Author: P.J. Yates | Date: 10.05.22 | Read Time: 3-Minutes

Not too long ago, having a revitalizing cup of coffee required you to wake up and fumble around with the coffee maker while one eye was open in an effort to rouse yourself. You can get out of bed to a good cup of joe with programmable coffee makers.
Companies now have two options: Continue using slow manual processes or significantly improve workflows with automation.
In a 2021 poll of more than 280 businesses throughout the United States, 62 percent said they had three or more process inefficiencies that could be addressed by automation. Managers spent at least 8 hours weekly on average performing manual data operations, according to the survey. In fact, 25% said they spent 20 hours each week performing manual data activities!
Let’s compare manual and automated processes to help you understand why they might be better.

Manual Process Vs. Automated Processes:
Head to Head Match Up

How It’s Managed
  • Manual Process: Requires a person to push it through each step and know who to send it to
  • Automated Process: The system automatically assigns tasks
Reminders
  • Manual Process: Every recipient must receive a copy of the email
  • Automated Process: The system can send emails and mobile notifications automatically according to a schedule
Starting
  • Manual Process: Physical or digital files are maintained in different locations
  • Automated Process: Digital forms are organized and easy to find
Form Completion
  • Manual Process: All required fields must be filled out by hand
  • Automated Process: With some fields, regular details and computations can be auto-filled
Tracking
  • Manual Process: To find out where things are, you must communicate with others
  • Automated Process: The system continuously tracks the status of every item
Audit Trail
  • Manual Process: Completion events are simple to fake and may miss vital information
  • Automated Process: The system keeps track of each action and the precise time
Communication
  • Manual Process: Process-related conversation frequently takes place outside of the process (email, messaging)
  • Automated Process: All correspondence will stay within the workflow management tool

Automation in Action

If you want a comprehensive explanation of the differences, here is a description of how approvals work in manual and automated systems for purchasing orders.
Let’s pretend you need to make a purchase order for 500 new widgets. You’d either discover a paper copy of the purchase order request form or download a spreadsheet template from an online folder in the manual approach. Then, after filling out all of the necessary information and attaching it by email to send to your manager, you must submit it to procurement for approval and production. The PO should be created by procurement, who should then send it back to you?
There are a lot of flaws in this procedure! The first is that the form may have numerous fields and chances for data transmission mistakes. Second, there’s no method to determine how far along the process you are. You must send an additional email to check if your manager has approved it. If she responds to your “approved” email with procurement on cc, procurement will be stuck without an attachment because she didn’t include a file. Data security and accuracy are crucial when working with POs. Automation will ensure that every task is completed without fail and that the data entered is correct, giving you peace of mind.

Benefits of Automating Manual Processes

These benefits can be reaped no matter the industry type.
  • Clarity. Automation necessitates a thorough and accurate knowledge of how the procedure works and who is involved.
  • Higher efficiency. Automation decreases the number of errors and repetitive tasks, leading to a more productive work environment.
  • Better customer experience. Customer service staff can use workflow automation to satisfy SLAs consistently, resulting in delighted clients.
  • Reduced time and costs. Automated processes save time and money by streamlining workflows and cutting out waste.
  • Efficient allocation of resources. When you automate the repetitive and low-value tasks, you free up your employees to do work that actually adds value.
  • Compliance. Automated procedures allow organizations to comply with laws and maintain audit trails.
  • Insight. Workflow automation software aids decision-making by allowing you to gain deep insight into your processes with analytics and reports.
  • Scale. With manual processes, it’s very difficult to scale in response to an increase in demand. Automated processes make this effortless.
  • Transparency and accountability. Automated processes keep all stakeholders in the loop, increasing transparency. Status reports keep everyone individually accountable.
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