How to identify digital workflow opportunities for your business

May 20th 2020

A core component of the transition to paperless is leveraging digital technology to support your business processes and workflows, but how do you know where digital technology can be added to your normal business processes? We’ve put together this guide to help you identify digital workflow opportunities for your business.

1. Create a step by step breakdown

The first step in identifying digital workflow opportunities is deconstructing your business processes into the individual steps taken to carry out the task. For each activity or task in your workflow, put together a mock “how to” guide on how to do it, documenting each step you need to take to complete the task.

2. Highlight where you capture or receive information

Take a look at each of your deconstructed business processes and identify where you capture new information, such as by fax, email or submitted paper forms. Also identify where you receive information, this could be accessing documents in a file cabinet, collecting data on-site, or any other way you access your documents or information as part of your workflow.

3. Highlight how you transform or process information

Once you know how you get the information, highlight how you transform or process the information. Some examples are:

  • A review process for documents.
  • Finding a matching purchase order reference to a new invoice.
  • Updating a spreadsheet.
  • Forwarding an email.

4. Highlight how you store information

The final thing to highlight is how you currently store your information. Do you print off the document and put it in a file cabinet, do you enter it into an online system, or fax it to someone else? Note down each step in which you store a document or information somewhere as part of your business process.

5. Identify apps that could improve your highlighted steps

Now that you have the key parts of your business process identified, the final thing to do is identify digital alternatives to these 3 key areas. When considering digital alternatives, also consider how one app our automation could replace multiple steps in these different areas, such as using Zapier to automate commonly repeated steps.

Here are a few solutions to consider:

  • Xero for processing and storing your accounting information, such as purchase orders and invoices.
  • Locale Central for converting your paper forms into digital, capturing your on-site data, and storing it.
  • Google Drive for storing, accessing, and sharing your documents.

Research other technology solutions, keeping your key highlighted steps in mind, to identify opportunities to turn your workflow digital.

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