Blog Post

Getting the Most Out of Your Workflow Automation Software

December 13, 2022

How to Get the Most Out of Your Workflow Automation Software

Staying up to speed in an increasingly digital world is challenging for many companies. Thankfully, many processes can be automated, leading to a better work environment and happier customers. Workflow automation replaces repetitive and time-consuming tasks with simple background functions, so you can go deeper with the work that matters. 

To get the most out of your workflow automation software, you need to understand what it is, how it can help, and how to choose the right software for your company’s needs. 

What is workflow automation software?

Workflow automation software is technology that improves productivity in the workplace. This software automates and manages complex processes quickly and without error, eliminating many manual tasks. It can improve your data acquisition, automate follow-ups, and even ensure that digital forms are filled out correctly the first time. When you automate your processes, you free up time and mental energy so teams can focus on more impactful work. 

5 tips on getting the most out of your workflow automation software

Reap all your software's benefits by keeping a few best practices in mind. We’ve gathered our top 5 tips to help you get the most out of your workflow automation software.

1. Automate one process at a time

Now that you know workflow automation can overhaul your repetitive processes and improve productivity, you might be eager to start as soon as possible. However, doing too much too quickly can get expensive and won’t allow your team adequate time to get comfortable with your new processes. 

Instead of doing a massive overhaul, consider which parts of your document workflow take the most time and effort. Start by automating your most time-consuming or repetitive process, and ensure everyone has time to adapt. By automating your processes one at a time, you end up with a more functional system that will add value faster.

2. Get input from the teams who will be using the software

One of the main advantages of automation software is it makes workflows easier for the people involved in a process. For example, the steps in reimbursing a work expense can affect the team member submitting the request, the person responsible for approvals, and the payroll department. Should you decide to automate this workflow, it only makes sense to speak with the people involved in the process. 

Ask your team members what they like about the current system and what can be improved. When you get the input of the people involved in a workflow, you can end up with a plan that's designed with its users in mind. 

3. Use all the available features 

There is a lot to explore when it comes to workflow software. Multiple opportunities exist to build a more efficient workplace, from digital forms to scheduled reminders. Even one automated process can save you hours every day. But don’t forget to take advantage of all your new software features. Create a better experience for your employees with time-saving operations and a better experience for your customers with the flexibility and increased reach that automation brings.

4. Build in time to familiarize teams with the software

The great thing about workflow automation software is that it makes your teams’ daily tasks easier and faster. That said, the software is only as good as your training. If you don’t share how the software works and help everyone get used to it, you’ll lose time waiting for everyone to adapt and feel comfortable. While there are several options for user-friendly software, your teams will feel better, more assured, and more in control with adequate time to explore and ask questions.  

5. Set goals and monitor your progress

Workflow automation software can help you hit your most ambitious goals. Whether you want to handle ten times as many requests, cut down the time it takes to onboard new employees, or use data to elevate your customer experience, process automation is your answer. It gives you the time and insights to help your company realize its grandest visions. It also allows you to track your progress and monitor your teams’ productivity—giving you the information you need to ensure you’re on the right track and continuously push your goalposts further.

6 best workflow automation software for 2023

This year, more companies than ever turned to workflow automation software, and their needs covered the spectrum of functionality. We looked at the top-performing software and compiled the 6 best options to consider for 2023.

Best digital solutions for government: Image API

A leader in digital transformation, Image API has helped state and local government agencies increase their productivity by going digital for over 25 years. From eliminating the need for file rooms to helping payroll run more efficiently, Image API allows you to digitize every touchpoint in your business. Image API’s expert team works directly with agencies to understand their biggest roadblocks and create tailored solutions that save time and money, all while allowing teams to go deeper with the work that matters. Thanks to customizable solutions, a unique pay-as-you-go model, and proven results, Image API is the best digital solution provider for government agencies.

Best for connecting apps: Zapier

You use more than a few apps in your 9-5. Zapier helps them communicate while you work and keeps them talking after you log off. It works with over 5,000 applications, connecting your chosen apps in a zap workflow. A zap sends information from one app to another, helping businesses fill their calendars automatically, schedule content, warm up leads, and more. With the ability to easily edit zaps and create new ones with up to 100 actions, Zapier is our choice for automating app connections. 

Best for small businesses on a budget: Process Street

If you only have a few people working in your company and you want to dip your toes into process automation, Process Street offers a free version of its workflow automation software. The free version includes a straightforward workflow. Use it to build and complete checklists, assign tasks, or create a different workflow from scratch or its library of templates. 

