Two Companies That Used Workflow Automation to Drive Growth & Revenue

Stephen Altrogge
August 28, 2018
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How Workflow Automation Drives Revenue
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It’s no secret that workflow automation is a big deal these days. Any time you can eliminate tedious, repetitive tasks, you’re setting yourself up for a win.

The numbers back this up.

Research has shown that inefficient workflows can cost your company up to 30% in revenue. That’s a staggering number. Things as seemingly insignificant as missed signatures and delayed emails mean more work for other people and a significant chunk of your bottom line.

Additionally, a whopping 99% of companies waste precious time and resources on inefficient tasks, with managers spending as much as 20% of their weeks on simple, repetitive administrative tasks.

The obvious solution is to automate these inefficient workflows, but that’s easier said than done. If a workflow is really going to be effective, it must seamlessly run with minimal energy from employees. And, it needs to work every time or your employees simply won’t be able to trust it.

However, if you can automate repetitive workflows, the benefits are enormous.

They include:

  • Eliminating the distractions that often come with tedious tasks. If your employees are free to focus on truly engaging work, they won’t be as easily sucked into social media, news sites, and other common distractions.
  • Reducing the burden on your customer support staff. Every time a workflow task is missed, your customer support team has to get involved. Automating tasks ensures they aren’t missed.
  • Improving management efficiency. Managers spend an inordinate amount of time ensuring things keep moving and employees stay focused. Automation allows managers to spend their hours on things that actually move the needle.
  • Improving onboarding processes. Depending on the industry, customer onboarding can involve significant amounts of manual work (think filling out paperwork). When this manual work is automated, customer retention increases significantly.
  • Improving sales team efficiency. Salespeople often rely on manual processes to close deals. Whether it’s gathering information or getting contracts signed, automating these workflows allows sales teams to regain large chunks of time.

At this point, you’re probably thinking, This all sounds great but what does it actually look like in the real world?

Here are two case studies showing the power of automation to improve efficiency and increase revenue.

JobAdder Makes Recruitment Simple

An image showing the JobAdder product on a laptop and two mobile phones

JobAdder was founded by Brett Iredale to achieve one thing: simplify recruitment.

Iredale wanted to create a cloud-based software that would bring together standard recruiting tasks that, in the past, have been scattered across disparate platforms (think searching careers websites, completing online timesheets, and electric signing for documents).

The JobAdder team knew that a critical part of this software would be an electronic signature function. Recruiters needed a way to easily collect relevant information and legally binding signatures on everything from job applications to offers to time sheets.

Using Dropbox Sign’s API and “Embedded Templates” feature, JobAdder was able to create a single documents dashboard in which recruiters could quickly and easily create recruitment documents, send them to candidates, and get them back with the appropriate signatures and information.

By using easily editable templates, recruiters are spared the pain of having to recreate the same document for every potential job candidate and can quickly collect information that would have taken days to gather in the past.


An image of three men breaking a printer from the movie Office Space on the left side with a quote from JobAdder on the right side

The integration of Dropbox Sign with JobAdder has significantly improved the efficiency of recruiters, allowing them to quickly perform manual tasks that previously took hours. Additionally, the speed of the recruitment and hiring processes have also been significantly increased due to the speed at which documents can be signed and sent back and forth.

A secondary, but no less important benefit, is that the JobAdder team has been able to completely eliminate “old school” communication hardware, such as fax machines, scanners, and printers. Tasks that were previously paper-based have been digitized, improving efficiency across the board.

Instacart Supercharges Onboarding

Instacart illustration

Instacart, the popular on-demand shopping service, found themselves struggling to keep up with the speed of their growth. They rely on thousands of vetted personal shoppers to purchase and deliver groceries, and in their early stages they used an online portal to handle all the necessary paperwork.

The process was laborious, relying heavily on PDFs, which are notoriously difficult to edit and sign, especially on mobile devices. Only 37% of applicants were able to complete the documentation in under an hour and the level of friction caused many potential shoppers to simply abandon the process. Instacart needed a way to quickly and easily onboard qualified personal shoppers if they were going to meet the demand for their services.

The company had already implemented Dropbox Sign’s electronic signature API, but now they needed to streamline their process even further. They wanted to digitize and automate their entire onboarding workflow, from end-to-end.

Dropbox Forms allowed them to do just that.

By integrating Dropbox Forms within their app, Instacart was able to dramatically simplify the personal shopper onboarding process. New applicants initiate the workflow by filling in basic information, such as name, email address, home address, etc.

Dropbox Forms then takes this information and automatically populates duplicate fields across all the onboarding forms, significantly reducing the amount of information applicants must enter. And because they’re using the Dropbox Forms platform rather than PDFs, the entire process can be easily done on a mobile device.


A chart showing Instacart's onboarding process before and after the introduction of Dropbox Forms

By integrating Dropbox Forms with their app, Instacart was able massively improve their onboarding process and dramatically reduce the drop-off rate (the completion rate tripled!).

As Instacart noted:

Dropbox Forms has allowed Instacart to create a seamless onboarding experience for our shoppers. All of the steps that a shopper needs to get started are now housed entirely in the app, which we couldn’t have accomplished without the Dropbox Forms solution.

Additionally, validation rules within Dropbox Forms reduced input errors so much that the Instacart team has been able to save 50 hours per week in processing shopper paperwork.

Finally, data that was previously locked in PDFs and had to be manually transferred to the Instacart database now transferred immediately and seamlessly.

Creating A Paperless World

In an episode of The Office, Michael Scott directs a commercial for Dunder-Mifflin, the paper company he works for. As part of the commercial, he comes up with the hilariously absurd slogan, “Limitless Paper In A Paperless World.” The irony, of course, is that Dunder-Mifflin couldn’t survive in a paperless world (and what does “Limitless Paper” mean?).

While we certainly believe that there is value in some types of paper documents, we believe there is enormous value in a mostly paperless world, at least when it comes to workflows.

And we’re not alone in this conviction. As JobAdder andInstacart demonstrate, automating workflows improves efficiency, increases customer satisfaction, and ultimately improves the bottom line.

So here’s to you Michael Scott.  

Animation of Steve Carell saying "NO" as Michael Scott in "The Office"

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