Paper-based processes such as legal intake can be overly time consuming. Moreover, they readily lend themselves to errors as the employees tasked with completing them experience boredom from the sheer repetitiveness of the processes. Workflow automation software can help alleviate these concerns. The key to success with these platforms is knowing what you need to do to choose the best solution for your situation.
Here are some factors to consider in that regard.
Your Specific Needs
While any number of tasks are suited to automation, it’s best to first consider those entailing a high degree of redundancy. Beyond that, evaluating your current workflows to get a sense of what you need to accomplish is the best place to start. What are your ultimate objectives? What is the skill level of your workforce? Do you have IT support? All these factors should play a role in your decision-making processes.
Gaining a solid understanding of the characteristics, benefits, and usability of the platform is critical to a successful implementation. Say, for example, you’re looking to automate the workflows associated with running a law office. At minimum, you’ll want the platform to have the ability to pull together the forms you’ll need for a given purpose, gather the information you’ll need to complete them and keep all of the associated data organized.
Costs can extend far beyond acquisition outlays. There could be ongoing subscription fees, as well as upgrade fees, support fees and the like. Moreover, if the platform is buggy and prone to crashing, you’ll need dedicated IT support to keep it running. This introduces opportunity costs, as time spent trying to get a recalcitrant platform to cooperate could have been spent performing value-creating endeavors.
Along these same lines, the platform should be easy to troubleshoot, so if problems do occur they can resolved as easily as possible. The last thing you want is to see your organizational data held hostage because your staff can’t figure out how to get the system to cooperate. Additionally, you’ll want a platform that is capable of being implemented quickly to avoid wasting time that could be used to generate revenues.
Will the platform play well with the systems and software you currently have in place? Given the wide variety of digital tools you probably already have, you’ll want to avoid introducing added complexity in the form of a tool that is incompatible with the others. Simply put, you’ll want to ensure that the platform you add will enhance the cohesion of your digital systems, rather than inhibit it. To that end, you’ll also want some customization capability to ensure seamless integration.
How competent are your people in the ways of digital technology? The ideal workflow automation solution is one that will be intuitive to use for even the most tech-averse person in your organization. This means you’ll need a user-friendly interface with simplistic navigation. You’ll also need to be clear on the number of people who will be potentially using the platform simultaneously, in order to ensure that it has the bandwidth to support your needs. Bear in mind, there might also be a need for remote access, given the workplace-related paradigm shifts that have taken place in recent years.
Workflow automation tools have the potential to speed processes, reduce errors and enhance profitability. They are also capable of enhancing and facilitating both communication and collaboration within your organization. The key is choosing the best platform possible for your particular set of circumstances. The tips listed here can provide frame of reference within which to make assessments when evaluating potential platforms.