Best for email newsletters and simple campaigns: Campaign Monitor

Thanks to its email templates and user-friendly customer paths, taking individuals through a custom-built campaign or customer journey is easier than ever with Campaign Monitor. When a reader opens an email, it triggers the next send and starts counting down to the following email. They go on a different path if they don’t open the email. You can even try your hand at SMS marketing and send offers, updates, and reminders through texts. 

Best for marketing and sales: Hubspot

Hubspot can help your team become better marketers and close more deals. Its platform helps businesses create more engaging marketing funnels and content and increase sales through improved customer service and analytics. Create user paths that lead customers through a sales funnel, view your results, and make changes quickly. 

Best for getting the most out of social media: Hootsuite

If your company wants to increase its social media presence by showing up regularly, then Hootsuite could be the answer. Meet your customers where they’re at—whether Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or across platforms. Create a post, then customize it for use on different social media platforms. Are you tired of forgetting to post new content or struggling to think of something at the last minute to meet your social media calendar? Create your posts in batches and schedule them to go live anytime.

How to choose the best workflow automation software for you

Automation is necessary to reduce errors, speed up processes, and increase productivity. But choosing the right workflow automation software for your company is easier said than done! With several options available and different types of functionality, there’s a lot to consider. To make things less overwhelming, here are a few things to think about when looking for the best match in workflow automation software. 

Identify which processes need to be automated

Many different processes take place in your office every day. Identify which of these are complicated, repetitive, or leave room for improvement. Next, consider all the steps your customers go through in a typical interaction with your company. Identify ways to improve your team members' and your customers’ experiences. Once you’ve narrowed down your software options, speak with each company to ensure they’re equipped to help you meet your goals. 

Examine your existing tech stack and identify which tools integrate

Once you’ve taken stock of which workflows you want to optimize, it’s time to examine your technology stack. Taking the time to outline and understand your business processes, how they are structured, and how they interact will help you identify opportunities to apply automation. The goal is to choose workflow automation software that integrates with your existing tools. Instead of starting from scratch and spending more money on a new tech stack, automation software should bridge the silos in your workflow, creating seamless communication between digital tools.

Choose a solution customized for your specific needs

Your company, mission, and goals are unique. A one-size-fits-all automation system will only scratch the surface when it comes to optimizing your workflows, leaving you wanting additional capabilities and customization. Finding a workflow automation system built to work with your individual tech tools is also tricky. Instead, consider a software company that will work with you and your teams to understand your problems, design specialized solutions, and show up as an active partner. When you work with an expert software team to create a customized solution, you get the functionality your company needs and will use—instead of paying for bells and whistles that don’t matter.

Use Image API for all of your automation needs

As a digital transformation leader for over 25 years, Image API is your partner in workflow automation. We make it easy to get more done by helping you work better thanks to our cloud-based software and customized approach to process optimization. 

Access to experts

At Image API, we believe in teamwork. Our experts work closely with your company to identify solutions to issues and potentials for improvement. Then, we design processes specific to your needs so you can start working better right away.

Enterprise-grade security

Our software is powered by Amazon Web Services, the industry leader in cloud computing web services. This robust cloud architecture allows us to deliver software with strict security measures which meet all compliance and is highly user-friendly yet accessible to your team from anywhere with the internet.  

Integrates with all of your operating systems

Your software should make life easier, meaning simple integration with your current operating systems. Image API’s software is designed to easily integrate with the systems you already have—from business process management systems to enterprise resource planning and information technology.

Workflow automation software - common FAQs

What is the best workflow automation software?

Every company has different automation needs, but our favorite overall workflow automation software is Caledo from Image API. This software allows you to simplify your manual processes one at a time, going at your own pace and paying only for what you need. Plus, Image API’s expert team works directly with companies to design processes that scale, increase productivity, and eliminate errors.

How much should I expect to spend on workflow automation software?

Workflow automation software is available to fit any budget, but as is often the case, you get what you pay for. Better questions are whether you can afford not to invest in customized automation software and services and how workflow automation can save your team time and money with increased efficiency. 

How long does it take to automate processes?

Process automation can be very time-consuming, especially when working on a complete overhaul of every procedure. That’s why we recommend working with a team like the experts at Image API. We design processes one at a time so you can benefit from increased productivity in a fraction of the time it takes other software companies to deliver.

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