Sick of waiting for Janet to update the spreadsheet so you can contact clients? Get it together, Janet.

But, here’s some real water cooler talk.

It’s unlikely your coworker is purposely holding you up.
It’s more likely that your workflow and processes are.

Luckily, with automated workflow software, you don’t have to be constrained anymore. You and Janet can both break free.

In this blog, you’ll meet your new work bestie: workflow automation. We’ll explain:

  • What is workflow automation?
  • How automated workflows are benefiting industries
  • How to identify workflows to automate (no code required)
  • Types of automated workflow software

Let’s take you from automation amateur to workflow zen. Let’s flow.

Learn the basics of workflow automation

Before we deep dive, let’s cover the basics: what’s a workflow?

A workflow is a series of tasks, or steps, completed in a specific order — to meet a goal (get something done). Onboarding a new employee or client is a common example of a workflow.

So, what’s workflow automation?

Workflow automation, or workflow process automation, uses technology and software to automate specific tasks or processes within an organisation.

Basically, you take repetitive, time-sucking manual processes and automate them. But, it’s more focused than basic automation.

Workflow process automation is about automating entire processes or workflows from start to finish.

Most of the time, workflow automation is about automating tasks across different systems and departments. You’re likely to use a few pieces of tech or different tools. Plus, workflow automation often uses advanced tech such as artificial intelligence (AI) or robotic process automation (RPA).

How automated workflows are benefiting industries

Workflow automation means less boring work and awkward work friction with people like Janet.

But, is it all it’s cracked up to be? Let’s dive into the data.

All the statistics below come from a study by Zapier.

Workflow automation for marketers

Marketers save 25 hours/week using automation. Currently, they are the industry that uses automation the most.

Most marketers use workflow automation for scheduling communications, internal project management and customer nurturing (think: lead magnets, abandoned cart nudges, re-engaging subscribers, ect).

Tip: many marketers are using Chat GPT to power up their customer communications. Which is often a crucial stage of any marketing workflow.

How customer service automate their workflow

Trying to manage complicated customer queries quickly is tricky.

Automating workflows can help the world’s most patient people save 16 hours a week. Finally, a win for the call centre crew.

A common automation flow for customer service might be automatically creating, assigning and pre-filling the ticket. Once solved, automatic internal communications and approvals might be triggered. Followed by auto-replies and a customer follow-up for feedback.

Automated workflows for human resources

Lots of teams are putting a robot to work for repetitive human resources procedures. It saves HR professionals 8 hours a week on average, so you can see why.

Onboarding staff is one of the most popular workflows to automate. Not only does it save the team time. But, it provides a seamless and quick candidate experience too. One that’s the same across the board.

How accounts payable manage workflow automation

It’s not as impressive as the other numbers. However, gaining 4 hours a week thanks to automation is nothing to sniff at.

Plus, it’s not always about the time and money savings (even though our accountant friends might disagree). Workflow automation can also reduce errors. Which is great news for balancing the books.

💡Discover how automated text messaging for accountants can improve your workflow.

Automating workflows for IT professionals

The IT department should be masters of automation. So, it’s no surprise they save 20 hours per week using tools and software in their job.

Tasks they may focus on are automating software deployment and updates, monitoring system health and performance, managing network security and resolving helpdesk tickets. A popular project management and bug tracking tool for IT teams is Jira, which you can use with SMS. Interested? Learn how to send SMS notifications from Jira.

How to identify workflows to automate (no code required)

how to identify workflows to automate

Automating sounds hard, but with the rise of no-code tools — it’s much easier than you think.

Often, you can automate tasks via integrations. These can often be set up in a few clicks (we should know, we have 900+ integrations).

Before you start browsing no-code tools. You need to decide what workflows to integrate. You can do that by asking yourself a few simple questions:

  • What is the nature of the work? Is it repetitive or menial?
  • Is it a regular thing you do?
  • Does it involve moving information?
  • Is it distracting you from more important tasks?

If it requires a human touch, emotional intelligence or creativity, it’s best to leave it as a manual task.

Read: Demystify no-code and check out our no-code guide.

Types of automated workflow software

You’ll get the best gains from workflow automation if you think about how to streamline work across teams. Instead of just focusing on your own to-do list.

Project management is one of the best ways to do this. Most teams take advantage of project management tools like Jira and Trello.

But not everyone knows that these tools have prebuilt automations. These automations can send reminders, update statuses, and assign tasks. All while you’re working on other projects.

Plus, these tools can also integrate with other software. For example, you can plug communication tools like ClickSend into project management tools. Then you can automatically SMS teams about important project updates.

If you want to move beyond project management, there are some fantastic no-code data management tools. These can help you level up your workflow automation, seriously.

Tools like Airtable or Google Sheets can be used to collect and organise data. Teams can create custom forms and databases, which can automatically collect, organise and fetch data. Hello, time-saving.

Make your work, flow

Are you ready to try workflow automation? We’re already onboard at ClickSend. We’re big fans of Zapier and Slack — we make use of automations and integrations in every product (even our own).

If you want to practise sending SMS from a no-code tool, Google Sheets is a great place to start.  We’ll even give you some credit to get started.