As a business owner in today’s competitive world, it’s crucial that you implement strategies that can help your business grow and stand out from the crowd. Otherwise, you’ll be left behind.
One such strategy — and pretty much an effective one at that — is workflow automation. Workflow automation technology offers many benefits, including being able to give your small or medium-sized business (SMB) a competitive advantage, setting it up for expansion.
In using workflow automation technology, you’ll be automating the backend operations of your business. Automating your SMB’s backend processes will reduce workload and costs while increasing efficiency, revenue, and business value. It’ll also enhance an effective back office process flow, and make the day-to-day running of your business less intricate and more organized.
On the other hand, manual operation will cost you more time, money, and effort while allowing unnecessary delays and other setbacks to slip in.
Here are some of the best ways to use workflow automation technology to optimize your operations and ultimately grow your business.
Workflow Automation for Small and Medium-sized Businesses
Generate more time to work on growth-oriented tasks.
Perhaps the number one way workflow automation technology can help you grow your small or medium-sized business is to save you and your team valuable time that can be invested in high-value activities that will move the business up. Generally speaking, a small business is one with less than 100 employees and medium-sized businesses have less than 1,000. Find ways to maximize the productive time for these employees.
Workflow automation offers this time-saving benefit. It works by automating manual operations while dramatically freeing up employees’ time. They can then put the free time into growth-focused activities that will catapult your business to greater glory.
Save money on your operational costs.
Another effective way workflow automation technology can help your business to grow is by saving you money on the costs of operation. When you manage your business processes manually, you spend more money than necessary.
With manual processing, you need to buy paper and other office supplies, spend time and money to resolve common errors, pay more workers who put in longer hours handling your business operations manually, and so on. These costs would otherwise be saved if your workflows were automated. Saving money means a better bottom line and quicker growth for your business.
Make your vendor onboarding processes effortless.
Supplier onboarding and approval are often done using spreadsheets and email. This slows things down, and can even result in data inconsistency, which impedes business growth. You don’t want to waste time and resources, but you definitely want a system that makes it easy to bring more vendors on board.
Workflow automation makes this possible, as it can expedite and streamline onboarding processes and supplier approvals. The easier this process gets, the quicker your business will operate, which enhances your growth.
Streamline your procurement processes.
Just like the supplier onboarding process, you need a faster way to process new purchases. Usually, before a purchase order (PO) gets to the supplier, it would first pass through multiple internal approvals. Manual procurement processes are slow, unreliable, and outdated. They can keep your customers waiting for products you have to order, or worse, indirectly push them to buy from your competitors. This of course hinders your growth.
Workflow automation provides a platform for quickly procuring goods and services, avoiding inconsistencies and increasing the speed and efficiency of your SMB. Fast, accurate purchases mean you won’t run out of stock and you’re much less likely to lose a customer to your competition.
Create a growth-focused business environment by eliminating errors.
Errors are a major impediment to business growth. They hinder progress, cost time and resources to fix, and slow down decision-making. With workflow automation technology, you can more easily run a business that’s devoid of errors. It eliminates inaccuracies, ensures data consistency, and puts a stop to miscommunication.
Respond to customer complaints more quickly.
Customers are the lifeblood of every business; they have a direct bearing on your growth. Without them, there’ll really be no point being in business, as there’ll be no one to sell to. It’s vital to treat them with reverence.
Focus on handling customer complaints and feedback as best as you can. You want to keep your customers happy and satisfied, and to get them to return for more business. Dissatisfied customers likely won’t return, hence the importance of responding to and resolving their complaints quickly.
For example, if a customer files a claim for a refund, such a request will get buried as an email in an overstuffed inbox when you use a manual system. It is unwieldy and can result in poor handling of complaints. This only goes to increase your chances of losing customers to the competition and unsettling your business growth, not to mention the possibility of earning some bad reviews, which corrodes business value and trust over time.
But you can avoid all that trouble with a ready-to-use workflow automation tool like Pyrus. Instead of taking ages to resolve customer complaints, why not knock the socks off your clients by automating the whole process, so that they have no choice other than to be impressed and stay in touch?
Turn your sales processing into a fascinating experience.
Other than quickly resolving customer complaints, another way to retain customers in your small or medium-sized business is with optimized sales processing. Workflow automation technology will let you process orders more quickly, delivering your products to customers in a timely manner.
Automation also makes your salespeople’s jobs simpler. Not long ago, sales reps had to spend time on tedious tasks like drafting emails, logging calls, pre-qualifying leads, and manually following up. But workflow automation technology has changed that. Reps can now spend their time more productively, selling to qualified leads and growing your business in the process.
Utilize the power of the cloud to your business’s advantage.
Workflow automation technology typically works in the cloud, a global network of online servers that lets you perform a number of business activities over the Internet. There are so many nice things that you can do in the cloud which are not possible in manual systems.
For one, you can manage your documents virtually, saving yourself from the costs and drawbacks of paperwork. Some cloud-based services even let you do things like securely manage your business’s financials.
With cloud-based workflow automation software, you can manage your business operations from any place and any device at any time. Various software-as-a-service tools will ease your team’s workload, increase productivity, and reduce expenses. Furthermore, you can reduce the chances of losing important data with their backup features. This all contributes to your business growth.
Track your business processes for improvement.
It’s essential to have clear insights into your operational data to grow your business. This enables you to make data-driven decisions, direct the course of your business operations intelligently, and take the right steps or make appropriate changes that can help your business to grow. A modern workflow automation tool will let you easily track your business data, make the data available whenever you want it, and even let you see ways you can improve.
With this, you’d be able to boost performance by identifying what doesn’t work and provide the right reinforcement to keep things up and running. You’d also be able to monitor business performance by analyzing the metrics in real time, something that’s useful for designing foolproof, growth-inclined strategies.
Optimize your accounts payable approvals.
Accounts payable invoice processing is typically slow and boring. Doing it manually means you’re behind the times. Your best option is to expedite the AP process by automating it.
An automated AP process is more quickly and less expensive to operate. It prevents problems like errors and late payment penalties, and makes you eligible for early payment discounts, which all contribute to an improved bottom line.
In summary, if you are running a small or medium-sized business, workflow automation technology will put you several steps ahead of the competition.
You can start automating today with Pyrus, the workflow automation engine preferred by a number of SMBs. It’s designed to help you grow your business effortlessly. Pyrus let users set up customized workflows to automate business processes like document routing, task delegation, and approval requests. Pyrus’ seamless integrations with other business tools make it easy for users to create tasks via Gmail and Microsoft Office, upload files through Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox, and start workflows from Salesforce and Ancora.
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