Unlocking Efficiency: A Comprehensive Guide to Workflow Automation in Business Processes

Overview of workflow automations

Workflow automation is to use technological solutions to automate tasks that are otherwise manual in the business.

Following is a short summary on advantages and some disadvantages of Automated Workflow

Aspect Traditional Business Automated Workflow
Initial Costs Lower Higher
Efficiency Slow Fast
Accuracy Error-prone Highly accurate
Scalability Labor-intensive Easily scalable
Operational Costs Higher Lower
Customer Interaction Personal Automated
Inventory Management Manual Real-time tracking
Customer Support Human-based Chatbots
Marketing Generic Personalized
Data Utilisation Limited Extensive
Technical Reliability Less dependent High dependence
Compliance Manual checks Automated
Flexibility High Lower
Customer Experience Variable Consistent
Implementation Complexity Simple Complex
Data Management Manual handling Robust management
Response to Change Slower Faster
Security Risks Lower Higher

Process of workflow automations

4 steps of workflow automations:

  1. Identify the process: find the task in your business that can be automatic
  2. Define goals: Defining goals and checkpoint on workflow integration, also checking if automation is really needed.
  3. Map out workflow: Plan ahead how the workflow should integrate into business
  4. Implement workflow: Use software to implement.

 

Step 1 and 4 are straightforward, but there are more to write about step 2 and 3 above:

  • Defining goals requires checkpoints: We cannot automate in one go for many complex tasks. Each checkpoint allows us to achieve a more complete workflow automation. This strategy allows re-evaluation of the impacts and understanding of success or failure of the implementation at a deeper level.
  • Defining goals also requires reading backgrounds, and finding out all missing information for further steps i.e people who define goals need to know what is the business requirement as well as the background making it the most important step.
  • Mapping out workflow includes a step of planning: draw charts as well as manual deployment of the workflow: such that we can do dry runs and test our workflow in the actual environment. 

Notable aspects of workflow automation in Vatico

 Map out workflow:

  • Usage of flow chart

  • Display both task modelling and solution modelling 

Usage of OOP-inspired philosophy:

  • Each entity in the automatic workflow is model as an object with attributes (i.e statistics, information)

  • The object has actions that can influence, change or get information from other objects or itself.

  • The branch and flow of those interactions between different objects can form an effective automatic workflow

  • The focus is on high-level working rather than actual underlined implementations.

  • For example, warehouse (Object A) receives sell orders (an interaction from B to A) from an e-commerce platform (Object B).  Object A contains information of storage condition, … while Object B contains information like customers’ names, addresses, …

ELT Data Integration:

  • Full Data is Loaded after each Extraction

  • Data can then be transformed straightforward according to business task requirements

  • Note: ELT is a strategy of the data pipeline, one among many integrated steps in workflow automation

  • Further Reading: Data in Vatico: Shift from ETL to ELT 

Example of workflow automation in Vatico

Reference: Overall operational and data workflows for payment reconsolidation

  1. Identify the process: Payment Reconsolidation
  2. Define goals: 
    • What is the aim: successfully automate the process of payment reconsolidation 
    • What is the background: what are different type of payment, different type of transactions
    • Checkpoints: Is there a different implementation for different payments? Or a different platform?
  3. Mapping out workflow: draw flow chart and problem modelling, and test the steps manually
  4. Implement workflow: actual technical implementation for the task automation

Thank you for reading!

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