How Process Automation Reduces Admin Work

How Process Automation Reduces Admin Work

How Process Automation Reduces Admin Work

Before Steph, Digital Improvement Lead at Todd Energy, automated their staff and contractor onboarding process, it would take 6+ hours to complete.

Now, it only takes 2, no longer relying on spreadsheets, back & forth emails and individuals’ memory.

See how Steph this and what the feedback has been like in the organisation in the snippet below.

Transcript

I guess a great example of that is the staffing contractor onboarding flow.

And you have touched on that already a little bit, Sean.

But prior to us automating this process it would take upwards of six hours on and off for us to onboard a new staff or contractor, and I guess it was run out of an Excel workbook.

If I’m completely honest with you, It had some templated emails in it, but there was lots of backwards and force and a huge reliance on individuals to remember what was going on and to keep that process ticking.

Honestly it took me about 20 hours to build that process. It’s quite a meaty one.

And it was probably our first more high complex process that we built.

We had some pretty amazing engagement and ownership with the lovely ladies that run that process.

And I asked them post go-live, ‘just gut feel how much time is this saving you now?’ And they estimate between three and four hours.

So three and four hours per new start is a pretty decent saving I think.

And the feedback from them was along the lines of ‘I don’t need to remember where the process is at and the system just keeps it on track and I get the notifications when I need to do something’, which I guess in turn allows them to provide more value add to the business.

So yeah, each team has got a bit of a mix of simple and complex processes that I guess keeps us working in the trees.

We’ve spoken about working in the weeds a little bit.

But I guess continuing to push and improve once those processes are in and rolled out to, and tying back to that first statement, making a plan and a roadmap, socializing it and holding yourselves to account, that’s really key.

 

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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting with Workflow Automation

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting with Workflow Automation

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting with Workflow Automation

1. Don’t attack your biggest process first (even if it’s your most broken)

You’re hosting a dinner party. You’ve got a recipe you’ve cooked a thousand times before that you could make with your eyes closed and a recipe you’ve made once that you weren’t 100% confident with.

You need to cook both, but which do you start with?

A lot of people come to us with a specific process in mind they want mapped and automated. Usually, this process is the most inefficient within the organization, is difficult to automate and includes a truck load of people.

Similar to the dinner party scenario, would we recommend you automate with the process you know inside out or the process causing you the most problems? Definitely the first.

This might look like tackling your shorter, simple leave request workflow before attempting employee onboarding. This will help you (1) gain experience in building out processes (2) get employees engaged with workflow faster and (3) help your organization build momentum.

Once you’ve mastered a few simple workflows and got company buy in, you’ll be in a much better position to tackle that complex, highly-political process.

2. Not starting with the process first

If a process isn’t good to start with, how will automating it improve it?

Time and time again businesses come to us saying their processes aren’t working. Compliance is shoddy, deadlines are being missed and their teams are stressed.

While workflow automation has a part to play in helping businesses improve compliance and productivity, it isn’t the only part.

Like polishing a turd, automating a poor process will only highlight the flaws in a process, not hide them.

Having great businesses processes is the key to true process excellence for us, that’s why every Flowingly customer gets a customer success manager. The goal shouldn’t be automating processes, the goal should be achieving process excellence and creating better workflow builders.

Our friends at rhipe discussed how they approach this, from process to automation to integration, at our latest webinar which you can find here.

This might look like tackling your shorter, simple leave request workflow before attempting employee onboarding.

3. Not providing additional context and information to processes

Sometimes people don’t follow a process because it doesn’t exist. Sometimes people just don’t follow a process because it isn’t engaging or easy to follow.

Let’s say you have an incident report/harassment process mapped out within your organization.

Can your employees quickly get access to your policies around harassment? What if someone brushes off an incident because they aren’t sure it constitutes harassment within the business?

When it comes to an incident workflow adding things like a list of company values, links to bullying policies and assurances of confidentiality can quickly improve the employee experience. Ensuring your process isn’t just mapped, but clear and easy for any employee to follow is crucial, whether they’ve been at the company a day or a year.

4. Having a set and forget attitude

Process improvement doesn’t stop with automation. It’s a never-ending process, not something you can set up once and then forget about.

Some companies make the mistake of taking a mapped process, automating it and then never re-evaluating it again. Continuously evaluating and searching for better ways to optimize your workflows is the key to creating true process excellence.

Just because a process has been mapped and automated doesn’t make it perfect. With automation reporting you can identify in real-time where your process bottlenecks are.

Kristen at Upper Hutt City Council outlined their continuous improvement approach in a recent webinar you can check out here.

When talking about workflow iterations she said “we started off simple with a form with 3 short fields but as I learned more about how things worked and talked to other people in other departments…I was able to expand on what we already have. And make it better. Now we just use a single table.”

Key to iterating on your workflows is having a platform that supports ongoing improvement. If small changes take you hours or days to deploy, you won’t do them. Make sure you choose a platform where workflow tweaks can be made in minutes (like Flowingly).

5. Sending irrelevant, excessive notifications

Notifications are an excellent way to help team members complete steps in a process, but they need to contain all the necessary information and be sent at the right time.

