Business Process Workflow is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as : ” The sequence of industrial, administrative, or other processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion.”
It sounds to be a very simple process but it is one of the major headaches of many business organizations. The problem comes when that little piece of work needs to be looked up or followed up. This simple procedure triggers chaos in the workflow process caused by the unwieldy management of documents.
Many try to resolve this problem by coming up with various techniques to control the flow of these documents. Colour-coding is one example that is tried. Unfortunately, most fail because they create more confusion among users of these techniques.
With the rapid evolvement of technology in this age of computerization, this nightmare that plague companies in their workflow process will soon be a thing of the past— by the introduction of AUTOMATION.
Here is how automation can wield its magic on the work flow process with a flick of a button:
Automation streamlines communication in the business process. It is impossible to remember the hundreds of e-mails received on each day but by automating the management of these e-mails, this mode of communication is effectively streamlined. Incoming and outgoing requests are automatically segregated along with their pertinent data and the stage of info processing they are in at any moment.
Automation enforces accountability. With automation in place, it is easy to know the person/s in-charge of any particular process, including all the actions he performed connected with the task. Alibis or finger-pointing for mistakes committed are eliminated.
Automation is cost-efficient. It minimizes costs due to manual errors and inefficiencies. These may be caused by several factors such as missed payment due dates, deadline approvals, to goods never received. Automation in workflows prevents or minimizes these incidents that result to financial losses. This is done by showing instantly the current status of any transaction at any given time. For example, payment will not be made unless the state of the item ordered is not updated as “Received”.
Automation provides the information needed for effective management. At the flick of a button, the complete history of the workflow process can be retrieved. These saved data can be made as basis for future management actions. For example, all the items bought, processed, and the cost involved for certain periods are shown with the resulting revenues they generated. From these data, management can decide if it should invest more or taper down operations. Automation provides valuable insights into a company’s current and actual situation. Perhaps, this is the best input to be had for all the business process management needs.
Automation minimizes confusion in hierarchy approval. Let us face it. Corporate life becomes a nightmare when confusion sets in regarding hierarchy. “Who” approves “what” usually results in unnecessary squabbling which often ends with bruised ego and hard feelings, not to mention delays in implementations. All this can be minimized by automation because approval hierarchies are codified with the process each one covers clearly specified. This results to a smooth flow in operation and management.
With these clear advantages that automation brings to the overall operation and management of a company, it is indeed the answer to any business’ quest for progress and development.