Eliminate Time-Consuming Tasks with Digital Workflow Automation

Eliminate Time-Consuming Tasks with Digital Workflow Automation

Apr 25, 2024

Digital workflows aren’t just for organizations with a remote or hybrid work model. More and more businesses of all kinds are pursuing digital transformation initiatives, in which they update manual workflows to benefit from digital workflow software and other new technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

Digital workflows can save your company time and money by making processes more efficient and eliminating some manual tasks altogether. Far from replacing your team members, digital workflow automation allows them to do away with time-consuming tasks, improve team communication and collaboration, and get more done.

Here’s what team leaders need to know about digital workflows, and how you can use digital workflow automation software to augment and empower your team.

What Is a Digital Workflow?

Digital workflow: cashier pretending to scan some items

A digital workflow is a series of steps or tasks that make up a process. Some of these steps could be manual tasks — such as sending out an email — while others may be entirely automated — such as sending out automatic email notifications.

Some digital workflows are developed from scratch, while others are a digital version of an existing process. Converting paper documents into digital form is called digitization, while creating a digital workflow from an analog one is called digitalization.

For example, you could digitize new employee paperwork by creating digital document templates that employees can fill out and sign online. Then, you can digitize the entire employee onboarding process by providing online training and scheduling, and using workflow automation software for payroll enrollment and data entry.

Or, create a digital workflow process for taking notes by using an automated meeting notes tool like Anchor AI for hands-free documentation during team meetings.

Key Benefits of a Digital Workflow System

Digital workflow: Conan from The Tonight Show interviewing Ozzy Osbourne

Digital workflows can take some time to set up, but once you’ve implemented a digital workflow solution, it can save you time and money for years to come. Here are three key reasons to streamline business processes with digital workflow management:

Fewer bottlenecks

Even the most streamlined manual processes can be slowed down by bottlenecks and inefficiencies. Whether it’s having to carry physical paperwork across the office or wait for someone to personally reply to an email, these delays can add up.

Digital workflows allow you to eliminate these bottlenecks with process automation. For example, when you use a digital invoicing or approval process, stakeholders can take action instantly, without the back-and-forth of a phone call or email thread.

Reduced human error

Manual tasks like note-taking and data entry are ideal for digitalization because doing them manually can result in typos and other mistakes. With digital workflows, you can ensure that the most important details are recorded with accuracy and precision.

For example, AI note-taking can help you get more from meetings by creating a digital transcript of your meeting, complete with speaker tags and timestamps. You can also use Anchor AI to assign action items automatically so nothing gets overlooked.

Improved user experience

There will always be some people who prefer the analog way of doing things, but these days, more and more people expect a streamlined digital experience — at work and in their interactions with businesses. Your team members don’t want to spend their time performing tedious, repetitive tasks, and customers want to be able to view invoices, pay bills, and service their online accounts in real-time.

By developing new workflows that incorporate the latest digital technologies, you can provide better employee and customer experiences.

How to Implement Digital Workflow Automation

Digital workflow: cookie monster looking at a pendulum

Creating a digital workflow isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, and there are many tools out there to help you create and customize your workflows. Here are six steps to follow as you begin your digital transformation with digital workflow automation.

1. Make a shortlist of options

Not every process needs to be digitalized, so start with the workflows that will give you the most reward for your effort. For example, if you’re struggling to delegate tasks, you can use task tracker software like Anchor AI to digitize and automate the process.

Make a shortlist of workflows to start with, or invite team members to suggest some ideas. The best candidates are those that involve a lot of repetitive tasks, and don't require much human oversight or decision-making.

2. Conduct a workflow audit

Next, create a workflow diagram or conduct a workflow audit to locate bottlenecks and inefficiencies. The goal is to break down the workflow into individual steps so you can visualize it more easily and determine where your roadblocks are.

In some cases, your workflow may be partially digitalized: maybe you manually send out a receipt when a client pays an invoice over the phone. By fully digitalizing the process, you can send out receipts automatically and cut down on processing times.

3. Digitize any paper documents

Once you’ve selected a workflow to digitalize, lay the groundwork by digitizing any parts of the workflow that are still in digital form. This might involve scanning documents with OCR (optical character recognition) software and converting them into PDFs.

Make sure that any forms you provide are easy to fill out digitally; you can even pre-fill them with employee or customer information you already have in your database.

4. Choose the right automation software

Now, choose the right workflow automation software to run the show. Are you looking for an AI task manager to help with project management, or are you in the market for business process management software to handle payroll and accounting?

Customer relationship management (CRM) software, human resources management software (HRMS) and AI project management software all have their use cases, and you may need more than one type of software to handle different workflows.

5. Roll out your digital tools

Next, roll out your software tools and teach your employees how to use them. Set roles and permissions so that only authorized team members have access to confidential or proprietary information, such as employee healthcare data.

Integrate your new workflow tools with other tools and apps you already use, such as your project calendar or group messaging platform. For example, Anchor AI integrates with Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google Meet, so you can easily record or transcribe your meetings and capture actionable items in your meeting minutes.

6. Optimize your workflow over time

Finally, track key performance indicators (KPIs) so you can tell if your digital workflow is making a difference. You can track metrics like processing times, customer satisfaction scores, task completion rates, and more.

Digital workflows can be just as complex as analog ones, so take the time to optimize your workflow and get it right before resting on your laurels.

Simplify Your Workflows with Anchor AI

Woman using a laptop

Digital workflows are a series of steps that your team members — or software — can perform to complete a process digitally. For example, adding an action item to your task manager can be broken down into a series of steps, such as creating the task, adding a due date, assigning it to a team member, and sending out reminder notifications.

Anchor AI helps you simplify your digital workflows with the power of automation. Our AI-powered platform can help you take meeting notes, delegate tasks, and send out follow-up emails automatically. You can even Ask Max, your AI project manager, for advice on how your project is going and what tasks to focus on next.

Sign up for Anchor AI today and get started with digital workflow automation!

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