Automate your business processes with G Suite
Automate your business processes with G Suite
Automation of business operations is vital because it saves time as well as money. It also reduces chances of human error if set up right. While G Suite often receives recognition for its conducive collaboration atmosphere, it also has a variety of features that can help automate business processes.
G Suite apps can be customized to fit organizational needs using settings, Google Scripts, or the various third-party apps that are available on G Suite. These options provide multiple levels of automation.
Even large-scale automation is possible through G Suite Sheets, Forms, Tasks, Drive and more.
Setting up workflows
Google Sheets is one of the most popular products in the G Suite. It is often indispensable for collaboration on data. It also packs many features that automate processes like importation and sorting of information from different sources.
Before customizing Sheets, check out the many readymade expense, inventory, and other templates. Google Sheets plays a central role when automating because it usually has the data. You can set triggers to decide how information will be used in the workflow. The following tools are crucial in automation:
The functions like VLOOKUP, SUMIF, and QUERY in Google Sheets are just as powerful as those in other spreadsheets. These functions can help automate importation of data. For instance, import data straight from google finance using the ‘GOOGLEFINANCE’ function.
The import function is probably the most powerful feature in sheets. It can import data from the web, various file types, and even CSV files. This makes it easy to acquire data and saves a lot of time.
Case 1: Tracking Expenses
You can find a template for tracking expenses on Google Sheets. Customize the template by:
Listing budget and budget timeframes. Include all relevant items and set the parameters.
Set the data to automatically update. This requires running an App Script or using an add-on.
Integrate spend data. If it comes from external apps, include a pull function to import info.
Set any conditions that will play a role in the calculations.
So, if you are tracking a marketing campaign and make purchases, Sheets will automatically pull that data from the ERP and present it daily, weekly, or even hourly depending on your requirements.
It might seem like you need to learn coding, but Google shares code for various functions to customize the G Suite. You can find code for multiple functionalities at their App Script site. App Script enables scaling a lot of unique functions because it allows setting of triggers which hold the key to automation.
If an app can automatically act once a trigger is offset, then workflows can run smoothly. App Scripts can integrate with all G Suite apps as well as other third-party online and offline apps.
You may want to consider pivot tables for data analysis. Sheets can intuitively suggest pivot tables if you have data in a spreadsheet. Because of the intelligent features in Sheets, you can ask questions like ‘what the sum of sales for product X?’ and get quick and clear answers.
Case 2: Hiring
Consider a hiring process. After posting a job, the company receives tons of applications. Someone manually keys in the data and schedules interviews. Then those who pass and get the job need to be notified so someone has to take the email addresses off Sheets and send an email to each applicant.
The email might include a nondisclosure agreement that successful applicants need to sign and submit as a Google Form. There are several ways to use G Suite and make the process more efficient.
If the new hires receive mail but do not reply, you can use a function that is triggered by time to automatically send out a reminder or withdraw the offer using various time functions in sheets.
With minimal coding knowledge, you can go to tools, paste the code, and run it. This way, you can automate the hiring process in the example above by:
Creating a mailing list from a spreadsheet
Sending a nondisclosure agreement as a Google Doc to only those who are recruited
Sending canned emails to each
Notifying those who have not signed the non disclosure agreement after one week
You can automate the workflow so that the last info you input is the results of the interviews. The script will take over from there saving a lot of time and labor especially if there are many recruits.
The great thing about App Script is how it supports code that integrates with other features of G Suite like email, Google Forms, and even third-party apps. More on that below.
G Suite is awash with all types of productivity add-ons that easily integrate into Google Sheets. With add-ons, you need to study what capabilities you need to make the business processes easier.
Google’s decision to allow third-party apps was an act of genius. Integration with applications like R makes it easy to analyze data much faster and without having to work on separate platforms.
The Google Forms is more than just a cool survey tool from Google. It can ease work by performing many tasks at the same time. Consider using forms to handle requests submitted to the team.
It can work on the following steps:
Take the request and record the data into Google Sheets
Acknowledge receipt of the request by emailing the requester
Send another email to the team and notify them of the request
Let the support team resolve the situation and record the information
Respond to the requester with the solution
Record information on Google Sheets for reporting
When you are using add-ons like project management tools, you can also set responses from Google forms to go directly into project data.
Case 3: Travel Requests
The ‘skip logic’ in Forms lets the Human Resources department design a form that captures details necessary to process travel requests. Using sheets and App Script or an add-on, design the process to automatically create the administrative documents involved in processing the request.
Approvers can receive documents that are already filtered to meet the criteria for approval in their inbox. Requesters can also receive instant notifications of approval.
Here the company cuts down on paperwork and an email merry go round, ensures that requests meet certain thresholds without setting a watchdog, and saves time by automating the escalation process.
While you can create Forms manually, App Script provides the capability to create auto-generating forms which someone might fill when accessing your website or filling customer feedback. Using App Script, you can predefine the content of the form based on the product a client purchased. The data can come from Docs, Sheets or even add-ons.
Store files in Drive and integrate them apps in G Suite; for instance, information can be exported to Sheets to perform a task. If an employee was working on a client's video and uploads it to drive, it can trigger emails that will share the link with the client, notify management, and make an entry on Sheets that the task is complete. This can trigger more processes for invoicing and task allocation.
Case 4: Audit Forms, Docs, and Sheets
You need to keep track of how enterprise resources are being used and edited. An add-on into Drive can show the entire visit and edit history for any file in your domain. This helps track actions and changes.
Setting up workflows begins at the planning stage. G Suite applications like Drive, Google Keep, and Google Tasks are great planning tools that can help schedule and organize workflows.
Set the tasks with this application. Prioritize and pinpoint the triggers that will initiate the functions so that you can execute them. Integrate it with other apps in G Suite to direct to start the workflow.
With the capabilities of G Suite, companies can automate specialized and integrated processes from accounting to hiring through setting up the relevant parameters and tools. To do so successfully, enterprises need to find out their needs and articulate them well.
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