Top No-Code Tools to Automate Your Approval Process
If your business hasn’t automated its approval process, you’re probably losing valuable staff time to repetitive tasks. Approving timesheets, time-off requests, purchase orders, work orders, and more involves processes with many steps. In fact, just the act of sending emails to verify approvals can eat into your staff’s time.
Creating apps that automate your approval process no longer requires a web developer, thanks to the array of no-code tools available. These tools feature easy editors with drag-and-drop functionality that allow anyone to create an app and a workflow that automates the approval process.
Available at various price points, any one of these apps could streamline approvals and pay off in many other ways for your business.
The Best No-Code Tools that Automate Your Approval Process
No-code tools that can automate your approval process run the gamut from user-friendly options for small businesses to more comprehensive platforms suitable for large enterprises. Whether you’re looking to create one app or want to design dozens that can handle every facet of your business, these no-code tools can help.
JotForm Approvals streamlines the approval process without the need to do any coding. The drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to set up a workflow that includes approvers, conditional branches, and automated emails.
With the JotForm Form Builder, you can easily build an online form to quickly collect submissions. Those submissions might be timesheets, work order requests, inventory purchase requests, or any other type of request that requires approval.
Once someone completes the approval form, the submission triggers the approval workflow you created. JotForm Approvals makes it easy to track and manage the process, and the automated tasks prevent staff from spending time sorting requests, following up on missing information, and so on.
You can set up your approval process to send automated emails to approvers when they receive a new task. And as tasks are approved, form respondents will receive an automated email notification.
Approvers don’t have to manually draft and send emails, so they can stay focused on the work of approving requests, rather than all of the repetitive work that goes along with approval.
All approval requests are saved in a central location, further saving approvers time. Information gathered through forms populates a database in JotForm Tables that supervisors and approvers can access for a broad-picture view.
The database makes monitoring the entire process simple, and supervisors can potentially spot problems and holdups early on in the process.
The JotForm Mobile Forms app, which is available for free on iOS or Android, enables approvers to manage both forms and approval flow from their phones.
JotForm Approvals is free.
Checkbox features a convenient drag-and-drop design that makes for easy and fast workflow automation. This app enables you to create parallel workflows, including reminders, scheduled tasks, and approvals, to keep your business running smoothly and efficiently.
Checkbox’s predetermined logic options make for streamlined processes that are accurate and appropriate. Including calculations, digital spreadsheets, if-then logic, and decision-tree logic in your workflows help to avoid holdups and reduces the demand for staff to make decisions and sort requests manually.
This no-code platform is comprehensive. Not only does it handle workflow creation and approvals, but Checkbox also features a calculation engine capable of creating complex rules and logic.
The dashboard and analytics help you identify what’s working and how to improve your business, while integrations with other tools make Checkbox a seamless addition to your existing business technology and systems.
The template gallery is loaded with templates to save you time and make the automation process faster. You can easily customize templates for common approval situations, like performance reviews, document execution approvals, and expense approvals.
Checkbox offers a 14-day free trial, so you can experience it for yourself at no risk.
Decisions is designed for fast implementation, so you can automate all of your business systems. Its rules-driven automation can pivot with the changing business environment, so you can establish systems that will adapt to shifting regulations, demands, and more.
This no-code platform includes powerful and comprehensive features, so you can rely on it for all of your automation needs. There’s no need to worry about integrating other tools or dealing with compatibility issues.
The Decisions visual designer is user-friendly, relying on graphics so that anyone — with or without coding or IT background — can automate processes. The Workflow Engine boasts more than 3,000 pre-built steps, making it easy to create workflows and processes that automate everything from work orders to vacation requests.
The drag-and-drop interface makes building custom reports simple, so you can access the specific information you need for a project, investor, or meeting. With such easy access to trends and business metrics, this platform can help you address processes that aren’t working and improve those that are.
Decisions goes beyond your typical automation platform with detailed reporting and built-in testing and debugging capabilities. Whether you’re just getting started with automation or are working with complex configurations, these testing options can help to head off trouble before you put a process into place.
You can even create permanent rule and workflow unit tests that automatically run with any rule changes. This ensures that your processes perform the way you want them to and allows you to spot errors early on before they become costly mistakes.
With its extensive functionality, Decisions stands to save businesses significant time. It’s well-suited for large-scale enterprises looking to automate their approval processes and systems across their operations.
Pricing starts at $4,839 per month for a single server with unlimited users. Enterprise pricing details are available upon request.
Rindle, a no-code automation platform, allows you to build processes that enhance your business and your team. Trusted by top brands like the YMCA and AudienceView, Rindle features an easy-to-use dashboard and versatile capabilities.
With Rindle, you can create rules that will guide each step of your workflow, including your approval processes. The rules are customizable, so you can implement the steps and requirements that make sense for your business.
You don’t have to be a coding expert to work with Rindle. It comes equipped with more than 20 no-code triggers, the ability to use “and” and “or” logic for conditions, and more than 30 no-code actions. This simplifies the process of building your workflow and rules.
The Rindle dashboard resembles a card system like Asana or Trello but with more sophisticated capabilities. While you can still assign tasks and deadlines, the automation you set up can also create subtasks and take over some of the work.
You can use Rindle to create rule-driven workflows for your approval process. Whether you’re sorting emails based on the responses provided or need to ensure that requests requiring multiple approvals get in front of the right people, this platform can simplify the process and make for faster, more accurate results.
The Rindle Professional plan costs $9 per user, per month, while the Business plan costs $20 per user, per month. All plans include a 14-day trial.
Quickbase allows you to automate business processes without requiring any coding. The drag-and-drop visual builder is very user-friendly, and it helps you visualize how an app will function.
