Posted in Workflow Automation

How to Automate Manual Processes Across Every Industry

These days, a third of the tasks in two-thirds of jobs could be automated.

In this sense, if you’re still locked into manual processes, you’re significantly hampering your productivity levels.

After all, automation improves both the efficiency and effectiveness of your workflows by cutting out errors, lowering costs, and preventing delays.

Not sure whether automation is right for your industry? 

Read on to discover how you can automate manual processes across every sector.

Why Automate Manual Processes?

Using an automation tool helps to remedy the ills of manual processing.

In terms of boosting efficiency, 42% of business leaders agree that workflow automation speeds up repetitive task completion, while 40% believe it improves employee productivity.

In terms of increasing effectiveness, half of all organizations agree that business process automation reduces human error in the workflow.

Thanks to both of those things, process automation means less manual labor, such as less data entry, fewer remedial hours, and fewer staff needed to do the same job. Overall, 31% agree that this leads to lower labor costs.

You’ll also find that with fewer mistakes and faster workflows, you build better supplier relationships and keep customers satisfied.

4 Examples of Industries Automating Manual Processes

Workflow automation is starting to creep into all different industries as companies begin to see the value of automating workflows to streamline processes.

Here are a handful of the ways automation technology is leading the way in different industries.

Educational institutions

When educational institutions insist on using manual processes, faculty members often end up wasting hours on administrative work rather than focusing on their teaching responsibilities.

The education sector claims to have the lowest number of jobs that will be replaced by automation. However, there are plenty of processes that could be automated to free up teaching staff.

Human resources processes would be the first place to start.

If educational institutions automated onboarding, expense workflows, vacation processes, and travel requests, teachers wouldn’t need to spend hours chasing approvers to sign off on this paperwork.

There are also plenty of ways to automate processes that involve the student body.

Imagine how much time would be saved if educational institutions automated the processing of student registrations, admissions, permission slips, absence records, and financial applications.

Take La Cité, for example.

Previously, students had to manually fill in registration forms and wait in line for over 20 minutes for these forms to be checked for errors by hand.

Now, students can fill in digital forms from their mobile devices. The forms automatically populate with relevant information and automatically validate to prevent incorrect data from being submitted.

No more long queues, no more incorrect data, and lots more registrations.

Governmental organizations 

There are plenty of opportunities for automation to change the face of governmental organizations to streamline processes and provide services in a more efficient way. 

Take tax payments, for example.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the UK now lets taxpayers file taxes online, which has reduced paper tax returns by 21%

Plus, the simplicity of the system has meant that telephone wait times have been halved as fewer people need tax help.

Automated systems could also be used to speed up applications for benefits, welfare, visas, passports, and driving licenses.

Automation in procurement processes would increase transparency for citizens and improve financial accountability for those in charge of governmental organizations.

Automation could also be valuable in helping the government stay compliant with automated record-keeping and record access.

Look at Clearlake PD, for instance.

Previously, all crime reports were done on paper and filled out in person. Not only did this mean that crime reports took ages to process, but it also took a long time to filter out irrelevant information when the police wanted to sort through crime reports.

By switching to frevvo to automate the crime report process, Clearlake PD now benefits from dynamic digital forms. These forms are automatically processed, and database integration means everything is filed instantly. 

Now it’s far easier to report crimes remotely and find relevant files when necessary.

Healthcare organizations 

Let’s consider the healthcare sector. 

Automation for data collection and patient records can help save medical staff from spending hours on administration so they can focus on their medical roles. 

Plus, automated systems for appointment scheduling, patient communication, patient registration, and referrals could help to improve the patient experience and combat low staffing.

Bill payment and record-keeping automation would also speed things along, while helping to keep medical institutions compliant with all audit trail requirements.

American Healthcare Technologies (AHT) sets a great example.

Before switching to automation, AHT had used paper forms for enrollment, medical tests, consent, prescription forms, surveys, and so on.

The complex approvals process for each form meant that everything moved very slowly.

AHT have now implemented frevvo’s low-code automation software.

Dynamic digital forms auto-populate with all relevant information to speed up form completion.

Plus, complex conditional routing automatically routes forms to the right approvers based on the information within the form. Approvers receive an automatic notification to let them know an approval is pending so they can sign immediately.

Supply chain services 

40% of companies agree that the most important factor in customer satisfaction is delivering goods and services on time, every time. 

The problem with manual supply chain processes is that errors and delays in the supply chain workflow are extremely disruptive. 

Automation can help streamline the supply process every step of the way to prevent customer disappointment and a breakdown in supplier/buyer relationships.

For example, supply chain services could automate:

  • Payments, invoicing, and invoice approvals
  • Order fulfillment
  • Inventory updates and tracking
  • Customer service activities, such as package tracking and email confirmations
  • Picking and packing 
  • Contracts and contract approvals

Look to logistics company Hellman as an example.

Hellman was tired of the inefficiencies and inaccuracies of using paper processes for crucial workflows like contract amendments, credit approvals, and cost allocations.

By switching to frevvo’s workflow automation software, digital forms are automatically routed to supervisors who can digitally sign off on documentation from anywhere in the world.

Plus, the auto-validation features mean that Hellman no longer experiences duplicate data, misallocated costs, or errors in the audit trail.

How to Automate 4 Manual Processes Common to Every Industry 

There are certain processes that crop up in all kinds of organizations, no matter what industry sector they operate within.

