Walk into your local doctor’s surgery or law office and you’ll be asked to fill out a form. Come back the next day and you’ll be asked to fill out the same form, giving your telephone number, address and other information for the second time. We live in an age of software, and yet businesses have still yet to grasp the types of tasks that are easily automated and the economic benefits they could get as a result.
Even for the businesses that have embraced HR, accounting and CRM software, the data exists in separate silos and doesn’t connect together.Few businesses are embracing the types of true automation that couldhelp themimprove efficiency, increase margins and make life easier for customers.
Most business executives have come to believe that software comes in two forms. The software that comes available for everyone to use, like accounting and word processing software. And software that is tailored to work around a specific business, like a system to handle the mortgage application workflow for a big bank, or to integrate two systems together. They imagine that, as soon as a system has to be tailored around a specific business or process, the costs become unmanageable, and it’s best to not bother with automation at all.
But, unbeknown to most,there are workflow automation software programmes that handle combining systems and processes together. They help you to integrate applications and files from different silos, and many of the integration tasks can be handled directly by non-technical employees. These products let you integrate data, remove the risk of human error and save substantial time and money that would otherwise be spent on salaries.
Imagine you’re a consultancy. One of your consultants goes off to meet a client and incurs some expenses during the trip. The expenses need to be approved, they need to be included in the client’s next invoice and they needto be included as an entry in your accounts. In most businesses, this would be a laborious process that would involve paper being pushed around, and the same data being entered separately into different systems.
With workflow automation software, you’d be able to have your employee complete a web form. The information would be digital from the start, and so there would never be any reason to have it transcribed, which removes the likelihood of human error. Next, the expense could go off for approval, it could be added to the consultant’s tally of expenses, and it could be recorded on the client’s account statement and added to your accounts.
Executives imagine that this system would be too expensive, so they use people to add the right information into the right silo, but it’s much more cost effective than they would expect. The result is that they end up spending much more than they need to, and employees spend time on unnecessary tasks. The right workflow automation system can save money, significantly reduce the risk of error and make businesses more profitable.