What is Workflow Automation?

2 minute read

Workflow automation optimizes business processes by allowing work to be shared efficiently between workers. It matches work tasks with the workers who are best suited to complete the task.

In a financial services setting, for example, this would mean that after a loan application was received by the lender, it would be electronically inputted into their workflow software solution, then automatically routed to the appropriate staff person. That might be based on workload, specialization, signatures required, or any other factor the lender decided to include.

How does a Workflow Solution work?

Let’s continue the financial services example. As the loan application continues to move through the lending organization, the supporting material – bank documents, credit reports, etc. –  would follow along and be easily retrievable in electronic form, freeing employees from the low-value task of hunting for the loose paper documentation.

Once they’re done with their work, the next task is automatically routed to the next worker. The end benefit is higher efficiency and speed to resolution, because employees at every level work more efficiently when they spend time on tasks best suited to their individual skill. Employees won’t waste work time searching for documents or supporting material.

Your organization would benefit from a workflow automation if:

  • Employees are spending too much time doing low-value tasks (searching for documents, waiting for or manually transferring paper files, losing critical documents, duplicating work)
  • Some employees are swamped with work, while others are idle
  • Busy decision makers are causing bottlenecks in the process because they must be involved but are regularly unavailable
  • Employees are cherry-picking work (most interesting, most valuable to them, and so forth) to the detriment of corporate goals

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