How automated is your office? Does work flow like clockwork, independent of location and platform? Or does everything happen with paper forms and signatures floating around in those classy golden envelopes?
Every business owner loves the thought of automating office processes, but the concept can be a bit cloudy. What does automation actually look like? What office processes can be converted into automated workflows? Where do I start?
What is Office Automation?
Offices have lots of processes that follow a predictable, repetitive flow. Service requests, leave requests, purchase orders, and many other processes keep flowing on and on in any office of any size.
When you handle these things manually, each individual is responsible for receiving a set of data, acting on it, and remembering exactly what to do next with it. While it may sound simple, this creates a minefield where a single misstep along the way can cripple the entire flow of work and potentially paralyze other interdependent processes as well.
When these same office processes are handled automatically, you create a sequence of human and system tasks. Data is passed on to each task automatically without any need to follow up. This creates smooth, uninterrupted transitions between individuals, teams, and stakeholders regardless of location and function.
How do I get started creating office workflows?
Office automation doesn’t have to be complex. You can make it as simple as you need it. Here are three simple business applications you can automate.
Paid Time Off Request Approval
We’d all like to think that taking a vacation is as easy as dropping a line to your boss and booking your hotel. In reality, the process is much more complicated. Multiple levels of hierarchy and HR record-keeping prevent this from being as easy as it could be.
When you automate the request, an employee fills out an electronic form with all of the important details. It travels to the manager for approval and HR for documentation. No paper forms; no confusion; happier employees. Check out our full article on leave request automation.
How easy is it for you to add a user to your internal software? When handled manually, simple service requests like these tend to turn into long, complex email exchanges. The person you used to ask no longer works at the company. You tried using an email alias, but no one responds to that one. You finally get the information to the right person, but you didn’t give all the necessary details.
When you automate the process, you ensure that the right person gets the right data every time.
Nothing is quite as manual as a suggestion box sitting beside the water cooler. If you have an employee who has a great idea, you don’t want that idea to die on a paper form, or in the wrong email inbox. When you create an automated process in a business process automation software, the initiator can fill out a form and the idea will automatically travel to the right department and can be followed up on immediately.
Still on the fence?
Automation is much easier than you imagine, and can help any sized office improve their business processes. Try Kissflow Process Platform for 14-day, install some of our pre-built Apps, and see what all the rage is about!