human-centered digital transformation initiatives in government, healthcare, transit, and retail. He is a digital project management nerd, a cultivator of highly collaborative teams, and an impulsive sharer of knowledge. He's also the co-founder of The Digital Project Manager and host of The DPM Podcast.