Workflow Automation Tools

Laura Parker
May 2024

For organizations today, efficiency is paramount. Workflow automation tools and workflow software offer powerful solutions for businesses looking to streamline their operations, reduce costs, and minimize errors. By automating repetitive tasks and processes, these tools free up valuable time for employees to focus on more strategic activities. From small businesses to large enterprises, workflow automation can transform how work gets done, leading to improved productivity and better service delivery. This article will explore the various aspects of workflow automation, providing insights into the tools available and how they can be leveraged to enhance business operations.

Workflow Automation Tools

What is an automated workflow

An automated workflow is a sequence of tasks that are automatically triggered and executed by a system, typically through the use of workflow software. These workflows streamline business processes by reducing the need for manual intervention, thus improving efficiency and consistency. For instance, in the finance industry, an automated workflow can handle invoice processing by automatically routing invoices to the appropriate department for approval, ensuring timely payments and reducing errors.

Workflow automation examples span various industries:

  • Healthcare: Automated workflows can manage patient records and appointment scheduling, freeing up medical staff to focus on patient care.
  • Human Resources: Automated workflows can handle employee onboarding processes, from document collection to training assignments, ensuring a smooth and efficient integration of new hires.

These examples highlight how automated workflows not only save time but also enhance accuracy and compliance within organizations.

By understanding the basic principles of workflow automation, businesses can identify areas where they can implement these tools to achieve significant operational improvements. Automated workflows are designed to be flexible and scalable, making them suitable for businesses of all sizes and industries.

How do I automate my workflow

Automating your workflow involves several steps, starting with selecting the right workflow automation software. The first step is to identify repetitive tasks and processes within your organization that can be automated. Once these tasks are identified, you can choose a suitable workflow automation tool that aligns with your business needs.

One popular choice is beSlick, which allows users to document their processes as flowcharts and execute them as workflows. IT directors are particularly fond of integrating beSlick with Zapier, as it significantly enhances automation capabilities. Zapier acts as a bridge between beSlick and other applications, enabling seamless data flow and task automation across different platforms. For instance, you can set up a Zapier workflow that automatically creates tasks in beSlick when new leads are added to your CRM, ensuring that your sales team is promptly notified and can follow up without delay.

To set up an automated workflow, follow these steps:

  • Document Your Process: Use beSlick to create a detailed flowchart of the process you want to automate. This helps in visualizing each step and identifying areas for automation.
  • Select Automation Tools: Integrate beSlick with Zapier and other relevant applications to streamline data transfer and automate tasks.
  • Configure Automations: Set up specific triggers and actions in Zapier. For example, you can configure a trigger that starts a new workflow in beSlick whenever a new customer order is placed in your e-commerce system.
  • Test and Refine: After setting up the automations, run tests to ensure everything works smoothly. Refine the workflow as needed to optimize performance.

By leveraging workflow automation software like beSlick and integrating it with tools like Zapier, businesses can create highly efficient and automated workflows that save time and reduce errors. IT directors appreciate this combination for its straightforward implementation and powerful automation capabilities, and management appreciate it’s easy of use for the end users, making it a go-to solution for modern businesses.

Workflow Automation Tools

What are workflow automation tools

Workflow automation tools are software applications designed to automate various business processes and tasks, reducing the need for manual intervention. These tools streamline workflows by setting up triggers, conditions, and actions that execute predefined tasks automatically. The primary goal of using workflow automation tools is to increase efficiency, reduce errors, and free up employees to focus on more strategic tasks.

There are several types of workflow automation tools available, each catering to different business needs:

  • Task Management Tools: These tools help in organizing, assigning, and tracking tasks within a team. By creating tasks, setting deadlines, and monitoring progress, they ensure that everyone is aligned and working efficiently.
  • Process Automation Platforms: Tools like beSlick enable businesses to document their processes and execute them as workflows. These platforms often support complex processes with multiple steps and integrations with other software.
  • Integration Tools: Zapier is popular for its ability to connect different applications, allowing data to flow seamlessly between them. By creating “Zaps,” users can trigger actions in one app based on events in another.
  • Document Management Tools: These tools automate document workflows, such as contract signing and approvals, ensuring that documents are processed quickly and securely.

