Exploring Microsoft Flow: How it helps your business

microsoft flow blog

Inefficiency is the biggest challenge for growing Australian organisations. Whether it be accounting, human resources, or marketing, every department is slowed down by repetitive and time-consuming tasks like data entry. To overcome these challenges, companies need to identify operational bottlenecks and, more importantly, automate.

Workflow automation tools eliminate the many manual processes plaguing businesses today. They allow users to map out workflows and program-specific actions. Although this sounds complicated, Microsoft Flow makes automation intuitive and gives companies a competitive edge.  

What is Microsoft Flow?

Microsoft Flow is an Office 365 cloud solution that automates tasks across multiple apps and services. For example, when someone uploads files to OneDrive for Business, an automated workflow could send notifications to other users via Microsoft Teams. Even recurring multi-step business processes can be automated, and you don’t need prior coding experience to do it.

From data collection and approval to notifications and events, Flow provides an extensive library of premade workflows for various scenarios. However, if there aren’t any templates that fit your requirements, you can make one from scratch. Flow also integrates with apps like Dynamics 365, Office 365, Facebook, Mailchimp, and Twitter to give you more automation opportunities. Below are some of the ways Flow supports your operations.

Seamless HR processes

Common HR processes are perfect candidates for automation. For starters, Flow can be programmed to instantly send employment contracts, non-disclosure agreements, and other relevant paperwork to new hires on their starting date. You can also create email alerts for various departments to initiate the orientation process when employees are added to the company’s HR system.

As for everyday HR tasks, there are premade Flows for routing leave requests and performance reviews to required approvers. Additionally, Flow lets you design timesheets that track payable hours with a click of a button and forwards them to payroll for processing. By incorporating this tool in all aspects of HR, your staff spends less time on tedious paperwork and more time on value-added projects.

Error-free accounts payable 

Even on their best day, accounts payable (AP) employees make invoicing mistakes. They can misplace records, forget deadlines, or enter the wrong information in the database. Whatever the case may be, the root of the issue is almost always because everything is done by hand. 

Flow eliminates inefficient paper-based processes. You can program a workflow that instantly extracts information from invoices in document management systems like SharePoint and sends it to your accounting database. Another workflow then routes the invoice to the appropriate manager for approvals and eventually payment.

Flow is also able to send email reminders to AP managers when there are outstanding invoices with approaching deadlines. This ensures invoices go through standard business procedures with zero mistakes and secures early payment discounts.

Enhanced marketing presence

Flows makes it easy to manage your brand. The software can automatically compile social media mentions of your company on a spreadsheet and give you daily updates on market trends. A simple workflow even provides real-time updates on survey and email campaign performance, enabling key decision makers to improve online marketing strategies. 

Streamlined customer service 

Prompt response times allow you to capitalise on prospective clients. The best way to do this is to automate marketing processes. For instance, when someone adds a potential client’s contact information to the company database, an automated workflow sends push notifications to representatives for verification.

Then, a workflow can trigger your Dynamics 365 system to send a welcome package and email discussing your company’s services. If recipients don’t reply within a given timeframe, Flow can remind your staff to send follow-up messages. This encourages your team to be more proactive about turning leads into paying customers.

Microsoft Flow can fit into every facet of your business. However, the aforementioned processes merely scratch the surface of what the workflow automation software is capable of. In fact, the processes you can automate are practically limitless. Just call the support engineers at Empower IT to learn more about Flow and create your very own workflows. We’ll also show you how you can improve productivity, reduce mistakes, and get an edge over the competition.