All businesses depend on the efficient management and execution of regular, daily tasks. In order to scale a business successfully, they constantly need to do more with much less. While integrated office productivity solutions is a catchall term, what it really comes down to is simple and effective workflow management. The flow of information from one person or department is what ultimately determines everything from order processing, production output, to timely invoicing.
Implementing digital workflow management systems alleviates much of the overhead associated with the traditional methods of conducting business. With physical or human interaction based approaches, the risks include incomplete information transfer, incorrect routing, or erroneous processing. A structured workflow that is adapted to each individual task will improve an organization’s quality, speed, compliance, and result in increased revenues.
What are Workflow Solutions?
Every company is subtly different from its competitors and peers. In the past, adopting software solutions to streamline processes usually ended in exactly the opposite outcome as intended. The options available meant either to adapt the business to standardized workflows in rigid data management systems, or request expensive customizations to adjust the solution according to the company’s needs.
This meant that integrated information management systems were only available to large enterprises or multinational firms that could afford to implement these systems correctly. While every company operates according to a set of processes, smaller companies couldn’t leverage the same technologies, leaving them less able to compete with larger entities.
Modern Business Solutions Include Workflow and Process Management
Process management and workflow solutions bring together three distinct objects in order to streamline a company’s tasks. These include the business artifacts, interdependent relationships, and task management tools such as routing, tracking, and notification systems.
- Business Artifacts – These are the digital representations of information that include forms, documents, records, approvals, or requests.
- Interdependent Relationships – The cross-functional relationships between artifacts and tasks, connecting dependencies in order to find all related information from a single source.
- Task Management – This is how workflows manage all the information and processing of tasks with calendars and due dates, automated routing of information according to steps, and task finalization or consolidation (closeouts).
How are Workflow Solutions Implemented?
Modern solutions include everything a business needs to implement a comprehensive process optimization and workflow system. The primary input is a set of documented processes, with step-by-step definitions linked to the business artifacts, and controlled approvals and checks included. The process map will clearly visualize all the information required for every task regularly conducted by employees.
Once the process map is complete, configure the software according to the business needs. This means appointing staff to roles, allocating tasks to the roles, and adjusting step responsibilities that cater for variable outcomes. For instance, once a customer places an order with a sales agent, the request goes to the designers or operators to review and if any key information is missing, the employee rejects the request with comments. This will return the request to the sales agent, who then engages with the customer to include the missing information before returning the request back to the designers or operators for planning and execution.
As the software tracks all the related information (including the history) of the task, all team members remain informed and any issues can be addressed quickly. With an integrated, digital business solution that includes record and document management, the entire company collaborates more frequently, executes work accurately, and processes every order more efficiently.
What Workflow Software Works Best?
As digital software systems become more advanced, deciding on a single option is no longer required. Modern solutions come with advanced APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and robust integrations that connect different tools to the same workflow engine.
Some of the modern workflow engines include:
EFI Digital Storefront
EFI Digital Storefront is an integrated workflow and job management solution that includes eCommerce and integration with other systems for a complete, end-to-end business solution. It includes a Web-to-Print platform that streamlines online print buying with a Visual Product Builder.
Created specifically for the print industry, Page DNA enables companies to streamline the entire ordering, processing, production, and delivery. Page DNA also integrates with JDF and MIS systems, making a perfect solution to gain new efficiencies in the workplace.
WebCRD provides better automation, quicker ROI, and improved production capabilities from a single source for all web-to-print activities. It also ensures orders are correct before processing, includes pre-set and single-screen ticketing, and realistic proofing with real-time document previews.
Workflow Implementation Partner Edwards Business Systems
Edwards Business Systems can assist with any business productivity initiative and workflow implementation project. With greater efficiency, businesses reduce the bottom-line, which translates to higher revenues. As a service expert operating since 1954, Edwards Business Systems work with customers to deliver innovative solutions that drive the modern business environment.
For a free assessment or expert advice on streamlining your business workflows, get in touch with Edwards Business Systems today.