Choosing the right workflow automation tools depends on the specific needs of your business. For example, a company focused on customer service might benefit from a tool that integrates with their CRM to automate follow-up emails and support ticket creation. In contrast, a manufacturing business might use automation tools to manage inventory and production schedules.

By implementing workflow automation tools, businesses can achieve significant improvements in productivity and accuracy. These tools help standardize processes, making it easier to scale operations and ensure compliance with industry standards.

What is the difference between RPA and workflow tools

When considering automation solutions, it’s essential to understand the distinction between Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and traditional workflow automation tools. While both aim to improve efficiency and reduce manual tasks, they are designed for different purposes and use cases.

  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA): Involves the use of software robots or “bots” to mimic human actions within digital systems. RPA is particularly useful for automating highly repetitive, rule-based tasks that involve interacting with multiple applications. For example, an RPA bot can extract data from emails, input it into a CRM system, and generate reports without human intervention. RPA is best suited for tasks that require high precision and speed, often in environments with legacy systems that do not support direct integration.
  • Workflow Automation Tools: Focus on streamlining and managing business processes by creating automated workflows. These tools are designed to handle complex processes that involve multiple steps and collaboration among different team members. Workflow automation tools, like beSlick, allow users to document their processes as flowcharts and execute them as workflows. They often include features such as task assignments, deadlines, and notifications to ensure that processes are completed efficiently and consistently.

While RPA and workflow automation tools both aim to automate tasks, they complement each other rather than compete. RPA excels at handling specific, repetitive tasks that can be performed by a bot, whereas workflow automation tools are better suited for managing and optimizing entire business processes.

When evaluating the best workflow automation tools, consider factors such as ease of use, integration capabilities, and scalability. Tools like beSlick provide a user-friendly platform that supports dynamic due dates, guest access, and group/team functionalities, making it an ideal choice for businesses of all sizes.

Understanding the differences between RPA and workflow automation tools helps businesses select the right solution for their needs, ensuring that they can optimize their operations and achieve greater efficiency.

What is an example of workflow automation

Workflow automation can transform various business processes, leading to significant improvements in efficiency and accuracy. One compelling example of workflow automation involves the use of process automation software in customer onboarding, and how beSlick can facilitate this process, especially when integrated with Zapier.

Consider a company that needs to onboard new customers regularly. Traditionally, this process involves multiple steps, including collecting customer information, setting up accounts, and ensuring all necessary documentation is completed. By implementing process & workflow software like beSlick and integrating it with Zapier, the company can automate the entire onboarding workflow. 

Here’s how it works:

  • Information Collection: When a new customer signs up, their details are automatically captured through an integrated online digital form in beSlick. Using Zapier, this information can seamlessly flow from the company’s website or CRM into beSlick.
  • Account Setup: beSlick routes the customer’s information to the relevant departments for account creation. This includes setting up access credentials, configuring services, and integrating with other systems via Zapier.
  • Documentation: Automated workflows in beSlick ensure that all required documentation, such as agreements and identity verification forms, are sent to the customer and tracked until completion. Zapier can automate sending these documents and reminders.
  • Notifications and Follow-ups: beSlick sends automated notifications to the customer and internal teams, ensuring timely follow-ups and reducing the chances of missed steps. Zapier can trigger additional follow-ups or tasks in other tools as needed.
  • Final Review and Activation: Once all steps are completed, beSlick triggers a final review and activates the customer’s account, notifying them that they are ready to use the service.

This example illustrates how software like beSlick, combined with Zapier, can streamline the customer onboarding process, ensuring that each step is executed accurately and efficiently. The benefits include faster onboarding times, reduced manual errors, and a more seamless experience for the customer.

