Integrating document management and workflow automation to support your business operations
In today’s fast-paced and unpredictable environment, businesses must make speedy decisions and conduct operations quickly to be able to keep up with rising customer expectations, changing circumstances, and growing competition. However, making business decisions is not a one-man job. It’s usually done within different departments within an organization and involves the exchange of information and official documents. Processing and approval of information have to take place before proceeding to enter new information through another set of documents, which will be sent to the next person or department responsible for the operation.
For instance, when purchasing office materials, the requestor needs to indicate the specification of the items to be purchased and attach a quotation. The next step is to pass it on to the team manager who would validate the purchase through approval. Once approved, it will go to Accounting for Purchase Order creation. The Purchase Order will go back to the team manager for review. It will then be passed on to the Accounting head for final approval. Once approved, the Purchase Order will be issued to the vendor depending on the vendor’s preferred mode of communication. Once the vendor accepts the Purchase Order, the next step would be the delivery of goods by the vendor and quality check and receipt of items by the requestor when there are no defects.
In this example, there are 2 departments and 4 people involved in this purchase process. Most, if not all, processes generate plenty of documents until the completion of an operation. These processes can take several weeks, especially if it is paper-based or if the exchange of information is done through email. When a task is rejected due to errors, revisions have to be made, which basically translates to even more documents to generate. Dealing with multiple versions of a document can be confusing without a proper system, especially since employees deal with multiple tasks and projects on a daily basis.
Integration of Document Management System and Workflow Automation for More Effective Operations
Not all document storage platforms are created equal. Google Drive and other cloud document storage platforms cannot control the document versions, which can create confusion on which version is the right and latest version. It also doesn’t show which users have accessed, downloaded, and printed the document. In fact, document storage platforms like these are not designed for businesses. The current standards demand more data privacy measures and compliance with laws. Moreover, the travel of information cannot be handled by document databases alone.
This is why Document Management System and Workflow Automation have become the most important tools for businesses today. Document Management System focuses on the document lifecycle and the management of documents including storage, indexing, and retrieval of documents. It avoids duplication, enables the monitoring of access and activities, and keeps the documents secure.
On the other hand, the flow of documents, information, and tasks in accordance with business rules are what Workflow Automation is for. It is used to improve everyday business processes because when your work flows smoothly, there would be lesser time spent on the processes that support your actual work and more time for strategic imperatives.
When Document Management System and Workflow Automation are used together, it would help businesses manage documents, tasks, approvals, and communication flow to support business processes.
Benefits of Integrating Document Management System and Workflow Automation Software
- Better compliance – The increase of compliance regulations in numbers and scope has made the automation of compliance workflows even more critical. With automated compliance workflows, companies are able to follow processes consistently and stay on schedule. It eliminates the risk of having the compliance tasks fall through the cracks. A document management system is necessary to control and secure the compliance records, keep them in one place, and make them easier to retrieve.
- Consistent business process – One can execute a process perfectly, but when it is done repetitively, it could go a number of ways. Human error is bound to happen, but with technology, human errors can be prevented and good process executions can be consistent, regardless of the number of processes a staff should deal with. Integration with a document management system ensures that the documents in every business process are kept on record.
- Process efficiency – With more steps involved in a process, there is a higher chance of decreased productivity. This can be worked out by process automation by automating the routine parts of the process and keep the process flowing and moving forward. A document management system helps with efficiency by enabling users to find documents quickly.
Activity Factory is a workflow automation tool that allows companies to build consistent and auditable compliance and operational workflows, ensuring that the right processes are followed at the right times while staying compliant.