With Quickbase, you can upload data from a spreadsheet or by copying and pasting, to create a database. You can then build an app with that data.
When it comes to automating your approval process, Quickbase’s task management is highly customizable. Automated notifications, reports, and approvals can improve efficiency and keep your business operating smoothly, while reducing the time staff spend on standard tasks.
Quickbase offers a library of templates that can help you set up automated processes, so you don’t have to create a custom app.
The platform also integrates with various popular services, including Box, Gmail, Google Drive, Salesforce, Zendesk, and more.
Quickbase offers a 30-day free trial, and there’s no credit card required to sign up for the trial. Pricing is customized; contact the company for more info.
With the Flowfinity platform, you can create custom apps for enterprise-grade solutions. Top businesses, including Ford, Campbell’s, Pepperidge Farm, and more, trust Flowfinity.
The visual interface is simple, so it’s not overwhelming, but it’s also highly versatile. You can publish apps instantly, and they’ll be automatically installed to save you time. Dashboards allow for data visualizations so you can monitor your business and app performance.
Flowfinity’s point-and-click editor simplifies the process of building an app. The apps are automatically published for users, who might be in the field or in the office.
The apps centralize your data, no matter where your users are located, and integrate it with your backend systems. From there, you can create reports, custom PDFs, export the data as a CSV file, or visualize and analyze it right in your dashboard.
Creating an app with Flowfinity helps to facilitate information flow while eliminating manual processes. You can use these apps to automate your business processes, including streamlining the approval process. The result is enhanced productivity and accuracy, as well as time-saving benefits for your staff and business as a whole.
In addition to automating approval processes, you could potentially use these apps to automate many other processes. Features like skip logic, barcode scanning, personalized emails, and the ability to create custom workflows mean there are potentially endless ways to apply these apps in your day-to-day operations.
Flowfinity offers a 14-day free trial and doesn’t require any credit card information to sign up for the trial. Pricing details aren’t available online.
The Kintone platform simplifies the process of building the custom apps your business needs. This no-code platform doesn’t require any IT or third-party developer assistance, saving you time and money.
Kintone offers a library of more than 1,000 new apps that can serve as a starting point. The apps are all free and customizable, so you don’t have to build an app from scratch.
You can create apps to automate your business approval processes, make for easier inventory management and ordering, facilitate time-off request approvals, and so much more.
As you build, you can also explore the wide selection of available extensions, including very popular programs like Dropbox, Evernote, Eventbrite, Gmail, HubSpot, and more. These extensions can increase your app’s functionality, ensuring it works with the other programs you’re already using for seamless integration with your business.
While Kintone makes the process of building apps easier, it also serves as a central dashboard so you can conveniently access all of your data.
Its in-database collaboration option allows you to easily search, read, and join conversations, which helps keep all of your team members on track and up to date. Teams can communicate through threads, in-record comments, user profile walls, and private messages, ensuring those conversations are stored and available when needed.
Accessible on an internet browser, Kintone is also available as an iOS and Android mobile app, so you can always stay connected.
A professional Kintone subscription starts at $24 per month, per user, with a minimum of five users. Discounted nonprofit and education and government subscriptions are also available.
Kintone offers a free trial that doesn’t require a credit card for signup.
Open as App
With Open as App, you can use your existing data to create an app. This platform pulls data from Excel, Google Sheets, or a database, all without any coding needed.
Once you’ve created your apps, it’s easy to manage them through the centralized dashboard. The dashboard gives you control over rights, security, and access settings. Your app will be visible only to you, and you can decide when and if you’re ready to share it with others.
With Open as App, you can automate your business processes, including approvals. It’s possible to automate time tracking sheets, quote follow-ups, approval notifications, sales system updates, and more. The apps themselves, can include automation like push notifications and automated emails, making them extraordinarily efficient.
Open as App helps you design four different types of apps:
- List apps convert your data into apps that are easy to access both online and offline. Users can update reports and databases, filter data according to specific criteria, and update the data.
- Dashboard apps make it easy to access your Excel or Google Sheets dashboards right from your phone. Charts update automatically, and you can customize colors and chart types.
- Calculation apps make it simple and intuitive to use complicated spreadsheets. Formulas from your spreadsheets are automatically added to an app, so other team members can use the formulas and logic.
- Survey apps make gathering survey information easier and more efficient. With this app, users can quickly fill out survey information on their phones, increasing the response rates.
While you can build a custom app from scratch, Open as App also offers a wide assortment of apps online. They can serve as an inspiration and are available publicly, so you can see what’s possible with Open as App and what type of app might work best for your business.
Open as App offers a free plan that allows you to create one app and share it with one user. The Business plan, which allows you to create 10 apps and share them with five users, costs $106 per month. A custom Enterprise plan is also available.
Choosing the Right No-Code Tools for Your Business
With so many no-code tools available, whether you’re running a small startup or a larger enterprise, you can find a tool that has the functionality and capacity you need.
Choosing the right tool for your business.
When choosing the best app, you’ll start by outlining the processes that you want to automate and the other potential uses for apps within your business. Many of these tools can help you create apps for all sorts of purposes, so write up a list of potential apps and look for a tool that can help you create those apps.
Many of these tools feature pricing that depends on the number of seats or the number of users.
It’s helpful to review the roles that each employee in your company will play, whether that’s developing an app or using an app. Having this information can help you assess both pricing and value as you consider these different tools.
Automation gives you accuracy, productivity and costs savings.
Keep in mind, too, that automating the approval process (and other business processes) pays off in enhanced accuracy, productivity, and cost savings. While you might invest in a no-code tool to develop the apps you need, remember that it’s really an investment in your business’s success and efficiency.
Top No-Code Tools to Automate Your Approval Process was originally published on ReadWrite by John Boitnott.