SME Automation: Workflows you should automate as soon as possible

SME Automation: Workflows you should automate as soon as possible

Digital & Technology

Janina Raisa Go

Janina Raisa Go

17 Sep 2019, 07:00 — 7 min read

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a major growth factor of the economy especially in developing countries. It is a known fact that SMEs, in some cases, employ more people compared to large scale businesses. Their importance makes them an essential component in the economic system.


However, SME owners are less concerned with the automation of business due to the number of customers and the bulk of work. Most of the time, workflows are usually in disarray and the books never balance. Inconsistency in information eventually leads to inconsistency in numbers which makes growth hardly possible. This is why it is very important to automate workflows.


The workflow of any organization is just a sequential order by which a task is carried out. There are specific workflows that, despite the scale of business, need an automated system.

 


The following are the workflows you need to automate as soon as possible!

1. Purchase order workflow

Purchase order is inarguably one aspect of business that defines the measure of the expenses. The purchase order workflow is quite very common with businesses that require a constant supply of a product or a service. In the SME world, almost every business requires the services of a vendor. How this is handled will determine a reliable tracking system of every purchase made. Hence, paperwork is not a suitable option. In fact, the manual system is so faulty and incompetent, automation is necessary.


The workflow usually begins with the requisition of order following through confirmation, processing, editing by the supplier, tracking and supply confirmation to the storage of purchase order transaction. A good automated purchase order workflow will improve the vendor-buyer relationship and enable a business to build a good system for tracking expenditure. Calculating and collating net profit will thereby become much easier.

 

2. Sales workflow

Expenditure is one aspect, sales is another. The task of selling begins from identifying prospective customers, pitching sales, winning them over, engaging them with your product and recording of sold products usually in the form of an invoice. This system on a manual level is not as effective as it should be especially as it involves several departments and inputs.

Also read: 3 easy ways to fix the leaking sales funnel


Eliminating the need for unnecessary expenditure and automating the system will give the best output at the least possible price. An automatic system provides accurate information on demography and analyses of the market more than any business analyst would. Records of sales will enable SMEs to monitor the rate at which products are sold and the factors which affect them.

 

3. Content creation 

The step-by-step process of building a business involves continuous content creation. The creation of this content to promote the growth of a business involves research, first draft, review, edit, approval and publication. Producing new products and services involves every step in content creation. SMEs do not have the flexibility or resources to take up multiple projects; hence, a competent system must be developed in order to ensure consistency and management of resources. An automated system assigns responsibility to the appropriate department, effectively monitors the developmental process, facilitates the transfer of data between departments and manages time.


4.
Employee leave approval

The conventional way of applying for leave is by sending out emails or filling out a form. This is easy if you’re managing a small team. When an organization grows, this can be a lot of work. When these paper forms get lost or a leave request sent through email gets overlooked or deleted, it could cause some trouble to the requesting employee and the approver.


With automated leave approval, everything is recorded. There would be transparency in every step of the process, freeing employees from worries about errors and having their request unnoticed.

Also read: Optimize HR costs with workflow automation 

5. Accounts payable workflow

Most SMEs still deal with manual and paper-intensive accounts payable process. With the amount of workload a finance or administrative staff is dealing, he can accidentally duplicate documents like invoice.  This mistake and the slow approval process affect the financial health of a business due to higher labor costs, longer processing cycles, and cash flow irregularities.


An automated system can speed up the invoice process and can make it trackable. Any proof that something was paid for can be done easily. Duplication of invoices will stop happening, and a penalty from late payment will be avoided.


6. Regulatory submissions

Regulatory submission nowadays is more complicated than ever. Guidance and requirements are being changed more frequently, which makes it more difficult and slows down the compliance process for companies.  Automation addresses this issue and makes collaboration, approvals and other steps in the regulatory process fast and efficient. Different systems can be connected to the automation system making data easily accessible and would require lesser data entry.

 

7. SME automation with Activity Factory

Employees in small and medium businesses usually carry out multiple tasks which may be within multiple departments. This can stifle the growth of an organization and hamper the productivity of team members. 


With Activity Factory, SMEs will be able to have a standard system for carrying out tasks, monitoring growth, good documentation, time management, and certified growth. It helps businesses promote productivity, collaboration, and business growth among the organization. You may replicate your existing workflows, create and customize new workflows, and reap the benefits of automated workflows.

 

Also read: Workflow Automation: A key part of digital transformation


Automating workflows can help you and your team focus on much more important aspects of your business. In the digital age, you should learn how to leverage technology to streamline business processes.


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Disclaimer: This article is based solely on the inputs shared by the featured members. GlobalLinker does not necessarily endorse the views, opinions & facts stated by the members.

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