You may be wondering what a workflow management system is and how it could be instrumental to your enterprise’s success. Workflow management is simply software where it integrates various work processes in your enterprise and allows you to oversee the entire workflow. There are also features to track, plan, and analyze these processes to ensure better productivity and constant improvement.
Workflow management systems could also automate day-to-day processes in your enterprise which was once done manually. This could save you time, reduce human errors and also improve transparency and communication within departments because activities can be tracked and monitored in the workflow management system.
How do I integrate a workflow management system into my business?
Step 1: Define your workflow process
The first step to implementing a successful workflow management system is defining the process of your workflow. This involves a clear understanding of your enterprise’s work processes from start to finish. You may use mapping tools to visualize it clearer. Once that is mapped out and understood, you could access the parts where there are many manual tasks that could potentially be automated. At the same time, you may want to identify parts of your enterprise’s workflow that you want to track or monitor.
Step 2: Communicate your desired workflow with a workflow management system software provider
With your clearly identified work process, you could seek the expertise of a workflow management system software provider and discuss solutions to your current workflow process. Your management system software provider would then assess your processes and propose solutions, ultimately helping you redesign and customize the workflow management system to suit your enterprise’s needs. This is crucial because every enterprise is different and has unique sets of problems. An ideal workflow management system should alleviate these problems and ensure a smooth workflow process for your enterprise.
Step 3: Track your processes
Once you have pointed out the areas which you want to track, implement the workflow management software into your enterprise and let it run. You could then make use of its features to generate analytic reports or monitor work tasks status in real-time. This would allow you to re-discover lacking areas of poor productivity or certain business areas that need a redesign.
Step 4: Open communication within the enterprise
Workflow management is not just about tracking and automating processes. It could also be used as a great communication tool within your enterprise. Functions such as task allocation and automatic alerts to assigned task holders make communication easier and cut down on wasted time spent on relaying information through more than one medium. Everything could be overviewed and clarified within a single platform, with real-time tracking of task statuses and data. This is especially useful for enterprises with a high volume of activities and those which require much staff working on the same project simultaneously.
Why do I need a workflow management system?
The building of inter-departmental trust
Good inter-departmental communication not only saves the effort of doing double work, but it also eliminates the extra fact-checking step that can slow down productivity. Imagine the accumulated time spent on having to check something that someone else has already checked, but did not relay this information. A workflow management system would ensure that data and information could be shared onto a single platform and accessed by the relevant stakeholders of that particular project. Automate-Lah offers this type of communication with a few clicks of your mouse and is also customizable based on your volume and types of transactions your enterprise needs.
Better Customer Service
This is especially relevant for the retail industry which has just recently shifted into eCommerce due to the Covid-19 situation. For example, a customer could be billed twice if there is a lack of inter-department communication. This may be due to the company using multiple applications or platforms for different processes such as accounting and sales. With a proper workflow management system, this would not happen and the process of billing could even be automated.
Reducing Conflict and Blame
If there is a lack of seamless transition of information inter-departmentally, certain departments would not get notified of urgent tasks and may cause delay to other operations, resulting in conflict among several departments in the organization. Without proper communication and tracking, it is easy to point fingers and breed conflict. A workflow management system like Automate-Lah takes this out and lets you focus on doing the important things. A workflow management system would even remind staff about prioritized and urgent tasks automatically without the need for you to micro-manage.
Why should I start now?
The government has focused efforts to counter the economic disruptions to Singapore’s economy and could fund the workflow management system software that your enterprise is looking for.
“Businesses can enjoy up to 80% co-funding support to adopt more advanced solutions to deepen their capabilities. This will enable them to be more resilient to other economic disruptions and to be ready to capture opportunities when the economy recovers. IMDA and ESG will be working with industry partners that are able to bring together a significant number of businesses to implement digital solutions for both within the enterprise and across the industry sector. Some examples include:
Integrated Business-to-Business (B2B) systems to facilitate end-to-end transactions between buyers and sellers. These would help businesses transit from paper transactions to electronic transactions by covering inter-linked transactions such as e-procurement, e-invoicing, e-payments, and inventory management.” — imda.gov.sg