Decision-making agility and speedy production, especially in software development, are key business advantages. In a race between two similarly funded companies in the same industry, the one delivering faster results gets more rewards.
As technological adoption accelerates due to COVID-19 and other factors, it is becoming even more essential for organizations of all sizes — small businesses to Fortune 500 companies — to seek better tools and strategies to operate faster, reach more customers, and use data from customer interactions to create new revenue-yielding opportunities for the business.
This article discusses how to achieve the most technological advancements in a short time and on a personalized budget. We’ll discuss how to improve operational efficiency using no-code platforms, use-cases of no-code tools for businesses, and steps to implement no-code workflow automation to get better business results.
Why Use No-Code Tools
No-code tools are visual software development platforms that allow anyone, regardless of coding skills, to build applications and develop business solutions without writing code. They empower users to create solutions beyond their technical capacity and help businesses scale beyond what their technical teams can handle. Small businesses that may struggle to hire and retain good programmers can now achieve their goals without breaking the bank. The benefits of no-code tools are endless.
Teams can brainstorm, mock up, and develop user-friendly applications that fit their needs and requirements exactly. They can eliminate costly and unproductive processes from their workflows and create native app solutions to streamline, automate, and optimize their collaborative work process.
Employees can improve their business processes by connecting and integrating work-critical apps to form building blocks that make up a unique technology stack. This enables them to achieve more quickly and easily compile data from connected systems and tools to gain unique insights.
Companies can go from creating interactive websites and landing pages to prototyping an MVP or shipping a fully-functional feature to customers.
It’s important to note, however, that with all their benefits, no-code tools are functionally limited compared to actual programming. They can only tackle the problems they were created to solve. With the right IT talent, you can modify backend code to expand functionality and align with your native code. But for this, you must have a real coder with knowledge of programming languages.
Uses of No-Code Tools for Businesses
There are many types of no-code tools serving many purposes. Their simplified drag-and-drop graphical user interfaces make it intuitive for users to build solutions in real-time. Business users can learn to build full-fledged applications in a short time simply by following the tool’s guidelines or tutorials. Most no-code tools serve one or more of the following uses:
Website and App Development
No-code tools in this category make it easy to go from idea to reality and build web and mobile applications quickly. Without writing a single line of code, business users can select and arrange visual elements to make a beautiful website, landing page, or even a full-fledged web application with customizable functionalities. Popular website builder no-code apps include Bubble, Webflow, and Carrd. They make it easy to create a credible business presence and launch software application solutions.
Workflow automation is one of the most valuable uses of no-code tools for businesses. No-code automation tools make it easy to connect workflows and automate repetitive work to create more time for employees to be engaged in high-value business activities. Tools in this category typically have dashboards showing various automation triggers a user is running. These low-code app builders visually connect other apps, move data between them, and process and distribute the final output. Workflow automation no-code tools enable third-party integrations through APIs and connect with apps and data sources to automatically compile results and data. Pulpstream’s no-code workflow automation software is a perfect example of a no-code tool in this category.
No-code tools make it easy for individuals to become entrepreneurs and businesses to launch and expand e-commerce activities. Launching an online store was previously a code-heavy venture costing a lot to get interactive functionalities like user log in, data analytics, and payments.
Now no-code apps like Shopify make it easy to create online stores that users can easily access on a mobile app or phone. Shopify handles everything that makes building an online store difficult. You can use custom domains, connect CRM tools for more nuanced data, and install plugins or add-ons to expand functionalities even further. All, without coding.
When you’re done creating a website or web app, the next step is to onboard customers in a not too tedious way. No-code tools make onboarding easy by creating interactive onboarding templates that fit many companies across industries. These tools follow best practices to ensure that you also follow best practices in onboarding customers.
Careful onboarding helps new users know how to use a product properly and helps the product team retrieve data that can help serve the customers better. Let’s take a delivery app sign-up process, for example. When a user first launches the app, they are required to sign up by entering data like name, home address, and payment details.
The app then collects this data and routes it through internal tools to a Know Your Customer (KYC) regulator who approves or rejects the data, allowing the user to sign up successfully or try to register again. No-code tools package all of these functionalities and make it easy to set up a complete onboarding process in minutes.
Voice technology is becoming a bigger part of our lives, with over 46% of smart speaker owners using voice search to discover new solutions and local businesses. No-code voice apps like Voiceflow makes it easy for businesses to easily design and publish voice chat apps across channels like Alexa and Google.
No-code tools help businesses improve customer service in various ways. Chatbots that respond to customers long after the team is home, survey forms that gather and analyze results in easy-to-read visual graphics, and conversational marketing tools are a few no-code customer service tools for startups and SaaS businesses.
Steps to Implement No-Code Workflow Automation
Now that you’re familiar with several ways no-code tools improve business operations, let’s get into implementing no-code workflow automation processes in your organization.
1. Identify Your Desired Outcome
Although no-code tools make it easy to manipulate software, you still have to be able to map out what you want to build and what it needs to be able to achieve. This requires being able to describe what the inputs are and what the outputs need to be.
Begin with the desired business outcome. What problem needs to be solved? How can software help you solve it? What features and functions does your solution need? Consider the short- and long-term impact of using your no-code solution: whether it integrates well with your other core technologies and if the providers are likely to still be around years from now.
Detail your plans in clear business logic. Map out workflows and consider the ease of use and changing functionalities in the future. Will you be able to add functionalities to this solution or need a brand new one if anything breaks. You may be using your no-code tool to build specific solutions for specific parts of your business or launching a strategic project that influences how your company manages workflows and adapts to changes.
2. Create a List of Processes That Impact Your Desired Outcome
Once you know your desired outcome, the next step is to assess where you are and how to achieve your goal. Look ahead to what the project is going to require. Bring together involved teams and gather feedback regarding their processes. What are all the business processes that touch this problem?
For example, you may have identified a problem with your sales pages. If most visitors tend to drop off just before checking out, you are losing customers likely because the checkout process is too complicated. The teams involved to reengineer this process would include your website development team, marketing team, and many others.
3. Map Your Business Processes
Now that you have a list of business processes, it’s time to get down to the details. What steps will the user take? What decision points will dictate how they proceed? What data do you need to complete the process?
Map the entire process the way you’d want the application to flow. You can map it out with a pen and paper or use an online diagram builder.
4. Find No-Code Tools That Solve Your Problem
With your mapped-out business processes, you know the features and functionalities you need to achieve your goals. You can first narrow it down to a no-code app category, for example, app development or user onboarding, and then search for the best no-code tools in that group.
Consider the complexity of your workflows, the capability of your team, and how long you expect the solution to last with the business able to sustain it.
Use Pulpstream as Your No-Code Tool for All Workflow Automation Needs
Taking advantage of no-code tools to speed up software development cycles and enhance workflow automation for improved productivity and output is a no-brainer. How to do it is where most businesses make mistakes.
To create sustainable change in your organization and ensure that adapting to change becomes part of the teams' work together, you need a partner like Pulpstream to help digitize your business processes, automate workflows, and enhance operational efficiency by increasing margins. Are you ready to modernize your business process workflows with a customizable pre-built workflow solution? Request a demo of Pulpstream today.