What Is A Workflow Process And How To Use It In Your Business?

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Have you ever felt frustrated because of repetitive low-value tasks that have to be completed but don’t feel rewarding? Wasted hours upon hours revisiting your tasks because of a minor error that slipped through?

If you have, you’re not alone. Inefficiencies are common in tasks of all kinds and they cost businesses around the world billions of dollars every year.

To address these inefficiencies, you can utilize workflow management systems to help save time and money. They help you achieve higher productivity and enable you to do more with less resources.

In many cases, using workflow management software might be just the thing you need to take your business to the next level.

In this article, we will take a look at what a workflow process is, its benefits, as well as why and how you should create a workflow in your business.

What Is Workflow? Workflow Process explained

Workflow is a series of repeatable activities that are necessary to complete a task. It includes all the processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion.

A workflow process, on the other hand, refers to the series of activities or tasks that must be completed sequentially or parallel to achieve a business outcome.

An example of a workflow would be all the steps taken in a sequential order when approving a leave. The first step in this workflow would be receiving a request for the approval of a leave from an employee. It will include all the steps you take until you finally approve or reject the leave application letter.

Workflows can be found across all departments in an organization. They are made to suit the needs of the participants that are involved in the handling of said task.

Such being the case, workflows can be highly structured or completely unstructured. Still, a structured workflow helps bring up the efficiency, as it’s often been designed after mapping out each step necessary to move from the start point to the endpoint.

Generally speaking, there are two types of workflows. Let’s look at them with examples.

  • Sequential workflows: Sequential workflows are those that occur when each step is taken only after the completion of a previous step. For example, when hiring a new employee, you have to settle on an appointment for an interview before you actually get to interviewing the candidate.
  • Parallel workflows: Parallel workflows are those that occur when multiple tasks are performed simultaneously. A process that usually falls into this category would be employee onboarding. Multiple tasks, from setting up workspace to procuring new devices and equipment, can be done at the same time.

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What Does A Workflow Look Like?

Workflows are used in various processes, from simple tasks such as paying an electric bill to more complex tasks like funding a business loan. The workflow process for the former task likely involves the following steps:

  1. Receive the bill
  2. Review the bill
  3. Approve payment
  4. Disburse the funds for payment

However, all workflows aren’t so straightforward as there are instances when complications can arise between each step. To handle such instances, a workflow can have conditions, branches, and loops.

Workflow tools such as flowcharts and process maps are often used when representing workflows in a visual canvas. An example of a workflow process for hiring an employee shown using a flowchart would be similar to one shown below:

You can also take a look at the video below to get a better idea about what a workflow looks like.

What Is Workflow Management?

Workflow management is the process of creating, documenting, monitoring, and improving a workflow. It enables businesses to optimize workflows to ensure each step is completed correctly, consistently and efficiently.

A workflow can include any series of steps that may be carried out by multiple combinations of people, systems, or machines. But as structured as they may be, there are many instances when workflows can be optimized.

For example, there might be superfluous steps in your workflow that are taking up valuable time. After identifying and removing those steps, you can speed up the execution of tasks in the workflow, all while reducing the resources required to complete the task.

Workflow management is all about optimizing, improving, and automating workflows whenever possible to increase efficiency and maximize output. If implemented properly, workflow management can continuously improve workflows within your organization.

Why Should You Create Workflows In Your Business?

It’s obvious to see how beneficial workflows can be for businesses. However, while most business owners can intellectually understand why workflows can be so important, it’s hard to get a good grasp of the idea unless you have actually seen it in action.

Workflows can help dramatically improve your business by streamlining and automating repeatable business tasks. It can also help managers make smarter decisions quicker while promoting productivity in employees by eliminating the need to manually handle low-value tasks.

If utilized properly, you can give your business an extra edge. In a sense, it’s like turning rusty old equipment to a well-oiled machine.

Here are a few reasons why you should create workflows in your business.

  • Better understanding of your business process: Workflows allow you to better understand your business processes by giving you a complete picture of all the tasks.
  • With this understanding, you can take more informed decisions and improve the entire business process, boosting both efficiency and productivity.
  • Identifying redundancies: It’s very likely that there are several unnecessary tasks in your business that are taking place every day. When you have a greater understanding of your business processes, you can identify and address these redundancies.
  • This allows you to free up valuable time and redirect it to tasks that are more important. Additionally, it also reduces the room for human error, as unnecessary steps that had to be done manually will be eliminated.

