Which Processes Can Be Automated with a CMS? Lots.

Posted / 23 September, 2016

Author / Enginess

process automation

Learn about some common processes that can be automated with a CMS, as well as how you can recognize processes within your organization that might benefit from CMS integration.

Content management systems (CMS) are best known for simplifying online collating and publishing of content, but they can be used for so much more than that. A CMS is also a tool that can be used to automate, standardize, and streamline business processes to make your organization run more efficiently.

In this article, we cover some common processes that can be automated with a CMS, as well as how to recognize processes within your organization that might benefit from CMS integration.


Processes ripe for a CMS

man working on computer

There are many areas of a business where a CMS can streamline processes and procedures, that are also simple for your organization to adopt.


Automating Workflows

While “workflow” can be a bit of a catch-all term for many aspects of a business’s activities, most workflows follow a basic structure that can be improved with a CMS. A workflow can start with strategy, involve stakeholder consultation and sign off, revisions to the original work or idea, a few (or perhaps more than a few) iterations, publishing that work or moving the process on to the next steps in your organization.

One challenge with manual workflows is the complicated a workflow, the harder it is to know who where in the process you are, who else is involved and who gets it next.

A CMS can define roles and responsibilities and automatically direct approvals to the right people and clarifying a timeline for when things have to happen for the project to stay on track.


Digitizing and collating customer feedback

Whether it’s via surveys, questionnaires, reviews, or something else entirely, customer input into your business is invaluable. It allows you to uncover what you do well and where there’s room for improvement.

However, if you’re using a paper-based system to gather and process the raw data, collating and distilling that paper-based feedback is time-consuming and wildly inefficient. A CMS can help automate this process, making it:

  • Faster and easier
  • Less prone to errors
  • More up to date (with continuous data gathering)
  • Easier to process

Suddenly, you have access to near real-time reviews of your organization’s behaviour, making it far easier to iterate and improve in an agile way.


Collaborative project management

Oftentimes, projects are managed and pushed ahead by a project manager sending hundreds of emails a day to various stakeholders and collating that feedback in a silo.

While this ‘spoke-and-wheel’ model works for smaller projects, where stakeholders don’t necessarily need to collaborate with each other, there are many good ideas unexplored because stakeholders are not working together.

A CMS can provide a shared platform for stakeholders to provide feedback and see what others are saying, working together to push a project over the line. The result is usually a better-finished product that brings everyone’s expertise to bear.


How to recognise a CMS opportunity

people working in office

Those are just some general ways a CMS can be implemented. But most circumstances are going to be contingent on a specific organization solving a specific problem. Here’s how you can recognize what processes in your organization might be automated with a CMS.


1. Does your process include multiple steps?

Most processes include multiple steps. But if you’re on step 89 of 401 and you’re not planning on building an iPhone from scratch, then your process might benefit from some automation. The key here is that a CMS can help you not by simplifying the process (although it can do that) but more that with a CMS, the software will do a lot of steps for you.


2. Are people spending a large part of their day manually executing processes instead of thinking of great new stuff?

The greatest resource almost any organization has is the people who work there. To maximize your productivity and get the most out of your workers, you want to maximize the time spent on generating revenue and minimize the time spent on routine processes. If your teams are spending hours each day doing the same thing, there is likely some room for CMS automation.


3. Do you spend time fixing errors made by people?

Field service industries historically have struggled with this – techs in the field are busy doing their often very complex jobs, and when it comes to paperwork, it can be a struggle to complete it in the time they have. The result is an overloaded administration office that has to work doubly hard to clear up mistakes to deliver the expected customer service.

If your organization is spending lots of resources on fixing human errors, then an automated CMS can help you. With more automation, errors become less frequent and (more importantly) much easier to catch early on.


4. Does your team have to use multiple systems to do their jobs?

Finally, are your workers transitioning across multiple systems to complete everyday processes and achieve objectives? If so, we recommend a CMS.

Disparate systems (especially those that don’t talk to each other) make processes much harder to complete and more error prone (what if Fred forgets that the fulfilment forms need to be run through both your invoicing system and your supplier relations system?). The result is a higher operating cost, with more time spent on double and triple checking systems, and the overhead cost of maintaining multiple systems.

A CMS can streamline these processes so it’s easier and less expensive for people to do their jobs.


Wrap up

Defined processes help organizations keep its structure, and ensure they deliver the same result again and again. However, as we incorporate ever more technology into our work and personal lives, many of our ageing processes are simply outdated.

A CMS can help you update processes so they’re centralized, automated and easy to use and access like the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario did with their e-Portfolio to track their CE footprint, or how Bell Wireless has managed their corporate portal. The result is a team that works better and smarter, to deliver fantastic results.

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