As a team manager, you and your team carry out the day-to-day tasks that, collectively, serve as the “work” your company does. You oversee individual components of the workflow process, which imparts a unique and valuable perspective on current tools and practices: Some may add value or save time, and others present an upgrade opportunity to improve your workflow.
Your opinion matters, especially in proposing a new tool or strategy as a solution. When formulating a workflow management system example to present to your boss, it’s important to factor in every detail. For the decision-makers, two main factors take precedence:
What does it cost? And how does it benefit the company?
This article outlines the basic features and common challenges of workflow management, along with examples for clarification. Many managers struggle to map out the process of building an effective workflow management system, but the bigger challenge is ensuring its sustainability.
Offer Solutions, Not Problems
Decision-makers appreciate it when their managers present clearly defined solutions. The initial purchase of workflow management tools is the easiest number to report, but it only represents part of the company’s cost. Insight from firsthand experience allows you to detail the hidden costs of missed opportunities due to bottlenecks, miscommunication, or other workflow hurdles.
The potential costs of ignoring such workflow problems easily outweigh the initial software purchase. Using current leads as examples can clarify a solution’s positive ROI by walking your supervisor through a bottleneck or miscommunication scenario. In many cases, such workflow solutions essentially pay for themselves—sometimes many times over—by identifying and avoiding hurdles, saving time, and increasing profits.
Share Your Expertise With Decision-Makers
Short of producing a formal cost-benefit analysis, you can also elaborate on the intangible, qualitative benefits to help decision-makers understand what “success” looks and feels like to your team. Qualities like pride in a job well done, employee buy-in, and increased team morale are difficult to measure, yet essential for success.
After presenting the quantifiable benefits, like greater productivity and an increased bottom line, your boss will definitely want to know more about your proposed solution.
Workflow Management Functions
Workflow management entails managing a stream of tasks to build an organized system that ensures productivity. The ultimate goal is to come up with a framework that helps identify areas in need of improvement to maintain a productive workflow with a reliable end-product or service. The use of Kanban boards to manage automotive manufacturing offers a benchmark example of a workflow management system.
Investing in a software solution can help managers with the initial mapping process, which can also expedite workflows, identify bottlenecks, and improve long-term functionality. Without a feedback method to identify and resolve workflow issues, increased efficiency just produces the same product, only more quickly.
Software solutions can identify problem areas in the workflow process, which allows your team to fix the problem and increase efficiency: producing more of the right end-product. Ultimately, however, most workflow optimization relies on two functions: automation and integration.
Automation entails setting rule-based logic to streamline tasks that require human execution. Repetitive manual sequences can consume the workday and slow down operations. As a result, many teams rely on automation as a key resource for expediting workflow. Implementing new technology streamlines tasks, reduces the risk of human errors, and saves company time.
In a recent Forbes article, Jim Nicol writes that “the road to true digital workflow automation is paved with artificial intelligence.” He also highlights a Forrester survey that reports 61% of companies ranked robotic process automation (RPA) as their top use case for automation.
RPA is a form of automation based on software, robots, and artificial intelligence (AI) to reduce manual human tasks. The use of automation became more prominent at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when businesses began to incorporate more digital operations than ever before.
A growing resource for many industries, the future of automation looks bright. Projected to reach USD 39.49 Billion by 2027, the workflow automation market’s projection results in a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.68% from 2020 to 2027.
Integration combines your current workflow system with additional workflow solutions to create a powerful process. Integration capabilities expand a current system to improve functionality. Many systems offer a combination of both automation and integration, which allows teams to employ several different functions via one system, instead of using multiple platforms.
When determining the solution best suited for your organization, it’s important to first review existing processes to identify areas for improvement. Where do the bottlenecks lie? What task consumes the most time? What can be automated to reduce human actions?
Then, evaluate what departments need a better system and build a solution to meet that need. For example, support teams may need assistance with customer service requests. They would benefit from a system that automatically distributes workload evenly amongst staff. Logistics teams require a structured workflow in place to ensure on-time deliveries and correspondence with minimal errors.
