Labor shortages continue to plague all industries, slowing productivity. Whether it’s truckers or security technicians, companies are having to do more with less. Adding to the worker shortage is the complex environment in which employees work. There are remote workforces, in-office personnel, and a combination of both, requiring new ways of getting things done.
As employees struggle to keep up, the work environment becomes more stressful. Staff takes time off because of stress-related illnesses, which only increases the backlog of work. Soon, companies feel like they’re spinning their wheels. Deploying workflow automation can help break that cycle.
For example, timesheets are the bane of HR departments because many organizations have multiple time management systems. Some clock-in; others swipe. Employees may complete Excel spreadsheets or write in hours on a paper form. Bringing all that data together in one place and one format can be challenging. With solutions such as Power BI Automation, data collection and report generation can be automated, freeing staff for more customer-facing tasks.
As more organizations turn to automation, they need to remember that workflows should be integrated across the enterprise. Keeping them in silos limits their potential. Let’s look at how integration will become the workflow improvement for 2022 and beyond.
Legal firms use workflow automation to generate contracts. With much of the document coming from boilerplate material, letting technology pull the information together only makes sense. But, it’s managing the contracts that consume resources. Expanding workflow automation to track contract revisions and approvals can expedite the creation process.
Automated workflows can also monitor the process once the contract has left the office. Workflows can send email reminders to clients or let staff know they need to make a follow-up call. It can even handle the signing, copying, and archiving of completed contracts. Integrating the workflow with an automated reporting tool means knowing the status of every contract.
Workflow automation is not new to accounting; however, the automated processes do not encompass an end-to-end implementation. Once paper invoices are scanned, they are routed to the appropriate accounts payable person for processing. If the amount exceeds the employee’s authorization, they forward it for approval and wait for its return.
With an automated process, the invoice can be routed based on the dollar amount, ensuring that approvals are in place at the start of the process. Rules, thresholds, and limits are set to provide the necessary payment safeguards. When payment is made, the accounting package notifies the workflow to mark the invoice as paid.
Creating an integrated account payable workflow enables personnel to focus on the exceptions. With an automated reporting solution, companies can generate detailed reports to provide accountability throughout the process.
Like contracts, non-disclosure agreements include repetitive information. Maybe a paragraph is changed based on the business unit involved. Creating an automated workflow that allows employees to generate an NDA for their specific needs saves resources.
Automated workflows can be defined that create the appropriate document, route it for signature, and archive it. The workflow can notify staff when the document has been completed. If organizations want paragraphs changed, these exceptions can be forwarded to the legal department to address.
Integrating an NDA workflow across the enterprise establishes standard NDA wording for each application. It minimizes staff involvement without sacrificing legal protection. Workflows can also monitor the term of the NDA, making it possible to report the status of all NDAs.
Automated workflows are marketing’s best friend. They can help with lead generation and qualification. They can send emails based on web clicks. Workflows can send out automated tweets and post to Facebook. With so many workflows, it’s difficult to get a picture of overall marketing performance.
Trying to integrate individual workflows into a comprehensive department-wide system can create problems with scaling and performance. Integrating the workflows with an intelligent dashboard makes it possible to see how each workflow is performing, make comparisons, and evaluate marketing performance.
The words “loan processing” bring images of stacks and stacks of paper. They conjure up time delays and frustration. Implementing an end-to-end loan origination process can alleviate much of the frustration for both agents and customers.
No matter the loan, the request goes through a four-part process that includes:
- Loan application. Borrowers complete an application.
- Documents. Borrowers provide supporting documents.
- Underwriting. Lenders validate the borrower’s information.
- Loan approval. Lenders approve or deny the loan request.
Automation can help reduce human intervention in the loan process. Workflows can review applications and documents for completeness, ask for added information, and monitor responses. They can send reminders to both processors and customers or notify staff of exceptions to ensure the process is moving as quickly as possible.
Integrating Workflows with Reporting Tools
Workflow integration makes it possible for companies to do more with less. Whether it’s expanding an existing workflow or creating a new one, organizations will look for ways to maximize their investment. As workflows increase, it becomes more difficult to get an overview of what is going on. That’s where tools such as Christian Stevens IntelliFront BI and Power BI Automation can help.
IntelliFront BI™ is a browser-based Data Analytics & Business Intelligence solution that lets staff share reports, key performance indicators, and dashboards. Sharing the information means consolidating data in an easy-to-use portal that can provide static and real-time reporting. Making IntelliFront BI part of workflow integration ensures an enterprise-wide solution.
Power BI Automation
PBRS™ is an SSRS and Power BI report scheduler that makes it easy to filter, distribute, and deliver information in the cloud and on-premise. Automated processes ensure that reports are run and distributed on schedule. The data can be emailed in standard Excel, CSV, Word, and PDF formats.
With tools such as IntelliFront BI and Power BI Automation, organizations can reallocate resources to more customer-facing tasks without compromising critical insights.