A business of any kind and size has a particular workflow. Also known as a business process, a workflow entails a number of tasks that contribute to the achievement of the final product or service. To come up with tasks to be performed at every phase of a workflow, team members have to make lucid decisions. These decisions must be approved quickly to allow continuity of business processes. The most prudent and accurate way to facilitate decision making is via automated approval workflows.
To make this easier to identify the core processes of your business, we will discuss five different approval workflows you can automate. Whether you are a small or medium-size business, you have these workflows. Now the only thing left to do is to make them more efficient via workflow management software. Here is a brief description of each:
1. Sales and Marketing
An out-of-date workflow for sales and marketing means that you will poorly process various requests. The aftermath is that you will most likely jeopardize the quality of service provided to customers. But when software accounts for each process and client’s needs, pressure to meet deadlines and bottom lines can be eliminated. There are various things you can automate: contract reviews, discount approvals, product requests, marketing campaigns, marketing collateral, print/online ad requests and PR approvals. To protect your brand, see to it that all sales and marketing procedures are sternly followed.
2. HR approval workflow
Human resources are the core of every business. One of the HR activities that is too difficult and time-consuming is onboarding. The process has several phases, including approval of wages, orientation and training, contract signing, assigning of software licenses to new employees, leaves and other payroll issues. To simplify decisions made by the HR professionals, automation is necessary. You can automate your timesheets approval process, staffing workflow, vacation approvals; benefits change approval workflow, off-boarding approval workflow and so on. By so doing, it will be easier to generate and manage electronic documents to or from HR, accounting and payroll systems. Additionally, it will be easier to create workstations and plan new employee orientation classes.
3. Finance approval workflow
Financial processes are more sophisticated and delicate. They demand strong governance and adequate audits to make sure they meet legal compliances. With software, you could generate a full audit track of financial approvals to eliminate errors and fraud. These are the workflows you can automate in your finance department: salary and wage change workflow, invoice approval workflow, purchase approval workflow, CapEX approvals and invoice approval business process.
4. Purchasing approval workflow
It is necessary to help your purchasing department place correct orders at the right time and for the best rates. With software, it is extremely possible to follow-up a transaction and approval process to speed up the purchases. At the same time, you can ensure that purchases are efficient and accurate. A software tool with comprehensive and user-friendly dashboards and reporting tools will help you compare your budget and actual expenditures. In short, you will soon gain insight into the whole procurement process. Be sure to automate the general procurement approval business process, bid approval workflow, and new vendor approval workflow. After this, you will gain access to your vendors in real time, access purchasing data instantly and save your time.
5. Legal approval workflows
Legal issues are some of your firm’s biggest and toughest challenges. Hence, you need to update your legal document administration via software. With just a single software platform, you could copy, scan, print, share, track, edit, or share your legal documentation. This can be done on your mobile or desktop PC. Some of the legal approvals to automate include document approval workflow, legal hold approvals and request for production approvals. When everything is centralized, you can maintain a consistent user interface, boost productivity and cut costs.
Automated approval workflows are the ultimate solution to slow and poor decision making processes. If implemented well, approval workflow automation helps with reducing operation costs, freeing up personnel to do other constructive tasks and allows SMEs to pursue better revenue generating opportunities. Besides eliminating manual labor, automated approval workflows decrease the number of regulatory compliance issues faced, and protects a company from penalties and fines. If you still use manual paper- or email-based approval workflows, have them automated to streamline your decision-making and problem-solving processes.