Every company has business processes they follow to achieve their goals. But are the processes you are working with really the most beneficial and efficient in terms of productivity? Are they reliably delivering the same high quality results every time?
The concept of workflow, in terms of industry, has been around for over a century. But in recent years, an increased focus has been placed on automating workflow using specialist software to optimise the whole procedure, and monitor repeated effectiveness over time.
Workflow management software enables greater control and flexibility when it comes to getting your business processes just right. It can clearly demonstrate to you whether you are planning ahead effectively, consistently getting the best results and making the best use of the resources at hand.
When designing an automated workflow, a useful starting point is to consider the following:
- What tasks need to be carried out
- Who is responsible for them
- When are tasks started and finished
What breaks down into processes, or stages. This could be from receiving an initial request for a product or service, through to delivering it to the customer. Depending on the size of your business and the complexity of the work you do, there may only be a few stages, or there may be hundreds. It is important these processes are clearly defined with definite start and end points. Understanding where one stage ends, and the next begins is essential.
Who is important, because skills and levels of responsibility will differ greatly throughout an organisation. One stage in a business process may be carried out by one staff member, and the next carried by another, sometimes in an entirely different location. And as employees have different levels of authority, their work may need to be signed of on, checked or tested by a more senior staff member.
When processes are carried out, and the length of time each one takes, affects whether you can deliver to customers on time. Setting a deadline for each stage to be completed, along with the relevant alerts and reminders, ensures you can meet customer targets without delays more consistently.
Between these processes, you will need to consider what transitions occur to move from one stage to another. What determines that a process is completed and another should start? What criteria need to be satisfied for this to occur? Can stages be skipped over depending on what has already happened in the workflow previously?
If you can get all of these factors just right, and have them clearly defined in an accessible, flexible software platform then the benefits to your productivity and profitability could be significant.
If you’re interested in optimising your workflow using a powerful business process management platform, book your free no-obligation SwiftCase demo today.