Receiving a notification that doesn’t tell you how to complete a step – bad for user experience. Being sent an approval notification after the deadline – bad for productivity.

Sending out too many unnecessary reminders (especially irrelevant ones) about due dates and approvals will have the opposite effect when it comes to productivity. In fact, notification overload will make your users more likely to ignore or mute notifications – not only harming productivity but also harming the future adoption of digital technologies.

Save the reminders for when you need something actioned or when someone needs to oversee part of the process.

Book a demo and see Flowingly process mapping and workflow automation for yourself. 👇

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Find articles covering all your workflow needs. From creating better processes to change management.

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Process Mapping and Automation – Better Together 

Process Mapping and Automation – Better Together 

Process Mapping and Automation – Better Together 

A lot of businesses approach us with a single platform requirement.

Maybe they’re looking for process mapping software because don’t have clear or well documented processes in place. Or maybe they’re looking for automation because they’re having problems with delays, productivity and compliance.

Typically, they aren’t looking for a solution that does both.

One of the reasons for this is that it’s rare that a platform offers both – Flowingly does because we have seen first-hand the impact strong processes can have on the success of workflow automation and the power workflow automation can bring to mapped processes.

So why do you need process mapping?

A company needs to have their processes clearly mapped out for their employees to avoid chaos and ensure compliance. The more structured a company’s processes, the better their teams will work and the easier it will be to scale.

Without a clear process map for employees to follow, it becomes increasingly difficult to properly manage projects from start to finish. There might be information sitting in massive email chains, on stray pieces of paper or worse – in somebody’s head. If that person leaves, where does that leave the process?

By mapping and clearly defining your organization’s processes you can ensure consistency across the business – so even a new employee understands how a task or project is completed from start to end.

Okay, so maybe you’re thinking process mapping makes sense but automation seems intensive or time-consuming.

The combination of workflow automation and process mapping provides organizations with a greater level of insight into not just their processes, but how their processes are running.

Just because a process is mapped doesn’t mean it’s being followed. With automation, you can ensure it is and if it isn’t, you can understand why.

Process maps help show the relationship between different tasks and help communicate the steps required in each process, who is responsible for what and the requirements of the tasks. Workflow automation comes in and helps ensure that each task is completed on time and accurately.

The combination of these two tools is the key to process excellence for many organizations and can help significantly improve process efficiency without dramatically increasing costs or resource.

Alright, so why Flowingly?

There are great process mapping platforms. There are also great workflow automation platforms. There aren’t many platforms that do both.

This means you might find an incredible tool where your business teams build processes but when it comes to automating them you’ve got to basically hand them over to your developers to translate and build them all over again in a different tool. Or maybe you’ve found an incredible workflow tool but have no idea where to start when it comes to mapping out your processes.

An automated workflow is only as strong as the process it’s built against.

With Flowingly you’ve got both tools built-in, meaning you can rapidly map out a process right off the bat and automate it with a click. Just like that. No developers, no platform switching.

While many of those businesses who approach us come to us in need of either a process mapping or workflow automation tool, more often than not they’re really looking for both.

True digital transformation comes when process improvement and process excellence is felt organization-wide, with businesses actively caring about the experience of their staff and customers.

Book a demo and see Flowingly process mapping and workflow automation for yourself. 👇

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Find articles covering all your workflow needs. From creating better processes to change management.

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Overview – 2021 R5

Overview – 2021 R5

Overview – 2021 R5

Just when we thought our developers were done for the year, they pulled a last release out of the bag.

And it’s a good one.

We wanted to focus on user experience features for this release, getting stuck into some of our most highly requested features.

Also, big shoutout to our awesome customers for helping us continuously improve the product with their feedback. 🤙

NEW – Pull variables into email subject lines

Nobody likes receiving emails. Receiving a bunch of emails with the same subject line? Even worse.

That’s why we’ve added the ability to pull values from previous steps into customisable subject lines.

Want to include the customer or employee name? Done. How about their address? Done.

You can now include almost every step field in the email subject line, including values from short text, dropdown list, option list, currency, email, number, date, date time and lookup fields.

NEW – Start flows from your library

Have you ever been in the library page of your Flowingly account and thought “wow, I’d love to be able to start a flow from here?”

Well, now you can.

Alongside the classic permissions, edit, clone and delete icons you’ll now find the start icon in your library under Actions.

NEW – Drag and drop file uploads

Yes, you read that right. We’ve brought in the ability to drag and drop files in both the file upload and attach document step fields.

While it may not seem like the most ground-breaking feature we’ve implemented, it’s a feature that has been highly requested and one that will hugely impact your day-to-day experience in Flowingly.

Now when you need to attach a file you can drag it from anywhere on your computer. Your desktop, your downloads, anywhere really.

With drag and drop, uploads have never been faster, or easier.

NEW – Approval notifications

Ever wanted to receive a specific email notification when an approval has been assigned to you?

Currently, when a step is assigned to you, you’ll receive the same notification for steps and approvals.

We’ve updated approvals to have specific notifications for approval steps.

Making it easier for your people to identify what is required of them. More working, less searching.

To see how you could cut admin and waste out of your processes, get a trial today!

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