How workflow automation can make jobs easier.

Automate repetitive tasks to build efficiencies that save time and money. Learn how Adobe Acrobat can help you to work smarter, not harder.

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What is workflow automation?


Sometimes called robotic process automation, an automated workflow refers to a collection of software tools programmed to execute manual tasks in real time to streamline work processes. Whether for business processes or personal use, it helps you to save time from involved manual processes or customised, infrequent tasks with the execution of assignments according to your specific business rules.


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The benefits of automated processes.

Besides being a more accurate and efficient method to tackle repetitive tasks like data entry, workflow automation has numerous advantages over traditional processes. Business process automations reduce bottlenecks and human error in a workflow and can also boost productivity.


Workflow automation can also provide a level of transparency and visibility to stakeholders while being more cost-friendly. And since a workflow automation tool can be adjusted whenever needed, it also offers immense scalability to meet your particular needs.

Two graphics: Adding text to a document on a laptop computer; Signing a document on a laptop computer

Why workflow automation is important.


If you need more time to focus on tasks that require a personal touch, an automated workflow can give time back to you. It allows you to work faster, whether you work for yourself or in an organisation with team members like a company's human resources department.


Create your own online forms and contracts from various templates or transform existing Microsoft Word documents, PowerPoint presentations and Excel sheets into editable PDFs that can be sent and signed electronically in a few clicks of a button with Adobe Acrobat.



Signs you need workflow automation software. 


For some, manual tasks present no problem. But if you or your organisation experience any of the following issues, an automated workflow can help to put you on the right track. 



Specific steps in the workflow process continuously get skipped:

If you find yourself unable to remember the particular sequence of steps of a task, work can be stopped in its tracks. Workflow automation software can prevent that from happening and ensure that your manual processes never miss a beat.

Lack of communication between parties involved:

Regardless of industry, open and honest communication between all parties you do business with is essential. Without automated workflow management tools, the opportunities for miscommunication due to human error increase.

No accountability in the process:

Without proper systems in place, disorganisation happens easily and it becomes hard to know who is responsible for what. Robotic process automation lets you and your team members know who has a hand in the business workflow and, if any problem arises, where the slack needs to be picked up.

Inability to track tasks:

While we are required to multitask daily, we can only remember so much. Workflow automation gives you a visual breakdown of the status of the tasks that still need to be completed while also showing the progress made so far.

No performance metrics:

Effective systems need constant evaluation to yield satisfactory results. Workflow automation software makes it easy to review best practices and follow up on problem areas.

A person relaxing on a couch using their phone

Workflow management in action.


Known for their clean energy production, with more than 90% of their supply being carbon dioxide-free, Électricité de France (EDF) wanted to “go green” in its offices. The best way to do that was to go paperless with an automated workflow for documents. 


Before they adopted Adobe Acrobat Pro and the Acrobat Sign workflow automation tools, the company received about 50% of the documents they sent for signature back, in an average of 16 days. With automated processes in place, they can process in 16 hours instead of days and place more than 2,500 orders annually, with fewer bottlenecks in between.  


“In terms of paper, stamps, envelopes and human resources, we estimate that we’ve saved more than €64,000 and 30,000 pages since the project was commissioned, which translates into €16 saved per order,” says Thierry Belloeil, Primary Purchasing Coordinator. 


At Novozymes in Denmark, automated workflows are how the world’s largest enzyme producer keeps it all straight. This new business workflow helped the legal department keep their contracts confidential. For human resources, it reduced onboarding time for new employees by 93%. To date, more than 1,400 workflows have been completed, with more to follow. 

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