In today's ever-changing and increasingly competitive business environment, business owners have to stay ahead of the proverbial curve if they wish to achieve the highest amount of success possible. Especially in today's environment of Covid-19, where businesses are having to drastically rethink the way they operate, efficiency is more important than ever before.


This is why so many businesses are looking at different ways of automating different aspects of their business functions. There are tons of aspects of a business that we pay people to do that could easily be managed automatically by computer software. This means spending more on labor than is necessary. 


What is Workflow Automation?


Workflow automation refers to a set of techniques that let you bring in technology that automates certain aspects of the workspace, reducing the need for employees to manage menial tasks and also reducing the likelihood of errors. 


Of course, not all tasks can be automated, so you will need to take a close look at all the elements that keep your business functioning and determine which of these things could potentially be automated. Things like data entry and starting or stopping processes can easily be done with workflow automation software, which frees up your employees for other, more important tasks, that cannot be automated.


It is easy to see that there are countless benefits to this, from the potential for enhanced employee productivity and creativity to the reduction of errors and improved efficiency.


Powerful workflow automation software suites can dramatically increase the efficiency and reliability of many aspects of your business processes, ultimately saving you both time and money. 


Why Do I Need to Think About Automation?


Regardless of business size, there are several reasons to consider utilizing workflow automation, including:


  • Increased efficiency in a variety of menial tasks
  • Reduced error
  • Processes and tasks that are automated all follow the same set of standard procedural protocols, creating process consistency
  • Track, manage and improve aspects of your business with a variety of useful metrics
  • Free up employees for more complicated or creative tasks
  • Reduce operating costs

Labor is still one of the most expensive parts of running a business and finding ways that you can do more with fewer people allows you to streamline your business to be as efficient as possible. Workflow automation can drastically reduce the amount of labor you need to perform the basic tasks of business. Automation can complete minor tasks faster, more efficiently, and with fewer errors than a human can. This not only saves money but reduces issues associated with data entry or other basic human errors. 


Not to mention, repetitive menial work is not particularly satisfying for employees. Their minds and creativity can be better utilized, thus improving workplace satisfaction, along with productivity. Research conducted by Process Street found that as much as 60% of all occupations have elements or aspects to it that can be automated with ease. And a study by Forrester Research shows that companies can cut operations costs from 10-90% depending on the field.

Automation Processes to Consider in Your Business

One of the most common areas of workflow automation is actually in the IT field, which comes as a surprise to many people. Automation in IT has increased by almost 300% in less than 10 years, showing how prevalent and useful this is. With IT automation, you can easily link together and integrate resources that provide for automated customer assistance in many basic problem-solving cases.


Business process management is another common area that workflow automation is highly useful. What business process management refers to is creating a detailed map of all aspects of the business process in a way that allows all relevant employees access to the latest maps and can be integrated with new software for future automation.


Artificial intelligence, or AI, has become increasingly common in workflow automation software. As AI becomes smarter and more sophisticated, business owners can use the software for tasks that used to rely on human logic or the ability to parse language. This can be used in marketing, sales tracking, basic operations, and even in customer support or tech support.


For many business owners, learning about workflow automation for the first time, this seems like a "magic bullet" and can make running out and buying tons of software seem like the logical thing to do. However, it is recommended that you start slowly. There is a learning curve associated with this software and not every type of business will benefit to the same degree from all the automation tools available on the market. You need to have a clear understanding of all aspects of your operations and a good idea where automation can be most easily implemented or where it will make the most difference and start there.


In Summary

Business owners in all industries are always looking for ways that they can improve efficiency and reduce errors. This is why so many have looked to workflow automation software to help them meet these goals. This software provides a wide range of tools that make it easy to streamline and automate a variety of processes - from simple to complex. This reduces the need for excess labor for menial tasks and frees up employees for more in-depth or creative pursuits in the company. It also reduces the time it takes for many basic processes to be completed and reduces instances of error. Sophisticated AI tools can even allow businesses to automate more complicated parts of their operations such as customer service and tech support. 


In the competitive market, we are all doing business in, and during a pandemic that has made basic working operations a lot more difficult than they once were, workflow automation just makes sense. Many employees are already overburdened with high workloads and automation software can reduce the burden on them almost immediately. Workplace satisfaction is often improved when menial and time-consuming tasks can be managed by automation software, freeing employees for more productive uses of their time. Increased work satisfaction also tends to increase productivity as well. 


Workflow automation allows for improved efficiency in my aspects of business operation, saving you time and money. A computer doesn't fall prey to "human error", which means that there will be fewer mistakes or errors that can bring productivity to a halt. There are tons of choices for an automation software that provide a range of different tools depending on the size, scope, and needs of your business.


