Microsoft SharePoint is the ultimate choice of organizations that are seeking proficient business process automation solution due to its high effectiveness. Although the SharePoint workflows have some constraints, having efficient third-party management can produce amazing results.
When used in combination with other efficient automation platforms and technologies like Nintex workflows, SharePoint can help in streamlining business operations, reducing costs, improving customer service, increasing efficiency and providing consistency for business processes that involve dense documentation. This blog deliberates about different business processes that can be automated using SharePoint.
SharePoint workflow automation allows its stakeholders to create and assign tasks to a suitable person, based on where the item is added in the workflow. SharePoint workflows can help a business in streamlining the time and cost that is required to communicate standard processes of business such as document review, task/document/project approval and feedback by tracking and managing all the tasks involved.
SharePoint workflow automation assists foster teamwork and collaboration of documents and project management while implementing the defined business process on the SharePoint site. This, in turn, helps organizations to stay consistent throughout their operation while improving their overall productivity and efficiency. Below we have discussed some of the ways SharePoint can be used to automate business processes.
Document Approval & Feedback
Modern business organizations are overloaded with documents. Additionally, these overabundant documents are also required to pass through multiple hands for approval. Contracts, proposals, service agreements, employee training material, sales presentations, employee appraisal forms, and many other important documents often pass through multiple steps for approval and feedback before they are available for use.
With SharePoint, the entire process of document management could become hassle-free. SharePoint serves as an efficient and convenient resource for document management, which allows its stakeholders to provide feedback and approval instantly as the new document makes its way through the workflow. With SharePoint, multiple users can edit and review documents online, while contributing to the project without any confusion as all the changes are instantly saved to the latest version.
SharePoint approval workflow also routes the documents automatically to the preceding party, while also assigning task reviews and follow-up reminders to ensure that the work is getting done with complete efficiency. The document feedback and approval process can result in severe backlogs for enterprises that do not have an efficient document management system in place.
In case of delays, SharePoint warns owners when they need to interpose. Using smart, built-in features of SharePoint to edit, upload, and manage documents allows business organizations to accelerate their document approval process.
No matter what size of the organization is, having a fragmented process of employee on-boarding and off-boarding may cause big problems. New employees require an accurate and efficient way to receive all the necessary information that they need to perform their duties responsibly.
Likewise, existing employees are required to be managed effectively so that no legal issues may arise, and also no loss of employee knowledge occurs. Both of these concerns can be effectively managed with the help of SharePoint workflow processes to streamline the way employees enter and exit the organization.
Some of the employee on-boarding and off-boarding process automation that can be achieved through SharePoint may include the following;
- Online submission of the forms to a central data repository that is easily accessible to the concerned authorities, employees, and department all the time.
- Workflow alerts and automation to expedite on-boarding approvals while avoiding to miss any deadlines.
- Highly protected and secured online portals to limit any unauthorized access to the proprietary and sensitive assets and information of existing employees.
Customer Service Request & Customer Support
SharePoint is unparalleled in powers when it comes to managing and organizing tasks. This robust feature of SharePoint is extremely useful for managing customer service and support requests.
With SharePoint, companies can configure to support various activities related to customer services to reduce the amount of time it takes to respond to customers’’ requests. By doing so, companies can attain higher levels of customer satisfaction and increased employee efficiency.
SharePoint can automate the customer service and support process by providing incident tracking for service request, order status and shipment, status update for the technical resolutions, scheduling of customer service appointments, monitoring progress of complaint resolution process, and also by alerting assigned customer service representative or manager about the status changes and the issuance of new tickets.
SharePoint automation is helping the organizations to keep up with the increasing customer demand for personalized and fast services while easing some pressure on their busy customer support and service departments.
Scheduling employees is crucial for the smooth functioning of any organization because inaccurate tracking of paid-time-off (PTO) is costly. However, tracking PTO and holiday time for a large enterprise with hundreds or thousands of employees could be a draining task, especially for the HR employees and management.
Using Work 365 Leave and Time Management, in conjunction with SharePoint, can help employees submitting time-off requests while allowing managers to approve these requests and updating the available time-off to the system automatically. So that other employees, managers, and HR always have an accurate account of available and use PTO.
SharePoint is a robust platform for business process automation that can help organizations to mechanize their time-taking and tiring tasks to enhance their workplace collaboration and productivity.
The methods mentioned above are only a few ways in which SharePoint can be used for business process automation.
Business Process Automation Through SharePoint Offers Following Benefits to Companies
Along with the basic workflow capabilities to support simple business processes such as document approval etc., Microsoft SharePoint is also facilitating companies that want to automate and optimize their critical business processes.
With SharePoint, businesses can benefit from business process applications that are sized for their proportions, while simultaneously leveraging other Microsoft technologies for content management, collaboration, UI design, and integrated communications. Companies using SharePoint for business process automation enjoy the following benefits.
- Coordinated execution of complex content processes across the enterprise.
- Provide large-scale process management applications on the SharePoint platform.
- Initiation of processes after the arrival of certain documents (e.g. invoices or claims) in SharePoint or after the occurrence of other events related to content (e.g. credit check, control of customer orders).
- Monitoring and analysis of or reporting on current or historical process activities using SQL databases.
- Create and simulate process models with Visio, review their operational capabilities, or quantify recommendations for process changes.
- Leverage unified voice and text communications within the process application to improve the visibility of essential business requirements, resolve problems faster, and build a process-specific knowledge base.
- Developing process applications using a library of over 40 customizable SharePoint Web Parts to rapidly provide a work environment that motivates employees.
This SharePoint workflow tutorial, we learned various benefits of Business Process Automation through SharePoint Online or SharePoint 2013/2016.
I am Bijay from Odisha, India. Currently working in my own venture TSInfo Technologies in Bangalore, India. I am Microsoft Office Servers and Services (SharePoint) MVP (5 times). I works in SharePoint 2016/2013/2010, SharePoint Online Office 365 etc. Check out My MVP Profile.. I also run popular SharePoint web site SPGuides.com