A temporary fix... Is "Newspaper Automation" a bad fix?

Nintex Employee
Nintex Employee
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You have a bunch of manual processes and the road may be long to complete and automate everything the way you want. So, do you add a temporary fix in the short term? Is the calorie burn even worth it? Maybe it’s better to just focus on the greater goal and leave everything manual.


A family pet makes a mistake on the carpet. You know you need to clean it up. In some cases, you need to rip and replace the carpet. Instead you cover it up until you decide on the path best taken. This is what I call "Newspaper Automation". By covering the stain with newspaper, I fixed it right? My wife would not agree but she isn't writing this article.


In regards to automation sometimes adding a small fix can be a big change. For example, I had a customer that wanted to generate contracts out of their Salesforce environment and get them eSigned. They were not aware of Nintex Workflow Cloud.


SIDE NOTE: Nintex Workflow Cloud or NWC can handle many contract focused use cases such as...

  • Redlining
  • Approvals
  • Routing for eSign
  • Routing to 3rd Party cloud storage


I showed them NWC and a new use case popped up in the conversation. They were wanting to store documents after they were signed in Box... temporarily. The Customer was still new to Salesforce and getting their data model setup.


END GOAL: They wanted to push signed copies directly into Salesforce Files but again were not ready to do this. By adding one action to their workflow they saved a bunch of time.


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When ready the calorie burn was very minor to switch the use case. Simply switch the pictured "Box store a file" action to a Salesforce one.


This was a very simple example of "Newspaper Automation" but a great one. Let’s go into a more complex example.


Another Customer of ours came to us with a very complex excel document that had macros handling a lot of logic. Logic like showing a logo or not in the header, hiding columns & paragraphs, conditional formatting & even filtering out data in a table.


When asking them more about the use case it was noted they didn't even want the document to be in Excel (they wanted to format it in Word) but... because of all the logic... they felt trapped to format everything there. They learned about Nintex Drawloop and a feature called "Excel as middleware". They realized that they could achieve everything without macros and remove the number of manual clicks end users have to go through to get to their final copy.


Moving all the logic out of the macros would be a pretty large undertaking as admittingly there was a lot of logic there. In addition, that was not the main pain point they came to us with.


THE MAIN ISSUE: Non-technical end users were getting these Excel documents and given instructions on how to run macros to see the final copy of the document. This was not an error proof system.


Adding Nintex Drawloop would fix this in spades. The problem was that to fix this it would take time to move the logic away from macros and even though they were going to move forward they needed a temporary solution to accommodate this sooner. In conversation we found Nintex RPA would handle this very well. Setting up a simple Bot Flow allowing the RPA solution to run the Macro instead of the end user solved this. After the Bot Flow would run the document could then be delivered 100% completed.


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I think a good take away here is that there are always many ways the finish line and once you have paint to paint the picture it’s just a matter of using the right tools to accomplish how manual or automated you want your processes to be. Sometimes its not worth waiting to automate when a temporary fix can jump start the process.


IN ADDITON: Building what you want is typically not the hardest part. Knowing what you want to build is. Make sure to check out how to properly map your processes with Nintex Promapp linked below. Tools like this will not only help you suss out what process you have but also help identify what you need.


Promapp Link: Nintex Promapp


Thanks for reading!





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