Workflow automation software enables organizations to complete everyday processes with efficiency. By removing the need for manual input in a wide array of areas, modern automation apps have transformed the business landscape.
However, it’s understandable if you feel overwhelmed if you’re currently in the market for an app. There are hundreds of options on the market, with specialized solutions for marketing, sales, team management, contract management, and more.
This guide explains how workflow automation software works and what to look for in a provider. We also review some of the most popular apps. Although the information applies to automation software generally, we’ve focused on document management solutions as they represent an essential and core element of a typical software suite.
Definition of Workflow Automation Software
Workflow automation software streamlines day-to-day business processes and often encompasses all aspects of an organization’s operations. It is used to understand, organize and automate tasks like document creation, team management, employee and client tracking, data storage, etc.
Workflow automation tools tend to have the following features:
- Workflow process builder - This is where users create a visual representation of a process and connect automated tasks to create a cohesive workflow.
- Team management tools - Many areas of team management can be automated with the help of pre-set notifications, collaboration areas, and alerts for work to be reviewed.
- Integrations with other apps - Workflow apps communicate with different solutions to complete tasks, particularly those used for accounting, customer relationship management (CRM), and online storage. As such, they tend to come with large integration libraries.
- Tracking and analytics - Workflow apps have tracking tools for measuring employee performance, task efficiency, and client responses and conversions.
What Is Document Workflow Automation Software?
Document management apps deal specifically with document workflow processes. They are a specific type of workflow automation software. Many companies view their document management app as an essential and central part of their technology suite.
Standard features of document management solutions include online editing, employee management, client tracking, integrations with other apps, access to templates, and secure cloud storage.
Because document management typically consumes a lot of staff time, automating key tasks can save significant resources.
Document Workflow Apps: Top 3 Picks
Here’s our roundup of three of the top document workflow apps currently available:
- PandaDoc - PandaDoc is a comprehensive document workflow automation and electronic signature solution. It has become one of the most highly respected brands in the space. Features include document editing, employee management, analytics, and an extensive suite of automation tools. Users also have access to a library of pre-written templates and can leverage an array of integrations with other apps. Small businesses and individuals can also take advantage of one of the best long-term free plans on the market, with no caps on the number of documents that can be sent for signing.
- DocuSign - DocuSign is another well-known brand in the workflow automation and document management space. Although best known for its dedicated e-signature tool, DocuSign now offers more advanced workflow automation tools as part of its “Agreement Cloud,” which includes contract lifecycle management and in-depth analytics features. You’ll need to get in touch with DocuSign directly to discuss pricing.
- Proposify - Proposify bills itself as “proposal automation software,” and its extensive feature set reflects that description. The app is geared towards larger companies and is designed to accommodate multiple users. It has all the functionality you would expect from a document workflow automation app, including templates, notifications, analytics, in-document payment buttons, and integrations. However, many of the advanced features are only available on the “Business” plan, which is only suitable for teams of ten people or more.