Workflow defines a series of activities that are necessary to complete a task. Workflow Management Software (WMS) is a system of tools that is designed to automate business processes. Basically, the software is used to streamline tasks that are data driven. Also known as orchestration, WMS enables personnel to coordinate several administrative tasks and user interactions on a single platform.
How Does It Work?
The primary purpose of such software is to help businesses define, administer and coordinate a variety of varying processes. In a world that is driven by data, most companies rely on a range of priorities from processing job applications and order requests to payrolls. As a result, WMS makes it possible for corporations to keep operational costs at a minimum.
Why You Need It?
Needless to say, the benefits of workflow automation speak for themselves. A company’s success depends on how efficiently it can process tasks. Everything from data entry to the final product must run like a well-oiled machine, and there are major business benefits for companies which improves process efficiency.
Some of the major business benefits include:
1. Reduce Administrative Errors
Everyone makes mistakes, however, errors can prove costly in the workplace. Workflow management software reduces human errors since it is electronically operated using preset business rules, reducing human interaction with business processes and operations, and it is this which reduces the scope for the introduction of human error.
Businesses can reduce human errors and process inefficiencies using orchestration to:
- Reduce the number of participants in a project;
- Reduce the time it takes to delegate work between tasks; and
- Notify staff about deadlines.
2. Empower Employees
Employees feel more empowered if they feel that they are capable of doing more tasks by themselves. Every worker knows what is expected of him/her and what they are accountable for provided that the right processes are put in place. For example, a hiring manager in Operations can see that HR hasn’t sent an offer letter to a candidate as promised and intervene in a timely manner. Using a WMS removes the need for managers to micromanage employees while their performance is automatically monitored by the WMS itself.
3. Better Communication Between Departments
One of the most common aspects employees complain about is a lack of communication between management and themselves. Automating business processes also automates communication, including providing an effective two-way channel.
One of our clients, the U.S. Marines, uses HighGear to manage PX stores located around the world. Not only does the Marine Corps Community Services have a standardized communication platform for notifying store on pricing, campaigns and store displays, but there is now a communication channel related to the workflow and associated tasks for the stores to notify head office of issues with what they are being instructed to do.
Workflow management systems enable different departments to communicate with one another on single platforms. In addition, all the documentation and records associated with a task are maintained in one place and accessible by any team members with appropriate authority. Electronic communication channels make it easier, simple and faster for both employers as well as employees to communicate with the right people in real-time, and record these communications too.
4. Boost Efficiency
Workflow management software gives corporations the flexibility they need to eliminate unnecessary and repetitive business processes. A business is more efficient if it can eliminate tasks and workflows that are redundant or duplicated, but identifying them is difficult in practice. WMS offers transparent control and planning for every section of an enterprise, however, one of the biggest benefits is in fostering collaboration within and across departments.
WMS accomplishes this by:
- Providing personnel with several options to access data;
- Providing customers with a single resource for transactions; and
- Providing employees immediate contact with customers which gives businesses the leeway needed to offer more personalized services.
Coordination between electronic processes such as emails or Excel can prove costly and increase inefficiency. Workflow management software improves the quality of work, allows for maximum visibility of work processes, provides a platform which encourages collaboration, and increases productivity.
5. Improve the Value of Your Products or Services
A business that uses WMS to automate workflow has more time to spend on core operations and identifying improvements for implementation.
A WMS adds value by:
- Enabling consistent tracking and notifications;
- Eliminate or reduce costs that are associated with paper based documentations by scanning and storing them as electronic data as soon as they enter workflow; and
- Give participants immediate access to information pertaining to production.