In pretty much any workplace today–whatever the industry, size, or location–workflow management and automation are either already used or being considered.
The average business user is now empowered with the power to design workflow and achieve great, consistent results from common workplace processes.
For example, Kissflow has made it easy to create workflows with a WYSIWYG form designer, drag-and-drop modules, and an easy-to-understand visual design. But with certain processes, designing the workflow from scratch can be difficult, bordering on downright impossible.
What are the Benefits of Streamlining Workflows?
The benefits of a streamlined workflow include:
- Enhanced productivity by eliminating redundant tasks
- Ability to evaluate the process performance and identify potential improvement areas
- Helps develop a collaborative culture among all the departments
- Improves transparency of processes and eliminates costly mistakes
- Ensures process consistency and reliability across various departments
That’s why we’ve compiled this list of workflow examples for common business processes. With graphical representations, You’ll see what each process typically needs to include, which will give you a head start when you get into the ‘process designer’ mode.
Common Workflow Examples
Businesses across all industries have various workflows for their critical tasks. Some can be identical, while others can be unique to a particular organization/industry. Examples of workflows include leave request management, reimbursement management, employee onboarding, etc.
Here are the 10 workflow examples for common business processes:
- New Employee Onboarding
- Sales Order
- Travel Request Authorization
- Employee Recruitment
- Product feature request
- IT bug tracking
- Vacation Requests Workflows
- Document Approvals Workflow
- Purchase Orders Workflow
- Expense Claim Requests Workflows
New Employee Onboarding
When onboarding new employees, it is important to make the process as smooth as possible. A report by Frevvo has found that employees with negative onboarding experiences tend to quit early. If you are looking to improve your existing onboarding experience, you need to set up automated workflows that are standardized and consistent.
Here is a new employee onboarding sample workflow:
- Prepare the relevant materials.
- An employee fills out their respective forms.
- Discuss employee roles, projects, and responsibilities.
- Create their business accounts
- Curate their CTC package.
- Assign training sessions
- Introduce them to their teammates
- Do weekly check-in meetings
- Discuss their long-term goals and expectations.
HRs can ensure that all the processes in the onboarding are completed.
- Typically the onboarding workflows should include talent acquisition and talent retention teams.
- Make sure to set alerts throughout the onboarding so that you don’t miss out on anything
Keep the candidate informed about the whole process
Sales orders play a major role in every business, irrespective of the industry. It is a waste of time and productivity if you are still stuck to manual sales order generation processes like email, excel sheets, and forms. Automated sales order processing workflows can eliminate a lot of paperwork, leading to faster processing.
Here is a sales order processing sample workflow:
- The salesperson generates an order.
- The manager approves/declines it.
- The VP must also approve if you offer a discount of 25% or more.
- The client should sign it.
- A billing invoice is sent to the client.
- The client processes the payment
- Deliver the product(s).
- Documents are filed for record-keeping.
- The manager and VP are informed about the ongoing sales.
- Typically the workflow should include the respective salesperson along with VP and manager.
- Link different processes together to convert your sales request into a sales order without needing to add information twice.
- Store the buyer information safely for the automated referral.
Travel Request Authorization
In the ongoing hybrid workforce, organizations often need to authorize travel requests. Manually getting it done can lead to costly mistakes. Employees can overestimate their travel budget and file for reimbursement above their cap. You can automate the travel request process through a workflow where you can upload receipts, and employees can track their ongoing travel expenses using their cameras.
Here is a travel request authorization sample workflow:
The employee needs to fill out a travel request form with the purpose, and date
- The Head of the department must approve.
- Employees travel for their respective purposes and keep a record of their expenditures.
- Employee reconciles actual expenses with approved budget.
- If actual expenses are higher than the budget, the Department Head must approve again.
- The finance must reimburse the employee.
The finance department can make sure they process the exact reimbursement that aligns with the budget cap for each employee.
- Finance and heads of departments can be a part of the workflows.
- Ensure the excess spend is made for a valid purpose before approving
Store the invoices at a place where the finance can access them for processing the reimbursement.
With time-off or vacation requests, the goal of the process is to approve planned, scheduled days off. Without a workflow system, employees typically send requests through email, and the respective boss/coordinator/approver maintains a log through spreadsheets.
Here’s a vacation request sample workflow:
Form data to collect:
- Employee details (ID, department)
- Requested start and end dates
- Calculated total leave
- Type of leave
- Leave balance
A user-made decision on whether the leave is approved
- Direct manager
- HR processing
- Add a section on the field to choose who will you cover tasks for this person while they are gone
- Link your form to a dataset to pull updated leave balances
- Use an automated form to make sure days are counted accurately
Sample workflow of Document approvals are a common, everyday task in businesses across industry verticals, but they tend to slow operations down. An email request system is only going to make things slower, so what you need is a workflow like this one:
Form data to collect:
- Initiator details
- Type of document
- Key information
Leaders should be able to review, approve, or reject an item. They should also be able to quickly ask contextual questions. Rejection can be set to trigger an ‘update document’ task allocated to the initiator, who will submit a new draft for approval.
The number of workflow steps depends on the complexity of the document, but you usually need at least two people to look at it.
- Audit logs are key for documents to ensure that everyone is working on the same one. Make sure to adjust the read-only and editable fields so that no one can change information after approved.
- Storing documents in Google Drive also allows you to clearly see what changes have been made to documents.
This business process example is a little more complex than the previous ones, as it’ll need to include triggers from incoming customer emails containing POs. This process involves two goals: providing the service/product requested in the PO, and generating the respective invoice.
Form data to collect:
- Copy of the PO
- Buyer details
- Any PR numbers
- Delivery instructions
- Approve the PO
- Communicate with the buyer
- Procurement leads
- Supply chain manager
- Finance team
- Link different processes together, dovetailing your purchase request into a purchase order without needing to add information twice.
- Keep buyer information in a stored location for the automated referral.
Expense Claim Requests
Just like the second workflow example of document approvals, expense claims are an ideal candidate for a workflow management system. You’ll see in the workflow diagram that this is a simple, straightforward, predictable process.
Field data to collect:
- Employee information
- Itemized expense information
- Payment type
- Fund disbursal
- Put your expense policy right on your form and use data validations to make sure it is enforced
- Use conditional tasks so that expenses that fit the policy below a certain threshold don’t need multiple sign-offs every time
If you’re looking to create a workflow using powerful workflow management software like Kissflow Workflow, these illustrated workflow examples should be all you need. However, note that only your imagination can limit you–all you need to do is pick workflow automation and build it just the way you want.
With Kissflow’s easy-to-use interface, you’ll be designing your own workflows in no time!