Does your organization suffer from any of the following efficiency killers?
- Employees spending too much time doing low-value tasks: searching for documents, waiting for/manually transferring paper files, losing critical documents, duplicating work, etc.
- Some employees are swamped with work, while others are idle
- Busy decision makers are causing bottlenecks in the process because they must be involved but are regularly unavailable
- Employees are cherry-picking work (most interesting, most valuable to them, etc.) to the detriment of corporate goals
- Customers, vendors, partners, and government entities are unhappy because they aren’t getting what they need in a timely manner
Workflow automation is software that alleviates these problems and is central to the digital transformation of any organization.
Also referred to as business process automation (BPA), workflow automation streamlines tedious, time-consuming and labor and document-intensive processes so knowledge workers can focus on higher value work instead of manual data entry and processing.
The best part: getting workflow automation to work is as simple as creating configurable rules and actions with a rich set of point-and-click options. No custom programming is required, so it’s no longer big-ticket software that only the largest organizations can afford and maintain.
How Workflow Automation Works
Once documents are captured from scanning paper documents, emails and attachments, e-forms, and imported electronic files, workflow automation handles the routing, approval and exception handling processes – automatically.
For invoices, claims, purchase orders, work orders, and other documents that meet approval criteria, they can initiate payments and other action without human intervention. As a result, workflow automation improves efficiency, decision-making, vendor relationships, customer satisfaction, employee retention, and more.
Additional benefits of workflow automation:
- Business Transaction Processing: presenting all related documents and data to the user streamlines transactions
- Business Processes Optimization: efficiently routing electronic documents and data by providing a framework to each process
- Accountability: providing detailed auditable history helps to monitor security and employee performance
- Flexible Deployment & Access: users can search for and process documents within their accounting, ERP, HR, and other line-of-business software they use every day via integration
- Consistent Business Practices: process variance and associated risk are reduced
Killer Workflow Automation Applications
Workflow automation typically starts in one department and, when proven successful, is rolled out to other departments. Below are three common areas where organizations start to embrace workflow automation and document management software.
AP Invoice Processing
Keep vendors happy, capture early payment discounts, and gain better cash flow visibility by automatically processing invoices, routing them for exception handling, approvals, and payments based on your business rules while eliminating errors resulting from manual data.
Improve efficiency and accountability in your HR department by automating onboarding, capturing employee changes, PTO requests, performance reviews, benefit administration, and more.
An outsourced, digitized mailroom saves space and eliminates the hassle of sorting and distributing paper mail. When combined with workflow automation, some documents can be processed automatically without human intervention and the rest can be automatically routed to the right people for processing – wherever they happen to be.
Going Further with Workflow Reporting
Workflow dashboards and reporting provide real-time visibility into your business processes, which can help identify bottlenecks and inefficiency as well as employees who are exceptionally productive and superstars.
Workflow visibility also helps you quickly analyze cash flow, find missing documents, rebalance workloads, and allocate financial and other resources where needed in your organization.
Remote Access & Processing
When documents are stored in the cloud, such as OnBase Cloud, they can be accessed within seconds from anywhere. Workflow automation software further enables remote access to business-critical documents that are ready for review and processing from any computer or mobile device. This reduces processing times and enables your remote team to access and process the documents they need within seconds, no matter where they are working.
Where RPA Fits In
For highly repetitive tasks, robotic process automation (RPA) can automate what workflow automation software cannot. Learn more here.
Get Started Today
Speak to one of our workflow automation experts today to explore your situation and business processes and to see how well this technology can work for you – either as a free consultation or more formal workflow assessment.