Here are some of the most common manual business processes you should look at automating first and how to do this easily with frevvo’s workflow automation software.

1. Employee onboarding documentation 

To automate employee onboarding documentation, first, choose a pre-built onboarding template from the library.

onboarding workflow templates on frevvo

Customize the workflow using the drag-and-drop editor so that new hires are automatically routed through the different documentation they need to fill in. Create a path to route this to the appropriate HR approver once documentation is complete.

frevvo onboarding workflow routing

Next, customize each onboarding form. Add company branding and alter forms to add and take away sections using the drag-and-drop form editor. 

drag and drop form builder on frevvo

Set business rules for each form to control the dynamic behavior. For example, you can program the form to automatically populate fields depending on who is logged in.

Business rules to auto-populate forms on frevvo

Next, set dynamic PDF generation to create editable W-4 and I-9 forms that pull data from your forms to cut back on data entry.

By using frevvo to streamline onboarding, Yves Rocher managed to significantly speed up its new hire process.

Beforehand, the beauty retailer made new hires fill in 40–50 forms that needed to be customized for each location. Not only was this extremely cumbersome for new hires, but processing was also very time-consuming for the HR department.

Now, forms can be filled out remotely in a matter of minutes, and everything is automatically routed to the right department for processing instantly.

2. Purchase orders

You can build your purchase order workflow from scratch with frevvo. But it’s easier to choose between a basic or conditional purchase order workflow depending on the complexity of your approval process.

frevvo purchase order templates

Customize the workflow so that your purchase orders route through the right approvers before being sent to the supplier. 

At this stage, you can also change approval notification messaging and add escalations in case an approver doesn’t sign off on a purchase order in time.

Purchase order template on frevvo

Next, use the dynamic form builder to create a customized purchase order form. Adjust business rules so that the form automatically performs dynamic calculations and shows the relevant information at the right stages of the workflow.

If you connect your SQL database with the Database Connector, these forms will automatically pull in relevant information from your database to reduce data entry when forms are being completed.

GIF showing how frevvo forms auto-populate

Make sure you integrate your purchase order forms with your record-keeping software. Adjust the settings so that a copy of your purchase order is automatically filed into your record-keeping system.

Central Wyoming College (CWC) managed to save its staff significant amounts of time by automating purchase orders.

Previously, CWC had relied on paper processes, which meant staff had to hand-deliver paperwork to approvers, regularly spending hours chasing up approvals.

Now, CWC uses frevvo, so purchase orders immediately route automatically to the correct approvers, who are notified and reminded of pending approvals. Staff no longer have to spend hours chasing signatures.

3. Invoice approvals

Automate invoice approval workflows by picking either the basic or conditional invoice approval template in the pre-built template library. 

Customize the workflow so that the invoice routes through the correct approvers and on to the financial department for processing. 

Invoices approvals may be routed to different approvers based on the amount the invoice is for. Add conditional routing to higher-level approvers at this stage.

invoice approval workflow on frevvo

Next, use the form builder to customize the invoice approvals template form. Add or remove sections using the drag-and-drop menu in the side panel.

frevvo's drag and drop form builder

Set business rules for the form so that it automatically calculates invoice amounts and shows the right messaging to the relevant parties throughout the automated workflow. You can alter this messaging while you’re editing the form.

Next, generate PDFs of your invoice approval that can automatically be sent to the person who submitted the invoice to confirm invoice approval. These PDFs can also be saved to your record-keeping system to keep a complete, updated audit trail.

Integrate your filing system in the Settings section. You can integrate with Sharepoint, Google apps, your own network server, or save documents to frevvo’s built-in repository.

By switching to frevvo to automate its invoice processing, Cricket Australia managed to scale its invoicing workflow considerably.

Previously, it took nearly 15 minutes to process each invoice. Now, Cricket Australia can process hundreds of invoices a month without breaking a sweat.

4. Sales orders

Head to the frevvo template library and select a sales order form template.

Adjust the workflow to make sure that it routes through the appropriate stages of your sales order procedure. You can assign particular people as approvers or set approvers based on their role, so that sales forms automatically head to the right person for review.

Alter or remove any conditions in the process, such as discounts or large sale amounts.

frevvo sales order workflow template

Next, use the dynamic form builder to customize the sales order form. Add your company logo and adjust the wording to match your company’s sales policies.

Make sure to adjust instructions for each stage of the sales order process and add or remove sections based on the information you need to collect.

If you integrate your sales form with your SQL database, it will pull information from your cost centers to reduce data entry.

Add business rules that help salespeople to make accurate sales quotations instantly with dynamic calculations. 

Set up PDF generation so you can send copies of your sales forms to customers for confirmation.

Adjust settings to automatically send a copy of the sales form to your client and upload a copy straight to your filing system

This is how solar installation firm Activ8 managed to streamline sales orders.

Thanks to frevvo, sales teams can quote on-the-spot using the automatic calculations in the sales forms. 

Plus, sales forms are drawn up immediately and automatically routed through approvers instantly so clients can sign the sales orders there and then.

Conclusion

It’s time to automate manual processes across all aspects of your business to reduce repetitive, mundane tasks and streamline workflows. 

Whether you’re looking to improve customer satisfaction, supplier relationships, or staff productivity, automating manual business processes is the answer. Not only do you save time and money, but you’ll also cut out the delays and errors that result in poor outcomes.

Improve your productivity today by testing out frevvo’s 30-day free trial to automate your manual processes.

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