In this blog series, we explore various aspects of Workflow solutions, applications, and how to best determine if a Workflow solution can help your company. We also discuss key factors to consider when reviewing various workflow packages as well as showing how workflow can be used for more than just AP Automation.
Is a Workflow solution right for you?
You’ve probably seen your share of white papers on AP Automation, but Workflow technology should be almost unlimited in its use and capabilities. Its intended to automate virtually any business process where people are involved in sharing information and documents. A few examples:
Human Resources: Onboarding new employees
Workflow can streamline the entire process by distributing the digital paperwork to all departments simultaneously and shorten a normally lengthy process to a fraction of the original time.
Procurement: Purchase Approvals
Because management wants to control spending, most manual purchase approval processes tend to involve more levels of management than are necessary, simply to ensure that everything is reviewed. A Workflow system will control the approval process and make sure the right people are involved only when it is required saving both time for approval and unnecessary involvement.
Your sales policy requires the sales manager to review all quotes to customers greater than $50,000.00. Workflow can monitor specific events from other systems and as soon as that quote is entered into your quoting or CRM system, a Workflow event is immediately launched and sent to the Sales manager with all the details of that quote.
Determining if Workflow is right for you requires you to look at several factors, some of which are listed below.
These factors can help drive the decision-making process and open the doors to improved efficiency, cost savings, and process control.
We discuss these in our detail post on “How to choose an accounts payable software provider”.
- Approval Levels & Conditions of Approval
- Cost of business processes (efficiency).
- Control, Visibility, & Accessibility
- Risk (Audit Trails / Document Mgmt)
- Integration between systems
To get started evaluating whether a Workflow solution is potentially right for your organization, let’s start with a few questions.
- Do you use email as a way of routing documents throughout the company for approvals or reviews?
- Do you have to follow-up via email or phone to check on the status of approvals?
- Is there a need for an audit trail of various documents?
- Do you require fast and easy access to documents and where they are in the approval process?
- Do you require version control of documents?
- Can you perform a process faster if you were automated?
- Can you provide a better service to your customers if you were more automated?
If you answered YES to one or more of these questions, then you may be a candidate for a Workflow solution. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series as it will explore the factors noted above and how each impact your organization along with potential areas that a Workflow solution can help you.