10 Business Processes You Might Not Know You Can Automate

Let’s face it – everyone working in the corporate world has spent valuable time on mundane tasks they’d rather not perform. Whether it’s manually entering data at the end of a long day, or checking your email constantly to make sure you haven’t missed a message in an important thread, we’ve all been there.

It’s clear that automating important processes across your business can save you and your team hundreds of hours, thousands of dollars, and millions of hairs from being torn out.

But what about streamlining those not-so-obvious processes that often slip through the cracks in the digital transformation journey?

To make your life – and work –  easier, consider using workflow software to automate the following business processes:

1.  Document Reviews

Dynamically generate, edit and approve contracts and any other documents your company produces regularly. Various language, formatting and even geo-specific content can be set automatically using document generation.

Workflow automation allows meta-approval of data at any stage of the process. This means approved team members can make real-time changes and track updates without the need for manual notification, and without pushing back on a deadline or increasing the risk of publishing an unpolished document.

2.  SMS Notifications

Most business processes use email to administer notifications, but SMS click rates are much higher than email click rates. Meaning, employees will be more likely to quickly read and respond to a text rather than an email.

This increases response rates and reduces the time it takes to complete a request. Project managers can use workflow automation to integrate SMS notifications into a business process and get their team working together more easily and conveniently.

Take it one-step further by consolidating notifications from multiple lines of communication (phone, email, SMS) so that employees spend less time going through messages or notifications and more time actually doing the work

3. Loan Approvals

Paper-based processes delay loan approvals. They also increase the risk of manual error when copying over confidential data.

Workflow automation can streamline loan approvals by making them easy to submit, review and process. Automated workflows connect all related databases so employees do not have to manually enter or check information. This saves a lot of time when collecting customer data that lives in multiple places.

4.  Media Submissions

To manage media pitches or content proposals, most production teams have to upload submissions manually. Commissioners then have to review submissions and re-upload them into a database.

These manual processes are time-consuming, irritating and error-prone. And neither party has a way to track submissions through a multi-step approval process. An automated workflow stores this information, sends it to the correct people at the correct stage, and keeps the work, well, flowing.

5.  Risk Mitigation

Workflow automation can reduce the number of forms you need to fill in manually and can sure all data entered complies with necessary regulations within that contract and in your industry.

You can set up a workflow to alert your team members of issues upon data entry. You can also set up self-service alerts for individual employees to catch errors early on to help them stay within standards before submitting a form.

Here’s how different industries can mitigate risks:

  • In machine-heavy industries, automation can be mobile-enabled to meet industry standards and needs of employees in the field, such as with airplane or medical equipment inspections.
  • In financial industries, automation reduces fraud by creating a full audit trail for approvals and comments.

6.  On-Demand Customer Demos

Demos are a good way to explain the value of a business solution to a customer.

Companies that need to deliver these demos usually need an IT department to intervene for each customer’s personalized demo request. Workflow automation can help the department save time and resources by having a demo template up and ready in minutes.

This template allows anyone to manage a customer’s data visually with little to no effort. Moreover, it prevents the exposure of sensitive customer data.

7.  Feedback Portals

Survey results provide companies with valuable, quantifiable information.

Even better? You can automate the availability of a survey at the perfect time based on what the customer is doing. You can also create surveys that automatically capture feedback at regular intervals, such as 60 or 90 days after a customer makes the purchase. Moreover, the automated workflow can route survey results to the right people in your company and file them automatically in a central database.

No extra steps or manual scheduling needed. Just set it up once and let it run.

8.  Product Renewals

In most businesses, customer retention is just as important as customer acquisition – if not more.

Ever missed a sales or upsell opportunity when a customer fails to update their subscription or renew their account? It’s like a hole in the bottom of a boat. Instead of spending time trying to bail water out of the boat, your sales team can easily seal the hole and focus on sailing forward.

The sales department doesn’t need to be manually sending their customers updates when their product is about to expire.

When a customer purchases your product or subscribes to your service, an automated workflow links the purchase form to a central database that stores their information. It then emails them an alert when their product is about to expire and updates the database as needed. The workflow prevents the subscription from lapsing and your sales team from missing important sales opportunities.

Automation also allows you to understand why a customer does not renew their subscription or product license, thus helping you expose and resolve problems going forward.

9.  Employee Status Changes

Most HR departments manually update information every time there is a change in employee status.

For example, if a manager decides to promote an employee, they must notify the HR department of a salary change, receive approval from the financial department, scan the documents, and file them in the right place. It’s a slow and arduous process, with too many chances for human error.

With workflow automation, the manager just has to fill out a form with information regarding the changes.

The automated process then does the work of getting approvals, creating, sending out the right supplementary documents and filing them. It’s a quicker, more accurate process that results in far fewer headaches.

10.  Stacking Multiple Processes

With Nintex Workflow Cloud, you can build a connector between multiple business applications, cloud services or content repositories – without using code. When applications talk to each other, it gives team members, both internal and external,  the ability to truly collaborate and streamline their work, no matter where their content lives.

For example, native Salesforce users can collaborate with people who are not in Salesforce.

Business can also stack many applications to create one well-oiled process.

  • Utilize email, Slack, Salesforce and SMS tasks all in one workflow as a communication mechanism.
  • Utilize document generation, an on/off platform for approvals, e-signature and archival as an approval mechanism.


Interested in trying Nintex Workflow Cloud for yourself?  Get your free 30-day trial here



Dan Barker

Dan is a Senior Product Manager on the Nintex Workflow Cloud team and loves working on bleeding edge technologies like IoT and machine learning. He’s been with Nintex for 2 years and previously worked at Dell and Progressive. Dan moved to Washington from Ohio in 2012 with his wife, two girls and dog Roo. When he’s not working on Nintex Workflow Cloud he enjoys golf and following his favorite Cleveland sports teams.