Moreover, with beSlick and Zapier, the organization can easily track and audit the entire process, providing transparency and accountability. This level of automation not only improves operational efficiency but also enhances customer satisfaction by providing a quicker and more reliable onboarding experience.

By leveraging software like beSlick and integrating it with Zapier, businesses can automate various workflows, from simple tasks to complex, multi-step processes. This capability allows companies to scale their operations efficiently and maintain high standards of quality and compliance.

Workflow Automation Tools

What tools are used to create workflow

To create and manage workflows effectively, businesses rely on a variety of business process automation tools. These tools help streamline processes, enhance productivity, and ensure consistency across tasks. 

Here are some key categories of tools used to create and automate workflows:

  • Workflow Management Software: These tools, like beSlick, allow users to design, document, and execute workflows. They provide a visual interface for creating flowcharts, assigning tasks, setting deadlines, and monitoring progress. beSlick stands out for its user-friendly design, dynamic due dates, guest access, and team functionalities, making it an excellent choice for businesses of all sizes.
  • Integration Platforms: Tools like Zapier play a crucial role in connecting different applications and automating data transfers between them. By integrating beSlick with Zapier, businesses can automate workflows that span multiple systems, ensuring seamless data flow and reducing manual intervention. For example, a new customer entry in a CRM can trigger a series of automated tasks in beSlick, streamlining the onboarding process.
  • Task Management Tools: These tools help in organizing, assigning, and tracking tasks within teams. They ensure that all team members are aligned and that tasks are completed on time. Task management tools can be integrated with workflow management software to enhance overall process efficiency.
  • Document Automation Tools: Automating document workflows, such as contract approvals and digital signatures, is essential for maintaining speed and accuracy. These tools ensure that documents are processed quickly and securely, reducing the risk of errors and delays.
  • Communication and Collaboration Tools: Effective communication is critical for successful workflow automation. Tools that facilitate real-time communication and collaboration, such as instant messaging and video conferencing platforms, are essential for keeping teams connected and informed throughout the workflow process.

By leveraging these business process automation tools, businesses can create robust and efficient workflows that optimize operations. Whether it’s through workflow management software like beSlick, integration platforms like Zapier, or other task and document management tools, the right combination of tools can significantly enhance business processes, leading to improved productivity and better outcomes.

How do I create an automated workflow

Creating an automated workflow involves several steps, and using the right tools can make the process much more manageable. For businesses looking to start with limited budgets, there are several workflow tools free of charge that can help set up a basic process. However, for automating your workflow, a more feature-rich and still a low cost solution is to combine beSlick with Zapier

Here’s how to create an automated workflow:

  • Identify the Process: Begin by identifying the specific process you want to automate. This could be anything from customer onboarding to invoice processing. Clearly define each step involved in the process and the desired outcome.
  • Document the Workflow: Use beSlick to document your workflow visually. While there are workflow tools free that can help you get started, beSlick offers a more comprehensive and user-friendly platform for mapping out each step and defining the sequence of actions.
  • Choose Automation Tools: For beginners, free tools can provide a basic introduction to workflow. However, integrating beSlick with Zapier offers a much more feature-rich alternative. Zapier connects beSlick with other applications, enabling seamless automation across different platforms. For example, you can automate the creation of tasks in beSlick whenever a new entry is added to a Google Sheet.
  • Set Up Triggers and Actions: Define the triggers (events that start the workflow) and actions (tasks performed as a result of the trigger) within beSlick and Zapier. For instance, a trigger could be a new customer sign-up, and the action could be sending a welcome email and creating a task in beSlick.
  • Test the Workflow: Before fully implementing the workflow, test it to ensure that it functions correctly. Check for any errors or steps that may have been overlooked and refine the workflow as needed.
  • Implement and Monitor: Once the workflow is tested and refined, implement it in your daily operations. Monitor its performance to ensure it continues to meet your business needs and make adjustments as necessary.

