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Finding the perfect workflow automation tool for your small business

Published: Jul 01, 2019

As a small business owner, it isn’t unusual to feel like the underdog on some, if not all, days. With limited resources and a never-ending to-do list, operations can seem overwhelming and careen out of control pretty rapidly.

It’s precisely for these reasons that workflow tools geared towards optimizing workflows were developed. They help streamline repetitive processes, boost efficiency, and save time and costs. Automated workflows also facilitate effective resource management and bolster compliance to industrial regulations.

There are many workflow automation tools available to suit varied requirements of small and medium businesses. The key lies in choosing the one that fits your specific needs to a T.

Finding the perfect workflow automation tool for your small business

Evaluation criteria

To avoid mistakenly investing in counterproductive software, evaluate your options for the following factors.

1. Easy on the wallet 

Figure out if the pricing fits your budget. Explore if the product offers flexible pricing where users pay only for what they use. Check the fine print for hidden charges. Remember–free tools can only take you so far in your journey to enhance productivity.

2. Intuitive interface 

Tinker around with trial versions to determine if the design of the product is intuitive enough for users who have only a basic level of comfort with technology. You don’t want to spend ages figuring it out and require external expertise.

3. Highly customizable 

Some workflow management tools come with pre-designed process templates. Look for products that will allow you maximum customization with ease in order to determine the best fit for your organization.

4. Mobility 

Workflow applications that don’t have mobile versions put you at a disadvantage from the get-go. You need applications that will facilitate operations while you’re on the move.

5. Easy integration 

As far as workflow tools go, you’re better off with ones that feature good integration capabilities. It’s wasteful to pick tools that don’t integrate easily with existing applications in use.

6. Scalable 

Small businesses need applications that can grow alongside your organization. If it holds your company back, it’s not fulfilling the purpose.

Best workflow management tools for SMBs

Here are some of the top business process automation software suited for SMBs to make your search easier.

ProcessMaker

This is an open-source workflow tool for approval based business processes. It uses BPMN 2.0 notations, which requires knowhow for best use. It features an intuitive drag-and-drop interface to model processes. The customizable dashboard offers visibility into process performance. It also enables effective user management to fine-tune the product to your organization’s internal structure. ProcessMaker is a cost effective solution for small and medium businesses with a mobile app to stay productive on the go.

Kissflow

Kissflow is a no-code, intuitive workflow management tool. The drag-and-drop form builder allows users to model simple or complex processes with ease. It integrates easily with an array of applications used by small businesses. Real-time analytics and comprehensive dashboards facilitate visibility and transparency. Kissflow scales easily with businesses and helps you stay productive on the go. The conditional access feature protects sensitive data when needed.

Flokzu

Another effective low-code workflow software is Flokzu. It uses the older BPMN system so you’d be better off with knowledge of the same. It helps you meet SLAs with a deadline enforcement feature. Tasks and rule-based processes can be managed effectively. You can set up custom reports and automated emails when required. Integration with existing systems can be carried out easily via Zapier.

Process Street

Process Street allows users to automate recurring business processes. It features a simple interface with a drag-and-drop form builder. Conditional logic makes checklist-based workflows flexible as per the needs of the team. Process Street facilitates activity tracking and instant visibility of workflows in progress. Data security is maintained with advanced permissions.

Bpm’online studio

This is a suite of workflow management tools that helps streamline operations such as sales, accounting, and leads management. It offers features like WSIWYG process designer and collaboration through file-sharing and communication. The tools are highly customizable and facilitate mobility. Data security can be ensured through access rights. The suite can be deployed on-premise or as a cloud-based service.

Pipefy

Pipefy streamlines and automates processes with a Kanban-style UX. It enhances efficiency of approval workflows and task management. It integrates easily with more than 500 apps. Users can choose from predesigned process templates and customize them as needed. It also integrates with your inbox so you can send emails without signing in separately.

Find your sweet spot

Invest time to understand the issues that need to be resolved. Business goals, process requirements, technological specifications, user requirements, and customer expectations need to be considered before deciding on a workflow automation tool. After all, you want to be the underdog that rose up to defeat its challengers.