Every business, regardless of size or sector, relies on processes. It could vary from a handful for one company to thousands for another, but they are all equally important, as they are everyday tasks that help workers achieve their goals and ensure businesses serve their customers.
Somewhat surprisingly, however, and although we live in an increasingly digital world, a lot of these processes are still manual and hugely time-consuming. The reasons behind this can be many; from financial, to knowledge, or a skillset void, but there is a great alternative – automation.
By automating their processes, organizations have an opportunity to create added efficiency to their business and accelerate their digital transformation, which given today’s’ circumstances, is hugely important. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the ways that automation can help your business make process improvements.
The key to making process improvements
Your process improvements should start with understanding how your organization currently works. Being able to visualize your workflows is the first step to seeing how they can be made more efficient. And while methods will differ for each company, there are some approaches that are usually successful for businesses of any size.
Your strategy for improving processes should include these key steps:
- Mapping all existing processes
- Identifying bottlenecks and areas for improvement
- Creating new digital processes
- Managing automated workflows
Rejuvenate with process improvements
There are many aspects to process improvement, but one of the most proven methods is implementing a process automation platform. Let’s look at some of the processes that automation can streamline and improve.
Take, for example, the signing of a document. In order to reach approval and be published, a document must be signed off by stakeholders including a senior manager and a project lead.
But getting these signatures is difficult. The document must be reviewed, and then approved with a physical signature. However, if this process was digitized, it could be streamlined. The stakeholders would be able to simultaneously sign off the document with an eSignature on a device of their choosing.
HR is another department that could greatly benefit from process improvements. Leave requests, like many HR processes, have historically been manual and paper-based.
Traditionally, an employee looking to take a vacation would have to acquire the right form from their HR department, fill it out, and then either return the physical form or scan it and email it back.
This process creates numerous opportunities for human error and delay—but with the right workflow automation solution, this process can be digitized, streamlined, and optimized. Using workflow software, employees can complete the request form in just a few clicks on the device of their choice, which is then submitted and approved in hours rather than days.
Making sure new hires have everything they need to do their jobs is essential. Usually, the onboarding process relies on the collaboration of multiple people in multiple departments.
Between HR, IT, and the department head, a lot of back and forth is created as the new employee is onboarded. This creates the potential for errors and delays. If just one part of the process is missed, for example, an employee’s first day could be severely disrupted.
Instead, the onboarding process can be made into an automated workflow that delegates tasks to each stakeholder in a timely manner. Every employee can contribute their part to the onboarding process without needing to manage the whole process themselves.
With process improvements, onboarding moves along smoothly and is accomplished faster when it’s automated, meaning the new hire can hit the ground running.
For a lot of organizations filing expenses is still manual and repetitive. For employees who spend a lot of time on the road, it’s a completely essential process. However, it’s not a great use of time when it’s performed manually. It relies heavily on finding documents like receipts, scanning them and inputting data, and then chasing approval before the sum can be reimbursed.
In order to get approval, it’s likely that employees will need to follow up on claims multiple times in order to make reimbursements, which extends the process and causes delays.
Businesses can simplify their expense filing process by digitizing and automating the workflow. Employees can then simply submit expenses electronically from wherever they are in minutes.
A digital form will collect the right information and automatically store it in the right place for a member of the HR team to sign off. Reimbursements will be faster and easier, without any extra work. A win-win for everyone.
Embracing process improvements with the Nintex Platform
Choosing to digitize and modernize business processes is a large undertaking. Your business needs to choose the right tools to succeed: the Nintex Platform has a wide range of no-code automation tools that can be implemented with minimal downtime. Businesses can choose from:
- Process automation including digital forms, workflow, RPA, document generation, and e-signature for a complete transformation of your processes.
- Process mapping to help you understand each and every existing process.
- Process analysis for a complete overview of your business and digital assistance in identifying bottlenecks and areas for improvement.
To learn how your business can use the Nintex Platform to drive process improvements get in contact with the Nintex Team today.