Determining your company’s needs and crafting a strategy to meet them are two critical steps toward achieving positive outcomes.
Workflow Management System Examples: Creating the Perfect Solution for Your Team
When searching for the perfect workflow management system, turn to Gmelius, a communication and collaboration platform for Gmail. Gmelius resolves common workflow challenges by combining automation and integration into one seamless platform.
With Gmelius, teams can access an array of workflow management tools—in addition to workflow automation rules—to streamline tasks, improve communication, and increase collaboration opportunities in a new era of remote work.
Here are some workflow management system examples that employ Gmelius as a software solution.
Two-Way Architecture = Unique Seamless Integration
Gmelius’ shared inbox solution increases communication and collaboration. No longer do teams need to rely on manually cc’ing and forwarding emails. Instead, members can collaborate in real-time via one shared inbox.
When compared to other, ordinary shared inboxes, Gmelius has the power to transform it into a workflow management system via powerful integrations with apps such as Slack, Trello, Zapier, and more. Rather than jump back and forth between multiple apps, teams using Gmelius can remain on one platform to streamline workflow.
How does this work?
Slack. Slack is a popular instant messaging application designed so workers can hold conversations within departments, or as a whole team. This integration connects a team’s shared inboxes in Gmail with Slack channels so team members can collaborate on emails without leaving Slack. Teams can:
- reply to emails
- add internal notes to email threads
- change email statuses
- assign emails to team members
Trello. This Kanban-style list-making application makes project management easy. With Gmelius’ unique two-way integration with Trello, teams can easily turn collaborative Gmail labels into Kanban boards. The Gmelius board can then be converted into a Trello board that syncs emails, tasks, and due dates in real-time: both in Gmail and Trello. Trello boards can also be imported to Gmail to accommodate team preferences. Since some team members prefer to work out of Gmail, this option simplifies operations.
Zapier. Zapier is an automation tool that moves information between web apps automatically. The unique integration with Zapier allows teams to connect Gmelius to thousands of other web services. Automated connections called Zaps automate day-to-day tasks and build workflows between apps that otherwise wouldn't be possible. Teams can set up in minutes with no coding required. Learn how to connect Gmelius to Zapier here.
Automate Grunt Work With Powerful Workflow Automation Rules
Workflow automation saves time, reduces the risk of errors, and increases team productivity. Gmelius makes workflow automation even easier with powerful rules that automate a company’s daily processes.
This customer support example illustrates how Gmelius can help teams automate tasks and distribute workload evenly.
With Gmelius, teams can manage company inboxes, like support@, set workflow automation rules to send auto-replies, distribute workflow to team members based on subject line triggers, and add priority tags to improve response times. Such automations not only result in better customer support, but this rule-based logic can also save hours of company time per week.
Logistics teams also see great benefits from setting workflow automation rules. Most operations function as a beginning-to-end process that only allows for minimal errors to be successful. Automating sequences to complete manual work typically performed by team members reduces these risks and allows for more successful logistics workflows.
Successful logistics teams must follow strict Service Level Agreement (SLA) policies to ensure client and vendor success. A potential breach could result in costly implications for a company, including a damaged reputation due to poor service.
Gmelius prevents potential discrepancies by allowing teams to set automation rules that notify team members of potential SLA breaches. This rule-based logic also ensures the right emails are assigned to the right team members. Implementing these types of workflow automations can increase SLA completion rates and speed up resolution time.
To function at its best, every company needs a solid workflow management system in place. When considering a workflow management system for your company, consider Gmelius. Gmelius offers countless solutions to expedite workflow and build a sustainable solution that will scale as your business grows.
This piece outlined workflow management system examples and how to utilize them with Gmelius. Check out our features and integrations and learn how Gmelius is built to improve team communication and collaboration. Ready to get started? Sign up today!