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How No- and Low-code Automation Can Change the Game for SMBs

3 Mins read

Here’s how organizations can transform how employees get work done more efficiently than ever 

The pressure to keep up with technological advancements while meeting ever-evolving customer demands has always been a challenge for small and medium sized businesses, which make up 98% of businesses worldwide. While large enterprises with considerable IT budgets may have the resources or a dedicated team to experiment with new solutions, small but mighty businesses with fewer resources are looking to be more efficient and grow with what they have.

Enter no- and low-code automation, which makes it faster and easier for anyone—regardless of technical expertise— to automate tasks by connecting the tools they work with daily into workflows. Automation makes it easier to understand what’s happening across functions and collaborate across systems. It also helps employees work faster to keep up with customer demand and helps all departments stay aligned, so it’s clear what human-centric work to prioritize.

Here are three specific scenarios to illustrate the point.

Aligning fractured systems across departments

The challenge

When a new hire starts at your company, your finance team may use one tool to manage the payroll system, payment schedules, and more, while someone in HR uses others to capture onboarding notes and materials These frameworks create fragmented information and friction in collaboration, making it hard to gain a clear, 360-degree view of the business.

The application

A recruiter can set up a no- or low-code workflow so that they fill out a form with all new-hire information only once. When we do this in Slack, that workflow can simultaneously update a status across multiple systems. The recruiter and the new hire interact with only one interface when filling out forms, no matter what payroll or onboarding platforms they use. A low-code solution handles the complexity of managing data across multiple systems, even when solutions are tweaked as the business grows.

The outcome

When repetitive or complex processes are automated, the gains in productivity and departmental alignment are incredible, putting businesses on a more even playing field. It’s an investment that pays out in a big way.

Standardizing information intake

The challenge

Business owners are often too busy running their companies to deal with setting up the right processes and procedures required to keep things running smoothly. However, they need to take this necessary step to grow and scale.

The application

A bakery, much like an office, has multiple departments functioning simultaneously. Someone is baking the bread, someone is at the cash register, and someone is ordering supplies. Each department experiences different issues. A bakery owner can set up a workflow to enable team members to report when supplies are running low. By standardizing what information is needed, such as product supply type, what amount is left, who from the team needs it, etc., the owner can expedite orders by reducing intake time. This helps team members know where to go to report supply needs and helps improve transparency about inventory.

The outcome

By standardizing processes with a simple intake solution, follow-up and status checks can happen with minimal effort. In the early stages of a business, especially for smaller operations, time means a lot. These no- and low-code solutions can help ensure things don’t fall through the cracks when the bakery is busy and it’s “all hands on deck.” A clear, standardized information intake can save a lot of money right away.

Automating repetitive processes

The challenge

Engineering teams at startups need to track the health of their systems. Monitoring for exceptional or poor performance issues takes precious time that teams can use more productively to help the business grow.

The application

When an engineering team member reports a severe bug on their tracking tool, it usually remains invisible in the system that tracks it. To solve this, customize a workflow that notifies the team when a severe issue is reported so everyone can swarm around and resolve it.

The outcome

Customizable, low-code automation enables users to create the tools and processes they need to minimize time spent on repetitive work. Enhanced context and transparency into repeat issues can significantly increase efficiency. As low-code solutions integrate with legacy systems, operators will become more efficient, leaving more time for customer service and swarming.

Getting started

So, you’ve decided to incorporate no- and low-code automation into your business. Now what? First, take the time to set up simple processes early on. Doing so can increase workflow value because as work compounds over time, the archive of information is more manageable if structured correctly.

Shifting your focus to properly setting up and adopting automation allows you to improve business outcomes now. Aligning fractured systems, standardizing information intake, and automating repetitive processes are just a few ways automation can support businesses!

Rod Garcia is VP of Engineering, Platform at Slack, where he leads the engineering execution of the new Developer Experience and Workflows Automation/no code tools for the Slack Platform.

No code automation stock image by Andrei Metelev/Shutterstock

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