By: Siddharth Wadehra, QuickReach Digital Transformation Practice Lead
Automation is increasingly becoming an important part of how business is conducted today. Technology continues to make inroads into the modern workplace as one department undergoes digital transformation after another. With finance, human resources, and other departments hogging the limelight with improved efficiency and reduced costs, one department which often gets overlooked is office administration.
Office administration often consists of monotonous and repetitive tasks that could easily be automated. A recent study revealed that globally, office workers spend 69 days a year on administrative tasks, costing companies $5 trillion a year. In the same study, 67% of the respondents believed that implementing a digital solution would be important to remain competitive. Automating office administration tasks could potentially mean a substantial reduction in manual effort, the human errors which come along with it, shrinking processing times, and improving visibility on bottlenecks. Not to mention, it provides the management with the ability to make educated decisions based on data.
However, with so many automation platforms vying for your attention promising to magically drive your administration process blues away, how do you exactly make the choice on which one of those is worth considering or even trying out? While your IT department might already have a bucket list of the desirable features of the finance automation platform, this article hopes to give you an overview of some of the key features of the system which you should never compromise.
With so much noise around the various platforms and with almost everyone promising you the moon, this article hopes to declutter this crowded space and bring to your notice five key features which your office automation platform should absolutely have.
Let's have a closer look at each feature and see why it's crucial to have them in your automation platform.
1. Easy workflow designer
Workflows are the backbone of office administration. Systems often need highly technical and sophisticated coding skills to be able to design and modify workflows. However, with the advancements in technology, designing and editing workflows have become relatively simple. The automation platform is meant to ease designing and modifying workflows and should not need external consultants or sophisticated technical knowledge for implementation.
Ideally, the automation platform you’ll choose should work with the business user in mind and not a technical programmer or someone in the company’s IT department. While trying out a platform that you are considering to deploy, one should explore whether you can intuitively create the sequence of tasks needed to finish a process. With most office administration having similar processes, there should ideally be templates in place which would help you roll out your first process in a matter of minutes.
2. Mobile compatibility
This is fast becoming a non-negotiable feature in the evolving workforce. With business becoming globalized where decisions need to be enacted immediately, it would indeed be counter-intuitive to wait for a superior or a colleague to come into the office and check an email before providing the approval. An instantaneous pop-up notification on their mobile app should be enough for someone to process an approval even if he is in another part of the planet. Ideally, the automation platform should allow you to run your core processes from a secure cloud and never have to worry about issues pertaining to data protection and privacy.
3. Integration with other software
It would obviously be foolhardy to expect the candidate automation platform to possibly have everything you want. Additionally, office automation software would not be the only software application that would be running within your company. With tools entrenched in almost all aspects of the organization, the automation platform shouldn’t ideally just keep to itself; couple this with legacy systems that might have issues around communicating with other systems.
While selecting the ideal office process automation system, you should keep in mind if integration with all other used software in the company is possible. This would allow it to fetch and use data that might be lying in a system. Integrations with third-party tools might also enhance productivity. Ensuring that your system can be integrated seamlessly with internal and external systems would be a great way to decide which office automation solution you should go with.
4. Reports and analytics
It is important to quantify the results your automation platforms are yielding. Equally important is for you, users, to identify bottlenecks just by quickly looking at the reports and dashboards. One should be able to gauge the outcome quality, speed, and other key metrics of the process by having a look at the data.
It might not be a great idea to have a separate reporting tool to understand how your automation platform is doing. Some of the best office process automation tools come with built-in reporting and analytics modules that could present to the business users the impact the software is having on the organization.
5. Access Control Option
An important aspect of any office administration tool is the ability to control what different sets of employees can view and edit workflows. Although this feature is often overlooked, it is very important to make sure to have it as it helps your office process automation platform empower employees to seamlessly communicate and transact within themselves and with other stakeholders. Just like limiting entry to your office premises, you should also be able to set access privileges to all of your business workflows.
Understandably, the ideal office admin automation solution for your company would be one that understands this sensitive requirement and has comprehensive access control options to offer.
QuickReach --- The Intelligent Process Automation Platform for the Future
There is a lot of difference between automation and digitization. While emails have replaced memos and shared working drives are now prevalent instead of filing cabinets, many businesses are fooled into thinking that a number of their office administration processes have been automated. Handling work electronically has little to do with process automation in office administration. If all your company is digitized and, in your opinion, you have automated your processes, it’s time to rethink and try to understand better what benefits automation brings.
QuickReach has been carefully designed while keeping in mind the office administration processes in companies like yours. With an easy-to-set-up interface and 50+ pre-built templates to choose from, you can now roll-out your first process in minutes. QuickReach boasts of all the features listed above and many more which make it the preferred intelligent process automation platform not only for the office admin department but also for sales, finance, HR, and IT. You can even enable customer self-service as well no matter what industry you're in!