By leveraging free workflow tools in the initial stages and then transitioning to beSlick combined with Zapier, businesses can achieve a robust and efficient automation system. This approach not only increases efficiency and reduces errors but also provides a cost-effective solution that scales with your business needs.

Which tool can be used for automating workflows

Selecting the right workflow tools is crucial for automating business processes effectively. One of the most favored solutions among IT Directors is beSlick, especially when integrated with Zapier. This combination offers straightforward implementation and powerful automation capabilities, making it a go-to solution for modern businesses. Here’s why:

  • beSlick and Zapier Integration: beSlick, a robust workflow automation tool, allows businesses to document their processes visually and execute them as automated workflows. When integrated with Zapier, beSlick’s capabilities are significantly enhanced. Zapier connects beSlick with a multitude of other applications, enabling seamless data flow and task automation across various platforms. This integration simplifies complex workflows and ensures that different systems work together harmoniously.
  • Ease of Implementation: IT Directors appreciate beSlick and Zapier for their straightforward implementation. Setting up automated workflows is intuitive, with clear interfaces and step-by-step guides. This ease of use reduces the time and resources needed to get automation up and running.
  • Powerful Automation Capabilities: The combination of beSlick and Zapier offers extensive automation capabilities. For instance, businesses can automate customer onboarding, task assignments, and compliance checks with ease. Triggers and actions can be set up to handle various tasks automatically, ensuring consistency and reducing the risk of errors.
  • User-Friendly Design: Management and end-users alike value the user-friendly design of beSlick. The platform is designed to be simple and intuitive, making it easy for all team members, regardless of their technical expertise, to adopt and use effectively. This ease of use is a significant factor in beSlick’s popularity, as it ensures that the benefits of automation are accessible to everyone in the organization.
  • Scalability: As businesses grow, their automation needs evolve. beSlick and Zapier offer scalable solutions that can adapt to changing requirements. This scalability ensures that businesses can continue to automate new processes and integrate additional applications as needed.

By choosing workflow tools like beSlick and integrating them with Zapier, businesses can create a highly efficient and automated environment. This combination not only streamlines operations but also enhances productivity and accuracy, making it a preferred choice for IT Directors and management teams.

Workflow Automation Tools
Incorporating workflow automation tools into your business processes can lead to significant improvements in efficiency, accuracy, and overall productivity. By leveraging tools like beSlick and integrating them with Zapier, businesses can automate complex workflows, reduce manual errors, and ensure that all tasks are executed consistently and on time.

Workflow automation tools offer numerous benefits, including:

  • Streamlined Processes: Automating repetitive tasks frees up valuable time for employees to focus on strategic activities.
  • Enhanced Accuracy: Automated workflows minimize the risk of human error, ensuring that processes are carried out correctly every time.
  • Improved Compliance: Automated workflows can include compliance checks and documentation, making it easier to adhere to regulatory requirements.
  • Scalability: As your business grows, workflow automation tools can scale with you, allowing for the integration of new processes and systems.

IT Directors favor beSlick and Zapier for their ease of implementation and powerful automation capabilities. Management teams appreciate the user-friendly design, which ensures that all employees can quickly adopt and benefit from the system. This combination makes beSlick and Zapier a go-to solution for modern businesses looking to enhance their operational efficiency.

By investing in workflow automation tools, businesses can achieve a higher level of operational excellence and maintain a competitive edge in their industry. To learn more about how workflow automation can benefit your business, visit our workflow software page.

Need a better way to track team tasks & workflow?
Need a better way to track team tasks & workflow?

, Author of The Dirty Word and CEO at beSlick

Alister Esam is a successful entrepreneur and investor, having bootstrapped his fintech software business eShare to international status operating in over 40 countries and servicing 20,000 board directors, before successfully exiting to a multibillion-dollar organisation in 2018. He now invests in a variety of startups and on a global mission to make work, work.