Damien Reed in SaaS, Software, Marketing Sep 14, 2019 · 1 min read · 1.2K

A Short Introduction To Workflow Automation

A Short Introduction To Workflow Automation


Is this just the latest buzzword coming from the tech world or is there something more to it?

Yes, there is. We’re here to tell you that workflows are real and they are here to stay. But what even is a workflow?

Workflows can be hard to define, due to their variable and general nature. However, a workflow typically represents a technological solution that automates certain tasks and processes.

As such, workflows are at the core of CRM software

How workflows came about

Automation has been around since the dawn of industrialization. 

Its forms and shapes may have changed over time, as the technology became more sophisticated, but the underlying principles have remained the same.

However, workflow automation can only be traced back to the 1980s. 

It was then that the theoretical framework of workflows was developed, and roughly 10 years later, workflow automation started spreading into the workforce.

The workflow technology currently in use was developed only 15 years - in 2005, to be more precise, when Business Project Management or BPM came about. BPM is the foundation of all software-based workflow automation.

Now, with the history of workflows behind us, let’s deal with how you can use them today.

How to use workflows

Workflows are best used to handle repetitive tasks and assignments.

For example, you can set up a workflow to automatically:

  • Pay invoices

  • Schedule calls

  • Set reminders

  • Send emails

  • Streamline the onboarding process

  • Perform data entry

  • Submit web forms

This means that you can alleviate much of the workload on your staff members. 

When you set up workflows to perform all these manual tasks, you free up your team’s time and allow them to focus more on creative assignments. You provide them with the opportunity to express themselves and grow.

Moreover, you improve their job satisfaction - let’s be honest, no one likes doing boring and repetitive tasks. Indirectly, this allows your company to provide a better service to its customers.

Customers know it when your employees are miserable and this can actually negatively affect your revenue. By using workflow automation, your business can reach its full potential much more easily and quickly.

If you need additional help managing your workflows, many CRM platforms offer free guides on how to use workflows

We recommend that you check them out before you start working with any automation platforms.

What workflow software must have

Marketing automation and workflow software can come in many different shapes. 

However, the best solutions always share some mutual characteristics. Namely, workflow software should provide you with:

  • A graphical representation of your work

  • Cloud storage

  • Access control

  • Parallel workflow execution

  • Mobile and web notifications

  • Custom reports

If your preferred software does not offer these features, you’ve likely gone for the wrong platform. These are standard functions that all workflow platforms should contain. 

MICHAEL DEALE Oct 25, 2019 · #1

@Damien Reed

When your are talking about Workflows in this context, are you thinking about Workflow software built into the CRM application?

Or are you thinking about Robotic Process Automation Software (RPA)? Products such as UiPath, Blue Prism and Automation Anywhere allow you to build Automations that can run web and desktop applications from a software robot. The robots simulate every action that a human can take, including some thinking if you incorporate AI Decision making into the robot. With RPA you can literally automate any existing software application!