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How workflow automation can accelerate business growth

By Contributor
Mon 14 Mar 2022

Article by M-Files A/NZ alliance and partner manager, Chris Smith.

Human error can be one of the most insidious barriers to business growth. Manual processes that rely on people to perform them can create issues that easily go undetected. While errors may not be catastrophic, the inevitable inefficiencies and bottlenecks can prevent businesses from reaching their growth potential. Automating these manual processes can make them far more streamlined and efficient, eliminate the risk of error, and free up staff members to focus on growth-creating activities.

Despite their level of skill or length of service in the role, every employee can make mistakes, resulting in productivity delays, slower outputs, or internal miscommunications. This is often the root cause of employee frustration, low engagement, and, ultimately, slower business growth. However, by automating workflows, employees can avoid tedious tasks, improving their experience in the role, while the organisation experiences several benefits that come with automating manual processes.

Workflow automation replaces manual tasks with so-called digital robots that complete those tasks according to pre-set rules. For example, when creating a document that requires input from other team members, the automated workflow could automatically send that document to the relevant people for action without the original creator having to send it or chase the feedback. This reduces workload and the potential for human error.

The impact of automation is anticipated to grow, with up to 46 per cent of existing workforce activities projected to become automated by 2030. These tasks may include filing or changing documents with a consistent structure, providing leaders updates when documents are changed, processing accounts and administration functions, and managing document storage.

Business leaders must look for opportunities for their staff to engage in value-adding tasks. By automating menial back-end processes or updating to digital document management, employees can maximise the value of their time at work, not only improving the business bottom line but creating a more engaging workplace for team members.

Workflow automation can keep teams on the same page while spending less time navigating document status or making changes. And by using the analysis capabilities of an automation solution, organisations can see the most and least efficient processes and identify bottlenecks they can improve. This can save valuable resources while improving transparency between teams and clients.

Improving communication is another benefit of automation, encouraging collaboration within in-person and remote workforces. This keeps the quality of work high, especially when team members cannot work in person on various projects.

Finally, workflow automation can assist with organisational security and meeting industry compliance standards. For example, working through an automation platform that logs changes and activity lets leaders record and review critical data in the event of a cyber breach. Many of these platforms are created with industry compliance in mind, ensuring that the work produced meets compliance standards.

As the world and the workplace continue to evolve, workflow automation is more than a passing IT fad. It provides organisations with the opportunity to optimise processes, eliminate hurdles and improve the way that businesses work with their clients. It gives employees the freedom to focus on what matters to them without spending time on mindless, repetitive work. This gives companies the capacity and scalability to grow even in an uncertain landscape.

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