Workpuls Teramind ActivTrak Hubstaff DeskTime Time Doctor RescueTime Kickidler Veriato Work Examiner
OVERVIEW
Price $6/user/month $6/user/month $7.20/user/month $7/user/month $7/user/month $9.99/user/month $6/user/month $9.99/user/month $150/licence/year $60/licence (lifetime)
Free trial 7 days 7 days No 14 days 14 days 14 days 30 days 7 days Yes 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Very easy Easy Easy Very easy Very easy Very easy Very difficult Easy
TRACKING METHODS
Unlimited (tracker working 24/7)
Fixed (defined working hours)
Automatic (when computer is connected to a specified network)
Manual (start/stop)
Project based (track time only on projects)
GENERAL MONITORING FEATURES
Stealth mode
App and website usage
Real-time monitoring
Offline time tracking
Attendance
Activity levels
Keylogger
Geolocation
Remote desktop control
Website/activity blocking
SCREENSHOTS AND RECORDING
Screenshots
Screenshots on demand
Screen recording
PRODUCTIVITY FEATURES
Productivity trends
Websites and apps labeling
Category labeling
Productivity alerts
ADVANCED SECURITY FEATURES
User behavior analytics
Data loss prevention
Advanced file and web monitoring
REPORTING
Productivity reports
Team reports
Timelines
Email reports
Access management
PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
Mobile app iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android Android
Browser extension Chrome Chrome Chrome
Other Citrix, VMware Chrome OS
OTHER
Support Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Email, online Phone, email, online, in-person Online Phone, email, online Email, online, Viber, Whatsapp Phone, email, online, support ticket Phone, email, online
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations comming soon
API
Deployment cloud, on-premise cloud, on-premise, AWS, Azure cloud cloud cloud cloud cloud on-premise cloud, on-premise on-premise
Kronos Humanity Timeclockplus Tsheets Wheniwork Deputy Replicon Jibble EbilityTimeTracker OnTheClock BeeBole
OVERVIEW
Price(per month)Available upon requestFrom $2 per userAvailable upon requestFrom $6.40 per user+$16Free for up to 75 usersFrom $2.50 per userBasic plan:$30 for 5 users+$5 per additional userFrom $1.50 per employeeFrom $4 per user+$8From $2.20 per user$5.99 per user per month
Free trial30 days14 daysYes14 days14 days14 days30 days30 days,no credit card required
Ease of useDifficultEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasyEasy
FEATURES
Timecard management
Scheduling
Shift Trading
Timesheets
Break time management
Real-time tracking
PTO Management
Payroll
Invoicing
Client billing
GPS tracking
Clock out reminders
Alerts
Manual time
PUNCH-IN METHODS
Web app
Mobile app
Time clock device
Time clock kiosk
Facial recognition
Fingerprint scanning
Geofencing
Group punch-in
REPORTING
Visual reports
Email reports
Time rounding
MANAGEMENT
Permissions
Manager approvals
Add time for others
Integrations
PLATFORMS
Web
Android app
iOS app
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
OTHER
SupportPhone and onlinePhone and onlinePhone,chat and onlinePhone and chatEmail and onlineChat and phonePhone,email,chat and onlinePhone and onlinePhone,email,chat and onlinePhone and onlineOnline chat and video support in English,French,and Spanish
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Community forum
API
Workpuls Hubstaff Toggl TimeDoctor Harvest TimeCamp Timely Everhour Tick TMetric
OVERVIEW
Price (per month) $6 per user $5.83 per user $9 per user $9.99 per user $10.80 per user $5.25 per user $99 for 5 users $7 per user $19 for 10 projects $5 per user
Free trial 7 days 14 days 30 days 14 days 30 days Yes 14 days 14 days 30 days 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Difficult Very easy Easy Very easy Easy Difficult Very easy Difficult
TIME TRACKING METHODS
Manual
Start/stop buttons
Automatic time mapping
IN-DEPTH TASK AND PROJECT ANALYSIS
Screenshots
App and website usage
Activity levels coming soon
Real-time tracking
TASK AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Project adding
Project templates
Project status
Task assignment
Task priorities
Budgeting coming soon
Mark billable/non-billable hours
Payroll calculation
Invoicing
ALERTS
Idle time reminders
Deadline alerts coming soon
Budget alerts coming soon
REPORTING
Client login
Productivity analysis
Email reports coming soon
PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app coming soon
iOS app Beta
Android app
Browser extension Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge
OTHER
Support Phone and online Email and online Email and online Online Online, email and phone Email, online and support ticket Email and chat Email and chat Email Chat
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations coming soon
API
On-premise hosting

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