Get more done by automating important processes with a digital workflow.

Automation helps companies work smarter and faster. Learn how a digital workflow can boost productivity and bring more sanity to your team.

A business person reviews a digital workflow on a laptop

Get digital with your processes.

 

Even before the recent shift to more remote work, companies were turning to new technologies to improve their processes. The digital transformation trend isn’t new, but it’s entered a new era.

       

To bridge the communication gap of an increasingly work-from-home team, many companies have implemented digital workflows into their business practices. Digital workflow is the automation of a company's internal processes, and according to Frevvo, 43 percent of work processes can be automated.

       

By automating crucial processes, businesses can reduce time spent on repetitive tasks, user-generated errors, and administrative overhead costs. And while automation can cause some concern about job security, digital workflows can be an asset to companies and employees alike. They can assist in more efficient work to save everyone time and headaches.

 

 

Track down your digitization candidates.

 

The first step to deciding where to automate processes is observation. You want to create a plan that protects your employees and your business’s output with as few disruptions as possible. To do that you must take stock of what can — and should — go digital.

       

Manual, repetitive processes are a great first candidate for automation. You can automate tedious tasks like sorting, labeling, and filing digital documents. Processes that require more subjective human input (like quality control or editorial approval) are less suited for automation.

       

Determine which manual processes you should digitize with a workflow audit. This will help you understand the time and resources spent on manual processes, and it will spotlight the time and money you could save with a digital workflow.         

 

 

Create a workflow map for each new digital workflow. 

 

Before you can get to your destination, you have to know where you’re going. To ensure a smooth automation journey, create a workflow map. This is a detailed report of every process you plan to digitize from start to finish. This visual is crucial, because it showcases each action in your workflow, what can and will be automated, and what the results of that shift should achieve.

       

These maps can be used as a guide to identify errors in automation, as well as a blueprint for any future automation programs, so it’s important that each automation has a separate workflow map.        

Example of creating a PDF file in Adobe Acrobat

Make the new process accessible to the whole team.

 

A new process is only worthwhile if it’s available to the entire team that needs it. Transparency is key. With access to workflow maps, your current team can help train new employees about new automated processes and understand where and how their roles are changing. A cloud-based storage solution is a great way to ensure that your entire team can access important documents at any time, no matter where they are.

       

Try saving and sharing workflow maps in formats ideal for large-scale sharing, like PDFs. When you convert a file into a PDF, you can set editing permissions or create a static document so the plan isn’t accidentally altered. PDFs also take up less storage space than larger files, like PowerPoints. This can help save storage space if your company uses a shared server.     

 

 

Find your perfect automation software partner.    

 

There are many types of automation software to choose from, including:

    

  • Customer relationship management:

    Customer relationship management software (CRM) evaluates and manages customer data. CRM software can be a central hub to store data of all current and prospective customers, as well as a place to analyze that data to help you identify areas of opportunity. 

  • Human resource management software:

    Human resource management software (HRMS) manages internal HR functions, like the storage of policies, employee records, and benefits data. HRMS helps make access easy to important company documents for internal use. 

  • Business process management:

    BPM software acts as a central hub for creating, implementing, and viewing automated processes. It provides reports on automated process results to help companies optimize their digital workflows.

 

When choosing an automation software solution for your business, think about the needs and priorities outlined in your workflow maps.

 

 

Keep roles and permissions crystal clear.   


Which employees and collaborators have access to what documents is an important security concern for any digital workflow software. You want the right people to have proper access to work efficiently, while limiting distractions for others. And you especially don’t want to give access to confidential information to the wrong person. For example, your HR manager should have access to all files in your HRMS, while your average employee should see only approved information.

Assigning roles and permissions is an important step to ensure your software is an asset and not a risk. Assigning clear roles on the platform will also help streamline any training and adjustment period. 

A person takes notes based on the content they are reading on their smartphone

Test, test, test, and then deploy.

 

Make sure to test any new digital workflow automation before deploying it — especially when it comes to any customer-facing processes. This might include creating a fake customer account and managing a purchase from start to finish or interacting with a chatbot. Before it goes wide to all its users, troubleshoot any errors that might cause disruptions or upend daily use. 

 

 

Keep an eye on progress with KPIs.


But how can you tell if your new digital workflow is helping? Key performance indicators (KPIs) are excellent progress trackers to ensure your new automation is helping you reach your business goals. They can be easily adjusted — more so than other data metrics. This is essential because digital workflows are meant to change as the company’s needs and priorities evolve.


For example, a KPI could be measuring new customers per quarter based on new purchase accounts. This will confirm your CRM is working by showing you the increase in the number of accounts.        

 

 

Fine-tune digital workflows to push toward more productivity. 

 

But this isn’t a “set it and forget it” process. After you implement a digital workflow, identify if the automation is still performing to your KPIs, or pinpoint room for improvement. By coming back to review its progress periodically, you can continue to optimize your digital workflow for your team to boost results and team morale.


At first, you’ll need to review new workflows regularly to stay on top of performance. But when implemented properly and periodically checked, digital workflows can save you time, money, and improve your business’s overall efficiency. With a good rollout of automated processes, careful planning, and astute review, you can start to see a big increase in productivity over time. 
               

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