You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who likes data entry. It’s mind-numbingly boring, it takes forever, and if you don’t pay extra close attention, you can make mistakes that make the whole process take longer. All sorts of workflows depend on this kind of manual work that no one wants to do. The solution? Workflow automation.
In this post, you’ll learn all about workflow automation, how it can transform the way you work, and what your options are.
What is workflow automation?
A workflow is a map for getting routine work done quickly, efficiently, and in a satisfying way. Workflow automation is a big part of making it so. There’s nothing satisfying about sending the same email a dozen times or copying information from one tool and pasting it into another. While you need the experts on your team to complete certain tasks manually, that’s not the case for every step of your workflow.
With workflow automation, you use software that automates the more repetitive, mind-numbing parts of your work that no one wants to do. That can mean creating and assigning new tasks whenever you kick off a project, sending out hundreds of emails for a marketing campaign, or keeping the right people updated as you hit important milestones.
In practice, workflow automation software can take many different forms, from built-in features in your tools to dedicated platforms that can automate workflows at scale. More on that in a bit.
Why workflow automation?
Now that you know what workflow automation is, let’s cover some of its benefits. No matter what kind of workflow automation implement you implement, you’ll see notable improvements in these areas:
- Less manual work: Whether you’re launching a new project or managing ongoing initiatives, workflow automation can eliminate a ton of manual work for your team.
- Efficiency: This should go without saying, but automation makes your workflows more efficient than if all that work was done manually.
- More resources: By getting rid of dull manual work and other inefficiencies, you’re freeing up time and effor that your team can put towards other tasks.
- Better compliance: Some workflows can handle a bit of variance; others absolutely can’t. When it comes to workflows with any kind of legal or compliance requirements, automation can ensure that you stay within the lines every time.
- Less frustration: No matter your role, spending your time doing manual work can be frustrating when you know there’s a better alternative.
- Hitting more deadlines: Without the right automation, every new project comes with a load of manual work that can take your team’s attention away from more critical tasks. By eliminating that work, you’re giving them the ability to better allocate their time.
Bottom line, workflow automation gives your teams more time to do the kind of work they want to be doing, without the added stress of fitting 10 hours of work into an eight-hour workday.
Who benefits from workflow automation?
While it sounds like a technical term, workflow automation is accessible enough that all kinds of teams can benefit from it. Many platforms and tools are built with the average user in mind, meaning you don’t need to learn how to code to use them. Here are a few examples of what that looks like for different teams.
Marketers need to work across multiple channels, initiatives, and campaigns. These all add up to a ton of repetitive manual work. By using a workflow automation solution, marketers can greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to launch a new campaign, adjust their paid advertising initiatives, and do what they need to do in order to bring in more leads.
Business operations teams
Business operations work is full of processes that beg for automation, especially since they can become unwieldy as an organization scales. Spreadsheets, data entry, and compliance requirements are part and parcel of operations workflows. That makes automation especially important for these teams.
Customer support teams
Customer success depends on speed and timeliness. That means having a team of well-trained people that’s large enough to meet the organization’s needs. But workflow automation can also help, here. Many customer support processes can be automated, from answering common questions to automatically escalating support tickets that need input from other experts.
Is your sales team still sitting in the boiler room making endless cold calls? Workflow automation can be just the tool you need to pull them out of the 80s. That’s because your salespeople are at their best when they’re capitalizing on opportunities, not blindly dialing numbers from a list sold by sketchy online dealers. With the right solution, you can automate reach-outs, tailor sales campaigns on the fly, and create opportunities your salespeople can leverage rather than continually butting up against gatekeepers.
What’s the best workflow automation software?
There’s more than one way to bake a cake. Workflow automation software can range pretty wildly as far as what it can accomplish, how much it’ll cost to implement, and how difficult it is to adopt. Here’s a breakdown of the most common workflow automation categories, along with a few examples of each one.
Depending on the tools you’re using, you might already have access to a workflow automation solution that can meet your needs. Usually, these features only automate actions that take place within that tool, which can limit their usefulness if your workflows span multiple tools. Examples include:
When it comes to workflows that span multiple tools, having to copy information from one tool and paste it into another can create a ton of manual work. One of the best ways to automate this work is to use integrations that keep your information up to date in both places. Examples include:
- HubSpot’s Data Sync
- monday.com’s Jira integration
- Trello’s GitHub Power-Up
- GitHub’s Jira integration
Trigger-based automation platforms
Trigger-based automations use “if-this-than-that” logic to automate actions across a wide range of tools. That means when something happens in one tool, another action is automatically started in another. Examples of these solutions include:
Unito is a workflow management platform with the deepest two-way integrations for some of the market’s most popular work tools. With one of Unito’s 30+ integrations, you can build deep relationships between your work across your tool stack. That means you can automate the manual work created by using multiple tools or even multiple projects within the same tool. Some of Unito’s most popular integrations include:
Want to know more?
Unito is the best way to automate and facilitate work across your tool stack. Period.
No one drives manual anymore
With workflow automation, you can kick off new projects without worrying about who’s going to do the mind-numbing manual work that comes with it. No matter what kind of solution you pick, from in-tool automations to a dedicated workflow management platform like Unito, you’ll get more done, lose less time, and get your team back to the work that matters.