Elaborate automated workflow system is a good foundation for company’s fast and balanced growth. The basis of such a system is a document. But behind any document there is a process flow, preparation process and document circulation process within the company. It had been written and said already a lot about workflow, its processes, advantages and disadvantages of automated corporate workflow, so there is no need to repeat ourselves. In this article we would like to give you an example of how the corporate workflow adds the efficiency to the business process of a company. The examples are taken from real life and the companies we will be talking about are very common.
Company A uses paper document workflow, and company B has implemented our automated workflow solution. Employees in company A inquire about purchasing some equipment. But their manager has never made such an order. To process this order he has to spend a lot of time searching for a proper template in company’s archives to fill in the purchase order correctly. He draws this order on the second day, but it has to be submitted to company’s manager for approval. The third day is wasted for clearing-up the list of managers who are actually responsible for approving this kind of orders. So at the end of the third day this list is prepared and the order seems to be ready to be signed by the head of the department, who is unfortunately on a business trip and will be able to sign it in 5 days. Finally on the seventh day the order has been approved and signed by the head of the department. Supplier relationship manager obtains more specific information about the price and availability of equipment in the warehouse during eighth day. The ninth day comes, the invoice can be issued and the equipment can be bought. But it comes out that bookkeeper has no rights neither to sign the order nor to issue an invoice without the approval of manager in the budget department. Nevertheless at the end of 10th day the order is signed by all the employees responsible and the invoice is issued by the bookkeeper. The head of the department pays for the equipment and in three days the equipment arrives to the department. Two weeks passed after the purchase order has been made. And only 2 weeks later the department was able to start working with new equipment. These two weeks were idle time, two weeks of lost profits and displeased customers.
Let us have a look at company B where similar inquiry has been made. But the whole process of approving is organized with the help of task manager on SharePoint Server. The order goes to the document library and then is sent to the inbox of head of the department. In spite of the fact that he is in a business trip he is notified of the document awaiting approval on his e-mail, access to which he has via his mobile, laptop or desktop with Internet access. The notification contains the link to relevant document in SharePoint Server. So he can review, edit and approve the order. In an hour the task is routed to the supplier relationship manager, who obtains more specific information about the price and availability of equipment in the warehouse. In 3 hours the order is approved and ready for further consideration by the budget manager according to the previously set route of such documents. The supplier relationship manager is also in a business trip, but as we already know, he has access to the corporate document workflow from any other city from mobile phone, desktop or laptop connected to Internet. So the order is signed the same day and routed to the bookkeeper who issues the invoice. On the second day the head of the department pays for the equipment. Three days were spent for order coordination and realization and the department is able to start working with new equipment. The head of the department could monitor the document process.
This is only one of the examples, which shows evident benefits and advantages of automated corporate workflow. Routing rules can be created by author of the document. The document would not be approved “over some employee’s head”, as it happened in the company A. All members of the process can have remote access, no matter where they are either abroad, in the other city inland, in the office or at home.