What is an Automated Workflow?
Every business develops workflows to complete critical tasks. Generally, these workflows develop through teams attempting to fulfill task requirements and repeating what has worked in the past. The methods that team members codify in training are often not examined for efficacy.
Effective businesses take existing processes and intentionally seek ways to improve them. Today, the best way to improve workplace efficiency is to adopt an automated workflow. To fully understand the automated workflow, you must first grasp how a workflow operates.
The Modern Workflow's Key Aspects
There are three components to any workflow, regardless of whether it’s simple or complicated:
- Process - The work involves more than one function. When compiling a user manual, for example, you must identify and research the product’s uses, articulate in straightforward terms how to use each part of the product, and then compile these explanations into an organized layout. Once you have completed this process, you have completed the task.
- Tools - Returning to the user manual example, you need several tools to complete the task. First, you need the means to communicate with team members and the product’s design team. You must also have a word processor and a way to organize written content and visual diagrams into a clean layout. Often, the difficulty of the task depends on the tools that you have (or don’t have) available, so improving your tools can simplify and speed up any workflow.
- Collaboration - It’s essential for each step of the process to sync with the others, and in any team-based workspace, that means effective cooperation. Communication is paramount for teams to work together effectively. Often, communication also depends on the collaboration tools available. If you can maximize the collaboration potential between team members, then you can increase your efficiency while improving morale and confidence.
Now that you understand what each workflow requires, it’s time to examine how automation can improve each of these aspects.
How Automation Impacts Any Office Workflow
Automation technologies fundamentally affect any workflow’s functions. Let’s look at how tools such as Kofax Power PDF and SignDoc can streamline the workflow of creating a user manual.
- Your team can handle each part of the process more effectively. Starting from a basic document, your team can log information, upload diagrams and compile the final product from each of its parts. Power PDF can produce a single PDF document that captures the information you need in the necessary order. Your team can use SignDoc to send materials to clients and stakeholders for immediate approval.
- Your team can work collectively using a shared cloud workspace. This method ensures that each team member has access to all required information. Through active organization on this cloud space, your team avoids redundant copies of documents, wastes no time trying to track down a file’s location and accesses the work from anywhere with internet access.
- Take advantage of automated alerts so that each team member knows immediately when it’s time to work on the next phase of the task. You can ensure that everyone knows when new documents are shared on the cloud, including contracts or agreements waiting on a SignDoc signature, and use internal messaging to ping other team members.
While it takes time for teams to adjust to any new approach to their workflows, workflow automation is one of the most effective changes any business can make. Explore our additional resources to learn precisely how Power PDF can support workplace automation.