An estimated 205 billion emails are sent every day around the world. If you ever feel like you are responsible for handling almost that many by yourself, this on-demand webinar is for you! In the webinar, Richard Schoen discusses how automation can help businesses deal with email processes using business process automation with Automate Plus.
Email is critical to so many processes that there’s almost always a way email automation can streamline your operations. For example, you may receive email notifications when files are available for download from a partner website. Continually checking to see if those notifications have arrived takes time. Or maybe you receive emails from customers asking about a shipment status. It’s not only tedious and time-consuming for an employee to see the email, check the status, and reply—the delay could also be damaging to your relationship with the customer.
What Processes Can I Automate?
Business process automation is incredibly flexible. If you have a repeated process that involves inbound or outbound email, there’s a good chance you can automate it. In the webinar, Richard gave several examples:
You can set up your automation platform to intercept specific types of help desk requests like new user creation or password resets and deal with them automatically. This takes the burden off of your help desk team and allows them to spend more time on complex problems that require a human touch. Common help desk systems like ServiceNow or Zendesk can be easily integrated into your automated email processes. (Read more about how Automate Plus can help with user provisioning).
Finance departments generally receive a high volume of paper A/P invoices, and it’s usually essential that they are processed in a timely fashion. You can save time and paper by setting up an email inbox to receive the invoices. As soon as they arrive they can be automatically routed to the A/P department or a document management system for processing. (Read this article to find out more about how document management and business process automation work together.)
Customer Information Requests
There are still a lot of businesses out there that haven’t invested in a website to allow customers to check their order or shipment status, so the customers end up sending an email to request the information. There are a few ways you could streamline this process with automation. Here’s one that Richard describes in the webinar: set up a designated inbox for the requests. The customer sends an email to that inbox with their order number in the subject line. Automate Plus can verify that the sender’s email address matches the order number before sending the customer an automatic response with the order information.
In some cases you might be receiving Excel, CSV, or other files with lists of hundreds of orders. You can eliminate the need to manually key the information into another system or database by automating the receipt of the orders and the data entry. (To find out more about automating data entry and other database processes, watch this on-demand webinar.)
Reports and Other Outbound Emails
Report generation and distribution is one of Automate Plus’s most popular solutions. Often the report distribution capabilities are used to send the report to a group of stakeholders at a set time every day or every week, but the platform provides more flexibility than that. Say you have a sales rep in the field, about to board a plane to visit a customer and wanting to check that customer’s profile. The rep sends in an email request including the customer number, and Automate Plus automatically generates a customer report and sends it to the rep.
Printing Emails and Attachments
We’re big fans of eliminating paper processes, but maybe your company isn’t ready to go that far. Before you move to full email automation, an initial step may be to simply have Automate Plus monitor an email inbox and print the messages and attachments automatically as they come in. It’s not the most ideal use case, but could be a real time-saver for an organization making its first moves towards automated processes.
How can Automate Plus Help?
Using the code-free drag-and-drop Automate Plus interface, you can create automated workflows out of 600+ possible actions. Some actions likely to be key to your email processes are:
- Creating and ending sessions, including POP3, IMAP, SMTP, and Microsoft Exchange sessions
- Generating lists of messages or email headers
- Deleting messages from the servers
- Downloading and archiving emails
Automate Plus also offers several actions specific to Exchange and Office 365, like creating and modifying objects or getting object lists. Of course, the email-related actions can easily be integrated with all of Automate’s solutions.
Automate Plus users frequently set up their workflow to send them ongoing notifications of how the process is going. If you’re using Automate Plus, the Automate Plus Ops Console lets you monitor processes from any location that has an internet connection.
To see Richard demonstrate sample email automation tasks, jump to 26:05 in the video.