Businesses can Save $1m in Costs with Workflow Automation

3rd Jun, 2024

Workflow automation can help businesses make significant cost savings.

A study conducted by Forrester Research has found impressive results in several areas relating to the implementation of automated workflows in businesses. Forrester found that by setting up just three autonomous workflows, enterprise level businesses can save an average of 26,660 worker hours every year. 

As part of the research, Forrester interviewed five large-scale businesses and learned that an organisation’s experiences can save over $1m compared to costs of $480k when transitioning to a digital ecosystem. This study provides compelling evidence that businesses can make substantial savings when they create a digital ecosystem and use automated workflows in their processes. 

There are several ways that document automation can be used to streamline businesses through effective digitisation. Examples from the Forrester research include:

  • Credit control – when large businesses automate incoming email invoices it can remove the workload for two financial administrators, saving a total of $356.9K across three years. 
  • Recruitment and onboarding – implementing automation in this section of a business enables new team members to access everything they need from their first day. This resolves the reduction in productivity that occurs when helping a new employee get set up, complete their starter pack etc. Enterprise businesses can save $654.8K across three years. 
  • IT systems – businesses involved in the survey said that IT departments could automate mundane and low-value tasks, allowing them to spend more time on more valuable projects. This automation is worth $273,266 in total savings across three years. 
  • General business improvements – the businesses described various ways in which they had improved with workflow automation, including happier employees, reduced time-to-market (33%), and increased revenue (4.3%). These benefits were not included in the financial analysis part of the research as they are subjective and can vary between different organisations.

Cost savings on paper and hardware

Gartner’s research estimated that total print costs, including hardware, maintenance, and supplies accounts for between 1% and 3% of a company’s overall revenue. This might seem like a small percentage but it can quickly build up, and for larger businesses, it can be a large and unnecessary expense.

For example, it could be that for every $100,000 you earn in revenue, you may be spending up to $3,000 on printing and paper. By switching to digital solutions, you can remove this cost and benefit from significant savings in your revenue that can be better allocated to other important areas of your organisation.

 

Time savings with workflow automation

In addition to the significant cost savings that can be made by implementing a digital ecosystem with workflow automation, businesses can also benefit from time savings too. Especially when it comes to time-consuming, manual tasks. 

Research from McKinsey Digital estimates that 60% of employees can save an average of 30% of their time with workflow automation. They also discovered that 30% of sales-specific activities can be automated, leading to a reduction in order processing time and a cost reduction of between 10% and 15%. Time and cost savings go hand in hand when it comes to the benefits of businesses using digital ecosystems. The more time you save often equates to the cost savings you can make. 

Thomas Taylor, Managing Director of E-Sign said:

“E-Sign wants to help companies demonstrate, justify, and realise the tangible value of IT initiatives and digital ecosystems. It’s clear to see from the various studies that there are many compelling benefits to transitioning to a digital way of working. As well as the notable cost savings, there are many ways that workflow automation can support businesses looking to make efficiencies and boost productivity.”

 

Increased accuracy through digital ecosystems

E-signatures increase workflow accuracy

One study claimed that data accuracy increased by 88% when using workflow automation, which is a greater increase than any other method of document processing. It also found that 32% of organisations encountered less human errors after introducing workflow automation, resulting in better productivity, efficiency, and accuracy. 

Accuracy is extremely important for many businesses across various industries who regularly handle sensitive or high-value documents. Therefore, by going fully digital with your document processes and utilising automation, you can maintain a consistently high standard of accuracy across your workflow. This can enhance your business reputation and help generate growth and profit for your organisation. 

One small mistake can lead to problems within your workflow and could be detrimental to your costs. So, minimising the risk of errors as much as possible is key to reducing unnecessary costs as well as the other benefits it provides. A report by Zapier highlighted that 34% of small to mid sized businesses using workflow automation said that it decreases errors relating to data entry.

 

Improved security

Cyber security is an essential consideration for all businesses operating digitally, and with workflow automation as part of your digital ecosystem, you can ensure that your organisation is protected against hacks and breaches. In fact, it has been shown that workflow and artificial intelligence automations can detect and respond to phishing attacks up to 70% more efficiently

Having a secure infrastructure in your digital workflow not only keeps your internal data safe, but also avoids potentially significant costs to your business. Cyber attacks and data breaches can be expensive to resolve, particularly in making sure that your systems are restored to a fully secure standard, with any vulnerabilities that might have led to the breach suitably repaired. Additionally, if your organisation handles customer data which is involved in a breach, you could be at risk of a financial penalty. Therefore, it can save money and stress for your business by using secure systems within your digital ecosystem and automated workflows.

 

Streamline and automate with E-Sign

Streamline and automate workflow with esign

Through our easy integrations with a wide range of applications, E-Sign can support businesses with their digital transformation and the creation of a streamlined and secure ecosystem. As an industry-leading electronic signature provider, we offer competitive solutions that can help optimise your workflows and complete document transactions more efficiently. 

Contact us to find out more about how E-Sign can help your business reduce costs and experience the many other benefits the platform can provide.


Laura Cain

Marketing & Brand Manager

Laura is responsible for implementing, executing and overseeing the marketing strategy for the business. She works to ensure we convey eSign’s core business values across all aspects of the business and have best communication practices with our clients.

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