Faster execution of workflows: When redundancies in the business process have been identified and eliminated, it facilitates faster execution of workflows. This, once again, saves time and reduces cost.

How To Use A Workflow Process To Improve Your Business (With Clustdoc)

We’ve now established how workflow processes can be greatly beneficial to your business. But if you are interested in creating workflows for your business, where do you start?

Given how important they are, it can come off as a daunting task to create and execute workflows for your business processes. However, there’s really no need to be scared.

Most organizations use workflow management systems like Clustdoc to help set up, document, and monitor workflows. Clustdoc comes with libraries of pre-built workflows that can be implemented without much hassle. Furthermore, Clustdoc is also equipped with user-friendly tools that help you create new streamlined workflows with ease.

Among the plethora of features that come with Clustdoc’s workflow management tool, one of the most used features is workflow automation. This allows you to identify steps in your workflows that can be automated using defined business rules.

For instance, if you wanted to trigger notifications or specific actions that need to be taken once a certain step in your workflow has been completed, you no longer have to do it with a manual workflow. You can easily create simple or multi-step automations using Clustdoc by combining triggers and actions.

Here’s an example. Suppose you wanted to set up automation for notifying your team members about the approaching deadline. You can do that easily by setting the trigger to be a specific date (EG 3 days before deadline) and the action to be ‘Notify email addresses,’ where you enter the email addresses of the team members whom you want to be notified.

Doing this will automatically send a notification to the team members 3 days ahead of the deadline. And this is just a simple automation that can be created using Clustdoc.

If you want to take a look at the complete list of triggers and actions available in Clustdoc and how to create a Clustdoc automation, watch this video.

Aside from the aforementioned automations, Clustdoc also allows you to build digital signature workflows and collect files or documents from clients and partners.

Some Best Clustdoc Workflows To Get Inspiration From

Aside from making the creation and management of business process workflows easier, Clustdoc also helps request, receive and process files and information in an efficient and convenient manner.

From an employee onboarding checklist to dozens of application processes, Clustdoc has a library of 150+ templates that will help your business across matters related to human resources, finance, real estate, insurance, and more.

Here are some templates that you might want to check out:

Employee Onboarding Checklist:

While choosing a competent candidate for an open position is extremely important, it’s not the end of the recruitment process. New employee onboarding is just as important as it often determines whether you can set your new team member up for success.

Not only is it the best opportunity to familiarize the employee with your organization, but it’s also the prime time to make a great impression on them. However, this process can oftentimes be stressful for the employee and cost you valuable time and efficiency.

However, the process can be made much more straightforward by using this template available on Clustdoc to perform easy, paperless and secure onboarding.

New Client Onboarding Process:

The onboarding process with a customer is arguably one of the most important steps in turning a potential client into a loyal customer.

If you want to catch your client’s interest, it is imperative that you provide them with a frictionless digital onboarding solution that leaves a positive and lasting impression.

Not only can you give your potential clients a complete tour of your business through the usage of multimedia, including texts and videos, you can also collect client information in a hassle-free way with this template.

Additionally, Clustdoc’s e-signature feature helps you sign contracts within minutes, eliminating the need to waste time on signing physical copies of legal documents.

KYC/KYB Documents Checklist:

The KYC/KYB documents checklist template allows you to create an automated framework for verifying customers and sharing company information with them.

On top of ensuring that identity verification is not a cumbersome process that will turn away potential clients, Clustdoc offers a white-labeled interface that allows you to personalize the KYC/KYB process to provide your clients with a more personalized experience.

Skyrocket Your Business Growth With Clustdoc’s Workflow Automation

If you have followed us this far, I’m sure that you have now completely understood what is a workflow process and how Clustdoc can make your business workflow simpler and seamless.

In case you skipped, let me remind you how Clustdoc’s workflow automation will help you in your business workflow–

  • Automate repetitive and mundane tasks to save your time and help you focus on what is actually important for your business.
  • Add triggers to automate events that take place when a user completes the specified trigger task.
  • Create e-signing workflows to collect legally binding e-signatures from clients and stakeholders.
  • Choose from 150+ Clustdoc workflow templates and directly implement them in your business.

Now that you’re here

Clustdoc is a client onboarding orchestration platform used by modern teams around the world. With Clustdoc, you can run automated workflows for requesting, reviewing and verifying new customers’ data, documents and contracts – without juggling between tools. 

If your team is managing new customers using emails, spreadsheets and PDFs, you’ll probably love using Clustdoc.

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