Workflow automation software is already helping organisations across a range of industries strengthen capacity for a digital future.

By building business-critical internal processes into the software, workflow automation frees people to do the skilled work that only humans can do – the designing, creating and innovating which makes our world a richer, more informed place.

Workflow automation shoulders the burden of digital administration, opening up a new vista of opportunity for cultural institutions to modernise.

Historically, visitors had to travel to a museum or gallery to visit the displays, but the digital revolution has broken down the geographical barriers to culture. Museums and galleries can now share their collections with a global audience.

However, digitising, preserving and making a vast and diverse collection accessible is no small undertaking. Museums need to streamline the tasks that will help them achieve digital transformation. Workflow automation is the key.

Axiell’s recent whitepaper looks at how workflow automation software can help cultural organisations increase their digital capacity in this new era of knowledge sharing. Here are a few of the key takeaways from the paper.

Workflow automation is already providing powerful benefits in other sectors

Workflow automation is transforming the way organisations of all types and sizes help their staff to manage tasks and follow procedures. 73% of IT leaders say that thanks to automation success, employees are saving between 10 and 50% of the time they previously spent doing manual tasks.

Workflow automation uses logic and rules to build, assign and track the business processes that humans traditionally manage. Following the same pathways that a human workforce would follow, workflow automation identifies repetitive manual tasks performed by employees and automates them.

This enables an institution to keep track of all the separate tasks in a process, because workflow automation assigns each task to a person, department or team. The software can identify the correct person to carry out each step and even re-routes the task, helping to overcome human error.

This is having a positive impact on productivity as workflow automation allows a workforce to reset its focus on the wider vision of a business. 85% of business leaders believe that automating some of the workload will give them and their employees more time to focus on the goals that truly matter to the company.

Critically, workflow automation is proving its role as a vital step in the digital journey. A McKinsey survey reveals that 83% of IT decision-makers believe workflow automation is essential to digital transformation.

So it’s no surprise that businesses are increasingly using workflow automation across their operations. Examples of this include:


In the retail sector, organisations are using workflow automation tools to improve ecommerce, digitise inventory management, and streamline analytics and reporting. This is leading to higher customer satisfaction, lower operational costs and better stock management.


Manufacturing businesses are automating some of their structured workflows around R&D, quality control, production, packaging, and marketing. This is helping companies to reduce risk and ensure quality while avoiding hold-ups in their processes so products get to market more quickly.

Higher education

Universities and other educational institutions are automating workflows to streamline admissions, registration and academic records. By automating communications workflows, institutions can maintain a consistent presence and tone across various communication channels including email, social media, SMS, app notifications, and even live chat.

These are just a few examples of how workflow automation is helping organisations across the business world save time and resources, improve efficiency, and achieve their goals.

Opportunities for workflow automation in the culture sector

Cultural organisations follow complex and critical workflows to manage their collections, and these can be automated to free specialists to do skilled work, and to prepare important collections for a sustainable future.

Below are just a few examples of the many business-critical processes where workflow automation can help streamline work and scale up efficiency.

Handling acquisitions

The journey of a new object entering a collection involves multiple people carrying out multiple tasks, all of which need to be done in the correct order.

An automation tool makes sure no steps are skipped or missed – everyone knows what they need to do, and when they need to do it. As a result it is much easier to track the status of a new object, and to avoid delays in bringing it into a collection.

Overseeing moves

Moving objects from one location to another, or sending and receiving loans, can be a logistical challenge. Locating the objects, tracking their status and keeping them safe all require the input of specialists.

Automation helps to coordinate the actions of everyone involved so objects are moved correctly and safely.

Retrieving objects

Retrieving items from archives has traditionally been a very manual and sometimes onerous process. Automation can save time, particularly for teams working in archives which are frequently accessed.

Managing disposals

The process of disposing of an object involves a set of key actions for museums to take, and each step depends on the outcome of the previous step. Automation enables the capture of the right information at the right point, and streamlines communication with external organisations.

There is enormous potential to automate aspects of museum work to keep everything running smoothly. With workflow automation in place, institutions are poised to see such benefits as:

  1. Streamlined collections management
  2. More time for specialist work
  3. More collaborative working
  4. Sustainability for the future
  5. Better use of funds and resources
  6. Ensured compliance with industry standards
  7. Enhanced digital management

To learn more, check out Axiell’s recent whitepaper on workflow automation for museums, archives and libraries to read case studies from cultural institutions who are using workflow automation top reshape these procedures.

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