5 Essentials In Office Automation Systems
August 23rd, 2017 • Workflow Automation
Technology has reduced a ton of paper burden from the modern office. Emails have replaced memos, filing cabinets have given way to virtual drives, and biometrics have taken over employee timesheets. Many businesses that think they have attained office automation nirvana by simply going paperless.
But handling work electronically doesn’t mean your office is automated.
Office automation doesn’t mean using online forms and sending Google Calendar invites. Imagine the things your teams can do if you can automate every repetitive and routine task. Some of the biggest advantages of automating workflows include:
- Reducing manual effort to complete mundane tasks
- Cutting down on human intervention and manual error
- Saving time and other invaluable resources
- Getting insights in process performance metrics
- Gaining greater process visibility and identifying potential bottlenecks
- Making sound business decisions based on process or the changes it demands
Office automation adds efficiency to your workflows, but you need to look beyond emails and digital forms to really embrace it. Below are five aspects to look out for while choosing your office automation solution.
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The Essentials of an Office Automation System
1. Flexibility to design workflows
When you pick an office automation system, make sure it offers you the ease of creating processes as you want, and not the other way around. A piece of software shouldn’t determine how your business should set its operations. It should instead aid your teams to strengthen the existing processes.
The business world is in the thick of technological innovation, and easy-to-use business process management (BPM) tools can help you take charge of that change.
2. Options to define access controls
Just like limiting entry to your office premises, you should also have access privileges set to all of your business workflows.
A good workflow automation system understands this sensitive requirement and will have access control as part of its integral features. Don’t overlook this capability when considering an office automation software for your business.
3. Mobile compatibility
People cannot always be around to approve tasks and your business can’t afford to stall operations; your marketing campaign can’t be delayed a day just because you need to wait for Greg to get back from his vacation in Machu Picchu.
In today’s ever-evolving business world, there is a simple solution to this. Just pick a cloud-based workflow automation system that people can access from anywhere. Cloud-based workflow apps usually also come with great mobile compatibility. That means Greg can go over the marketing plan on his mobile from his hotel lobby in Peru and give his nod before he goes on to take selfies with the llamas.
4. Integration with other software
Integration bridges the gaps between multiple systems and saves you the massive pain of manually transferring data from one system to another.
It’s not enough for an office automation solution to be functional by itself. A process usually has other software dependencies or has multiple teams involved. Many cloud-based apps are already ahead of the curve because they come pre-integrated with most of the major software platforms and offer integrations through APIs or middleware players like Zapier.
5. Reports and analytics
How do you know if your office automation is yielding results? You can’t just evaluate process performance based on how happy your team is. Data is the ultimate decision-maker, and it’s important for your business to compare a process’ history, its speed, the outcome quality, etc.
Adopting another software to measure your workflow data is time-consuming and unnecessary. Why not have a single piece of software that comes embedded with reporting and analytics features? Most office automation products now come equipped with this feature as part of their fundamental offering.
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