Saving time and costs of document processing, minimizing errors, as well as secure data access from anywhere – these are just some of the benefits of implementing workflow software in a company. Maintaining order in documentation is a crucial task and a real challenge for medium and large enterprises. Here are our suggestions on how to choose an appropriate tool and plan the implementation stages.
What is a workflow system?
The workflow system is an umbrella term for an IT solution aimed at automating electronic document circulation. Using special software, companies can support teamwork processes while ensuring order and data safety. It allows to significantly reduce the amount of used paper and to get rid of the mess on the desk. Workflows are unique in every company, and their automation should inherently complete already existent processes. Therefore, an appropriate tool will help in better task planning and improve the data flow within the company.
Basic workflow system elements
The most important element of the system is a workflow engine that allows automating the flow of the documents. In addition, ECM class software is usually equipped with a document archive and a file repository. The archive supports safe data storage and processing. The file repository is used to organize and manage the files with individually defined permissions to facilitate the workflow. Permissions can be granted to individual users, selected positions, or entire departments, thanks to which access to viewing or editing is controlled by the employee responsible for the document, as well as the system administrator.
What stages does it consist of?
Business processes automation powered by workflow engine starts with document digitization, which helps with maintaining the order and developing an effective archive system.
Archiving ensures order in various types of documents and individually determined access based on granted permissions. The documents go to the appropriate libraries thanks to electronic workflows that mimic and complement already existing documents.
Therefore, when introducing the workflow system, it is worth choosing an option that provides flexibility in designing workflows. The next step is the implementation of the electronic signature tool.
Why is it worth implementing a workflow system? The most important benefits
Time-saving is the biggest benefit of implementing/using a workflow system. Thanks to digitization, you can forget about the problems of lost documents and at the same time reduce the costs of maintenance. Technology can help people perform basic tasks in the company. It also minimizes the chances of errors and “frees” employees’ time to perform more creative tasks.
Support for employee groups
The workflow system allows employees to have greater control over the processes inside the company. The sense of responsibility for the subsequent stages is motivating, especially when individual tasks are clearly defined. In the case of delays, it is easy to find at what stage the problem occurred and who was responsible for it. Thanks to the preview of how much time each step takes, you can manage the work of individuals more effectively.
Improving the workflow/circulation of the documents
When developing the NAVIGATOR platform, we place particular emphasis on improving the data flow. Depending on the rights granted within the system, the document may be available to the entire department, groups of employees, or individual people. The person responsible for a given electronic workflow has total control over access to documentation and assigning tasks to individual people.
We can design additional approvals or verifications conditionally, which means that documents of the same type will undergo different processes depending on the defined conditions.
There may be mistakes during the circulation of the document. Therefore editing files directly from the system level is a particularly useful function. Thanks to this, minor errors will not delay the process and the history of changes will be kept in the view mode by the person responsible for the workflow and other people with appropriate permissions.
The digitization of processes makes the performance of individual activities fast and effective.
The workflows in the company follow strictly defined scenarios. The workflow system allows defining a path that will improve the electronic flow to maintain consistency in this process. Customization of these paths can map the existing analog workflow or create a new workflow tailored to the needs of electronic information exchange.
Automating business processes is not only about improving document workflow. Advanced artificial intelligence engines enable capturing documents from the scanner and phone. The OCR system recognizes the text of the document, even if it is a non-searchable PDF document, and puts it in the appropriate category. It is a tedious task for a human, with many possible mistakes. It is possible to organize human work time in a better way by using OCR and artificial intelligence.
Better task organization
The tasks in the company become more transparent thanks to the workflow implementation. It allows supervising the document flow at every stage, from entering into the system, through approvals, to archiving. Thanks to predefined procedures, you can control the amount of time each step of the process takes and use this knowledge to improve processes in the future.
Which workflow software to choose?
Each company has a different organizational culture, and it is impossible to find a tool that would meet all the needs/criteria. Therefore, when selecting a work management tool, it is important to pay attention to the extent of its configuration flexibility. Interaction with it will be much easier and more pleasant if the system is tailored to the individual needs of the company and is comprehensible for employees.The implementation of the system will be an effective complement to the already existing processes.
The implementation of the workflow system will be especially useful in medium and large enterprises. Such a tool allows to significantly speed up communication processes between departments, automate the internal and external document workflow. The introduction of the workflow tool improves the security of archived data and minimizes the chances of losing important contracts or invoices that could only exist as physical copies. Thanks to the use of advanced artificial intelligence techniques, you can also plan the tasks for employees in a more effective way.