Approval workflow automation. What is it and how does it benefit business? Let's talk a bit about it. Who knows, maybe when you’re finished reading this, you’ll discover a way to make your workflow 80% more efficient?
Approval. For sure, many of us know firsthand how waiting for someone above to say “yes” to a simple correction in the contract with a new client for too long can kill the deal. There are times when you need an answer here and now, but only a supervisor or a colleague from another department can provide it. And for that reason, the term “approval workflow” exists. Basically, it’s a sequence of tasks and actions that allows your team to process data within your workflows with maximum efficiency. Put simply: one needs a thing - one requests it - one gets an answer from a person (people) authorized - one can get on with his task.
How does the approval workflow look in practice?
Let’s turn to an example. You are a transportations specialist in an international spedition company and you want to sign a new subcontractor (transport company). What do you need to know?
- Does anyone in your company already work with him, maybe he’s not new? (Database check by your department)
- Is he safe to work with? (Security check)
- Can we make the changes he requested in our standard contract form? (legal department)
- Can we sign him on the financial terms he requests (Financial department)
- Do we have any of our clients’ interests crossed by working with him (Client service department)
And only when you have answered all these questions, you can trust this transport company with your client’s cargo. So normally, you’d have to contact the financial department, client service department, legal department, and your supervisor, write four different emails and wait until all of them get answered before you can get on to the actual transportation organization. And what if one of the people you emailed has taken time off? Or what if you’ve forgotten to describe some details that they need? That emailing back and forth can go on for days.
Or, if your company uses approval workflow automation software, you can just put all the necessary information together into your approval request, send it once, and wait calmly, completing other tasks meanwhile.
How does the business benefit from approval workflow automation?
Sales, billing, subcontractors management - these are only a few examples of the business processes where automated approval workflow would save (or make) your company thousands. With automation, you can speed up the approval processes by up to 80%! Imagine how many more important and useful tasks your team can complete in that time. So instead of sending 5 different emails to 10 different people and hoping that they will read it today and respond by tomorrow morning, they’d only have to push a button and have their answer in a couple of hours.
Besides, automated approval systems allow your business processes to stay transparent and easy to control when needed. More transparency - easier to follow the workflow - easier to find room for improvement! Every approval request your team makes is registered and does not get lost in the endless email chains. No more “oh, we must have forgotten to CC you”, “I didn’t get the chance to look through mail yet” or “I’ve never gotten that email”. Tempting, huh?
It comes with another problem though: too much software. You use Slack to chat, Confluence to store and share documents within the company, Google docs to share info with your subcontractors, QuickBooks for accounting, and now another one for approval automation? But on this front, we have good news.
Approveit can help you set it all up in no time
With Approveit you can build your automated approval workflow within minutes and save hundreds of collective hours AND right in Slack. You create an approval workflow (that takes only a couple of minutes, click here to see for yourself) and that’s it, your team now has access to your approval workflow directly from Slack. They won’t have to remember or figure out who’s responsible for certain things, what information is required, or how to submit it. Everything has been taken care of for them, by you, and in under 5 minutes.
Moreover, with the help of Zapier Approveit can be integrated with your bookkeeping software, calendar, social media, etc to automate the process that follows the approved request. For example, add an expenditure request or set a meeting date. By automating these small things that slow you down, you get more done and save energy for what’s actually important for you and your business.