5 Ways to Use Microsoft Flow (Power Automate) to Unleash the Time-Saving Possibilities of Automation

How much time do your employees spend doing manual and repetitive tasks? If you could replace just a single daily 30-minute repetitive task for 10 of your employees with an automated workflow, it would save 25 hours per week and be like hiring another part-time employee.

Automation isn’t just convenient it offers significant cost-saving benefits and improves employee moral and productivity by freeing staff up to work on more meaningful and less menial tasks.

According to research by McKinsey & Company, approximately 45% of all paid tasks can be automated.

So, how do you automate tasks in multiple cloud solutions? Through the use of an automation tool like Power Automate, which is formerly known as Microsoft Flow.

The basics of how Power Automate works is to enable communication throughout hundreds of applications so you can share data and transmit commands from one to another, automating your workflows.

Benefits of automation are many, including:

  • Ability to do more in less time
  • Reducing error rates
  • Improving customer follow up
  • Providing consistency across workflows
  • Freeing up staff to focus on more important tasks

How Can I Use Power Automate at My Office?

How would you like to be able to send an automated email alert with supply list to your office manager when they’re within 2 miles of the office supply store? How about having tailored information emailed to your leads without having to remember to do it manually?

One thing about Power Automate is that it can positively impact workflows in a wide variety of areas. The easiest way to conceptualize how it works is through the “If this, then that” method.

For example, IF (something occurs) THEN (do that thing). The IF portion of the equation is called the “trigger” and it kicks off what happens next.

Triggers can fall into three main categories:

  • Automated trigger: This happens when something occurs, such as when a new lead comes in from your website, your sales team is automatically emailed with their details.
  • Scheduled trigger: This is when you have certain activities that run on a schedule, such as emailing everyone a sales report at the beginning of the day.
  • Button trigger: This would be an automation that you want to initialize yourself by pushing a button, such as notifying everyone of a status update on a particular project.

Let’s go through several ways you can use Power Automate’s capabilities to improve your office workflows.

Automate Approvals

Often one of the bottlenecks of a process is when something is waiting to be approved. Such as this week’s suggested social media posts. The person that needs to approve them, doesn’t realize they’re ready, so nothing ends up going out.

Using the power of your cloud software and Power Automate, instead you can set up a workflow where new social media posts are entered into a SharePoint list. Whenever a new list item is added, the appropriate person is notified, they click to approve, and the post is automatically sent out. Or if they don’t approve it, their edits are emailed to the person who created it.

Improve Customer Service

Say you send out a yearly survey to your clients to see how you’re doing and if there are any areas of improvement. When they come back via email, someone has to collate all the data, sort through them to find any that made suggestions, and then email the appropriate responses.

This entire process can be streamlined with a multi-step automation that goes something like this:

  • Use Microsoft Forms to create your client survey.
  • If anyone clicks “Suggestions” or if you’re scored less than 5, trigger an email the customer support manager
  • When a form is received email all clients a thank you that corresponds to the overall rating that they gave your company
  • Populate an Excel document with all form responses

Share Data to Reduce Reentry

Reentering data from one program into another eats up time and can lead to keying errors. Because Power Automate can connect to so many different programs, it’s able to facilitate data sharing between them.

One example is to create new task in Microsoft planner whenever an Outlook task is created, meaning you don’t have to transfer anything manually and your task resides just where you need it.

Improve File Retention

Trying to keep track of all the attachments that are sent to your office email addresses can be challenging and lead to file loss if a computer crashes or an email and the attachment are accidentally deleted.

You can improve your file retention and make sure nothing is lost by using Power Automate to automatically save Office 365 email attachments into OneDrive for Business as they come in.

Supercharge Your Sales Team

Salespeople are talking to so many different leads and clients in a day, it can be difficult to remember that Client A just got a promotion or Client B loves talking about cars. Give your sales team their very own virtual assistant with some helpful automations.

Use the proximity trigger in Power Automate to set up triggers for your team when they’re within a mile of a client’s office address. The trigger can send them a cheat sheet of client facts via text notification, so instead of having to keep a days’ worth of appointment data in their head, they get all the pertinent client info sent to them just before they walk in the door.

Automate and Accelerate Your Office

The beauty of workflow automations is that once they’re set up, they just keep on working consistently day after day and year after year. Neuron Computers can help you supercharge your office through use of custom Power Automate triggers and automations.

Contact us today to see just how much time you can save. Call 1-833-4-NEURON or reach out online.