The current trend of organizations is to seek agility and decentralization in administrative and commercial activities , and workflow is a key tool to achieve these objectives.
A workflow is a set of sequences of steps or activities that determine the way to develop a process and the methodology to follow to achieve an objective.
In a workflow, it is defined how tasks are structured, how they are carried out and what their correlative order is.That is, what tasks precede others, how they are synchronized, how information flows from one task to another and how compliance is monitored of those tasks.
The main objective of workflows is to reduce time and speed up the completion of a job by bringing processes, people and machines together, even allowing teamwork from different locations.
What Is Your Application When Working With Documents?
Since a document is created, processed and finally preserved or destroyed, it goes through several participants who perform actions on it over a period of time.
Through the workflows , the automation and control of the processes carried out with the documents within a company is achieved, being able to also assign responsibilities, processes and times.
With these tools, companies ensure that a certain document and / or process always reaches the right person, through the definition of actions and transitions between the participants.
The documents that enter a document workflow system depend on the corporate models of each company, the most common being documents such as invoices, delivery notes, payroll, etc.
What Workflows Does Document Management Need?
If you expect a list of the processes that need a workflow with the documentation, I’m sorry, but it doesn’t exist. It all depends on the processes that exist in your company and the way in which it wants to automate the flow of life of the documents.
To know if our organization needs workflow systems to automate our document management, we should ask ourselves questions such as:
- Is our document management process efficient?
- Do we know at all times who is responsible for each of the tasks in the document creation and management processes?
- How do we know without the changes made bring about improvements?
- Does everyone follow established protocols and procedures?
- And even more, do we have established procedures?
Once these questions have been answered, you will know what type of workflow is the most suitable to automate the processes that are created on document management.
Most Common Workflows
Some of the most common workflows are those of approval of supplier invoices, purchase delivery notes, payroll, employee expenses, etc. But there are also workflows associated with quality, technical service, customer service, etc., that is, processes in which a document may or may not intervene.
Companies of a certain size that work with a lot of documentation have replaced the manual approval of invoices that was passed from table to table by automating them.
With automated invoice approval workflows, users involved in these processes handle the digitized invoice, and can thus approve it directly in the app, send it to other users, or reject it. In this way, it is possible to increase the efficiency of the procedure and reduce the costs associated with these processes.
The digitization of a company’s documents facilitates their subsequent management, automation and optimization, thus allowing complete monitoring of their workflow.
What Are The Benefits of Working With Workflows?
Among the different benefits obtained, the following stand out:
- Greater control of information : with these processes we will be able to know where the documentation is throughout its life cycle, that is, from the moment it is created until it is archived or destroyed.
- Control and monitoring of document transfers between the different areas of the company and departments.
- Management time is minimized , since a well planned workflow reduces the management times of many processes.
- Automation of tasks , thus avoiding the intervention of personnel or simplifying it to the maximum.
Workflow Tools On The Market
Among the different workflow tools on the market there are several alternatives available:
- ERP systems or software tools that have options to integrate workflows that work with information from their databases and that allow collaboratively reviewing, approving or signing documents with legal validity.
- Online workflow engines that work directly from a website, either in the cloud or in a web workflow system installed on the company’s servers.
- Workflow systems that work separately from the ERP and that communicate with them through XML files, web services, dblinks or other data exchange methods.
Large organizations that have different locations and large dispersed work teams need systems that allow them to carry out all these processes without having to have physical documents , simply by having them within the company’s software or the intranet.