Upgrade Your Workday: How Workflow Automation Saves You Time

Upgrade Your Workday: How Workflow Automation Saves You Time
Image by Tammy Duggan-Herd from Pixabay

Ever been stuck with repetitive tasks day in and day out? Does ticking off your to-do list make you feel accomplished? Well, workflow automation is the key to working smarter, not harder. In this article we will show you the basics of workflow automation and how it can make your life easier.

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What are the basic components of a workflow?

There are three basic components of a workflow - Input, Process, and Output.

  • Input is the data or information needed to kickstart the workflow. It could be a database or anything that might help in the process to complete a task.
  • Process is the process taken to use the input data to create the desired output.
  • Output is the final result of the workflow.

What is workflow automation and how does it work?

Workflow automation is the process of making the workflow highly independent of human intervention. It involves creating rules to follow once the conditions are met using a workflow automation software. A perfectly written workflow map is crucial in making this successful.

How does workflow automation help you?

With the right triggers and rules, workflow automation helps you to save time and energy in doing manual labor. It also minimizes mistakes by following a prewritten set of rules that remove human error from the equation.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Where can workflow automations help me?

This can be applied in various areas of business, as long as there is software that caters the specific needs you are looking for.

Here’s an example of a workflow that you may want to automate:

Doing this work yourself can be tedious, error-prone, and likely too slow to meet your needs. We'll walk through two ways to handle this type of automation need.

Generalized Tools

There are a series of general workflow management tools that integrate with other systems in a visual, drag & drop style editor. These tools include:

  • Zapier
  • Make
  • Workato

The pros of these tools is that they can be used for nearly every use-case, but more specific needs will require a lot of manual configuration and debugging to get just right.

Purpose-Built Tools

Leveraging a tool built for your specific problem area can save you time and still automate your tasks. In the example above, for managing customer support, Unthread is a purpose-built tool to automate support-related tasks.  Specifically, here’s what Unthread can do with the given workflow above:

  • Once a Slack ticket has been submitted, it will reflect directly on both Slack and Zendesk.
  • Unthread will then instantly notify the assigned or the next available agent with the help of its Assignment Rules & SLAs feature.
  • Once the ticket has been addressed and closed on Zendesk, a CSAT Survey will be sent easily though Slack. Survey templates are available in the Unthread platform.

Choosing Your Approach

In deciding between general and purpose-built tools, here are the factors to consider:

  • Are you automating a task for your role at a company? If so, it's likely that a purpose-built tool will save you the time of building custom flows from scratch
  • Are you planning to use this for personal & professional tasks? If so, you likely want to use a general tool that can be used for work and non-work use-cases
  • Are you going to need uptime and reliability guarantees? If so, you likely want a purpose-built tool that has SLAs and customer support teams to help you get started.

Conclusion

So there you have it! Automating tasks can be laborious and time consuming at first, but the rewards you will reap will be worth noting - from eliminating errors to saving much time to do more important tasks. Life is too short, let the bots do the grunt work!