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Automations: Introduction

Learn how you can use SmartSuite Automations to save time and streamline your work!

Emma Montgomery avatar
Written by Emma Montgomery
Updated over a week ago

Feature Overview Video


In today's fast-paced world, time is of the essence. We often find ourselves performing repetitive tasks, such as updating records, sending emails, or creating new tasks, that consume valuable time and energy. But what if there was a way to automate these tasks and reclaim your precious hours? That's where SmartSuite's Automations come into play.

The SmartSuite Automations feature allows you to streamline your workflows by automating repetitive tasks. By leveraging a simple Trigger / Action based rule set, you can define specific conditions (Triggers) that, when met, will initiate a sequence of actions (Actions).

Automation Basics

Let's say you frequently update the status of records in a SmartSuite solution. Instead of manually changing each record's status, you can create an Automation that triggers the status change based on a specific condition, such as a date or a specific field value. Once the trigger condition is met, the Automation will automatically execute the specified action, updating the record's status without any manual intervention from your side.

But that's just the beginning! SmartSuite Automations offer a wide range of possibilities. You can automate email notifications, task creation, data synchronization between different products, and so much more. The power is in your hands to tailor Automations to suit your unique requirements and workflows.

By utilizing Automations in SmartSuite, you will be able to free up valuable time, eliminate manual errors, and focus on more strategic and creative aspects of your work. Imagine the satisfaction of having routine tasks completed in the background while you tackle more important projects.

In this article, we'll guide you through the process of setting up and configuring Automations in SmartSuite, step by step. Whether you're new to automation or an experienced user, this guide will empower you to harness the full potential of SmartSuite Automations and unlock new levels of efficiency in your work.

Automation Triggers

A "Trigger" refers to a specific condition or event that serves as a starting point for an automated action sequence.

Triggers act as the catalyst that initiates the automation process, detecting and responding to predefined criteria such as a date, a specific field value, or a user action. By setting up Triggers, you can effectively automate repetitive tasks and ensure that actions are executed precisely when and where they are needed.

Triggers include:

Automation Actions

An "Action" represents the desired task or operation that is executed automatically when a Trigger condition is met.

Actions can encompass a wide range of activities, such as updating records, sending notifications, creating new tasks or events, generating reports, or even integrating with external systems. By defining Actions within your automation rules, you can effortlessly streamline your workflow and eliminate the need for manual intervention, allowing you to focus on more strategic and value-added activities.

Actions include:

Automation Limits

  • A maximum of 50 automations can be configured per Table.

    • Note that automations that are turned off (inactive) still count against this limit of 50 automations.

  • A maximum of 10 actions can be configured in one automation.

Steps to Create an Automation

Step 1: Access the Automations Page

You can open the Automations interface by clicking the Automations option located in the Solution Menu drop-down, as shown below:

Automations can only be created by a user that has been granted the Solution Manager role within a specific solution. Read more about roles in this article.

Step 2: Click to Create a New Automation

To create an Automation, simply click the Add Automation button located at the bottom of the Automation Listing page.

Step 3: Choose a Trigger

Choose Trigger from the "When this happens" input and configure the settings that are displayed in the configuration panel that is displayed on the right side of the page.

Step 4: Add an Action

Choose an Action from the "Then do this" input and configure the settings that are displayed in the configuration panel that is displayed on the right side of the page.

Note that up to 10 Actions may be configured in a single Automation.

Step 5: Add a Name and Description

SmartSuite has provided a default name for your Automation, but this can be changed by clicking on the default name to open an input or by clicking on the "..." menu that is located to the right of the name and selecting the "Edit Name" menu item.

You can also add a description for your Automation by clicking on the "..." menu that is located to the right of the name and selecting "Add Description".

Step 6: Turn the Automation On

Once you are sure the Automation is correctly configured, you need to enable the automation by using the toggle that is located to the right of the Automation name. Once the toggle shows the green ON state, any future conditions that match the trigger condition will trigger an automation run.

To turn an automation OFF, change the toggle to OFF.

Automation Use Cases

  1. Lead Nurturing Automation: Suppose a business receives leads through its website or other channels. With SmartSuite Automations, the business can set up a trigger that detects when a lead fills out a form or takes a specific action, and automatically initiate a series of actions to nurture that lead. This could include sending a personalized email sequence, assigning a task to a sales representative, or updating the lead's status in the CRM system.

  2. Customer Onboarding Automation: When a new customer signs up for a product or service, there are often several steps involved in onboarding them effectively. Using SmartSuite Automations, a business can create a trigger that identifies when a new customer is added to the system, and automatically kick-start a series of actions. These actions could include sending a welcome email with onboarding instructions, creating a new user account, or assigning tasks to different teams involved in the onboarding process.

  3. Order Fulfillment Automation: For businesses that handle a high volume of orders, manual order fulfillment can be time-consuming and error-prone. With SmartSuite Automations, a business can define triggers based on order status or specific criteria, such as payment confirmation. Once triggered, the Automation can automatically update inventory records, send order confirmation emails to customers, and even notify the appropriate teams about the order for efficient processing.

  4. Customer Support Automation: Customer support teams often encounter common issues or inquiries that require repetitive actions to resolve. With SmartSuite Automations, a business can set up triggers based on specific support tickets or keywords within customer inquiries. The Automation can then perform actions such as sending a predefined response, assigning the ticket to the appropriate support agent, or escalating urgent issues to the supervisor automatically. This helps streamline the support process, improve response times, and provide consistent customer experiences.

  5. Data Synchronization Automation: Many businesses use multiple software tools to manage different aspects of their operations. However, keeping data consistent and up to date across these tools can be a challenge. SmartSuite Automations can bridge the gap by enabling data synchronization between different systems. For example, when a new customer is added to the CRM, an Automation can trigger actions in third-party products like Slack, Twilio, Microsoft Teams, Google Mail, Google Calendar, HubSpot, Salesforce, Jira, Intercom, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who can create / edit automations?

Automations can only be created or edited by users with "Solution Manager" permissions or, of course, Workspace Administrators.

Will an automation stop running if the creator of the automation is removed from the solution?

No, automations don't rely on any specific user's SmartSuite credentials to run.

Do automations run retroactively?

Automations run from the point in time they are enabled. Once enabled, the configured trigger conditions must be met to fire the automation and execute its actions.

Is it possible to see a history of automation runs and the updated records?

Yes, a Run History report is available for the last 100 runs.

What happens when a monthly automation limit is reached?

Automations are disabled when the limit is reached. At the start of a new month, you can re-enable any disabled automations and may also choose to re-run any automations that did not run when disabled.

Can formula fields be used in automations?

Yes, you can use formula fields in your automations - both in trigger conditions and as values when configuring actions. Note that formulas that include the NOW() function are updated hourly or when the record is saved, so there may be some delay in triggering an automation on a calculated date condition that involves the NOW() function.

Why do "When a record is created" and "When a record is updated" triggers fire before I'm done editing fields?

These triggers fire as soon as the first few characters are typed by the user. We're aware that this isn't ideal, and it's on our radar to solve.

Can I make the "When a record is updated" trigger fire when a comment is added?

Comments on records are considered meta-data and currently can't trigger automations.

Do "Send an email" recipients have to be collaborators?

  • Free/Team: Yes, all recipients must be verified collaborators.

  • Pro: Can email 100 unique non-collaborator email addresses a day.

  • Enterprise: No limit on the number of non-collaborators that you can email per day.

You can see your workspace's limit if you create a Send Email action on an automation.

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