How to automate manual processes in your business

How much time is your team wasting on repetitive tasks? If you aren’t leveraging automation, your business is likely leaving money on the table. It’s easy to get trapped in the same manual processes you’ve been using for years. But if you want to help your business grow, you need to incorporate technology solutions and automate as much as possible.

Manual business processes vs automation

A manual process relies on humans to complete each task. Here are a few distinct differences between manual business processes and automated solutions:

  • Task management. Manual processes require a person to oversee every step and assign tasks to team members. Automated processes use preprogrammed solutions to auto-assign tasks and approvals.
  • Communication. Conversations get messy when you spread communication across multiple platforms. When you move from manual to automated processes, your team will benefit from a centralized communication system within the management tool.
  • Document management. Manual document management is tedious, especially when digital and physical forms aren’t in an organized system. Automation streamlines this process, making it easy to access forms — because they’re all in the same place.
  • Audit trail. When an audit trail is necessary, it adds a burden to the manual process. Team members have to keep records to track steps, and details often fall through the cracks. Automation logs every action, creating a verifiable audit trail without human intervention.
  • Reminders. Each time you send a reminder, you have to type the message and send it to the recipients. Automated solutions have built-in notification solutions to distribute messages at specified times.

Reasons to automate manual processes

When you implement automation, it reduces the number of issues that commonly arise in manual processes. Not only does workflow automation speed up the completion of repetitive tasks, but it also plays a role in improved employee productivity and overall results.

Using automated tools reduces the amount of time your team members have to spend on busywork. As a result, the risk of human error goes down. Your system relies less on manual labor, helping lower overhead labor costs. Manual processes limit growth opportunities, which is why automated processes are essential if you’re preparing to scale up.

Reducing redundancies and minimizing human errors leads to higher efficiency and faster turnaround times. Ultimately, the goal is to improve the customer experience, which keeps people coming back to your business when they’re ready to purchase again in the future.

Automation help from Jotform 

Jotform offers no-code solutions to build automation into your business. Create automated workflows using a variety of predesigned form templates, or design the ideal form from scratch to fit your business needs.

Jotform table templates are the ideal solution when you need to track and manage automated workflows. Form submissions populate your table templates, giving you a single database to review and track information.

Additionally, approval templates are the perfect solution to ensure clear communication and avoid common issues in the workflow. These approvals send automatic notifications to keep the project on schedule at all times.

Industry examples for automation opportunities

Automation solutions are available for nearly every department in your organization. These examples illustrate ways you can use digital forms and automate workflows:

  • Human resources. Streamline your processes by automating documents related to hiring and employee management — like job applications, onboarding materials, employee information, time-off requests, and employee evaluations.
  • Marketing. Leverage Jotform’s marketing forms to manage surveys, subscription forms, client registrations, sales questionnaires, demographic data, appointment forms, event registrations, and business promotions.
  • Customer support. Gather customer information using feedback forms, customer complaint forms, satisfaction surveys, information requests, call back records, call logs, appointment forms, and product registration forms.
  • Sales. Organize sales funnels with a variety of automation solutions, including order forms, contracts, lead forms, product returns, and estimate forms.
  • IT. When you need to keep track of tech support, use these IT forms to help automate the process. Available documents include bug reporting forms, IT repair requests, software survey forms, hardware requests, and CRM support tickets.

These examples highlight just a fraction of the many things you can automate in your business. As you prepare for future business growth, invest the time to upgrade each manual process with digital tools and automation.

This article is originally published on Aug 06, 2021, and updated on Jan 26, 2023.
Aytekin Tank is the founder and CEO of Jotform and the author of Automate Your Busywork. A developer by trade but a storyteller by heart, he writes about his journey as an entrepreneur and shares advice for other startups. He loves to hear from Jotform users. You can reach Aytekin from his official website

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