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Workflow Management: The Hidden Gem of Enterprise Content Management

 |  By: Jeff McCorpin, Chief Executive Officer, Technology Solutions

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Sluggish processing, difficulty retrieving files, incomplete information, duplicate work: These are all productivity killers and customer service nightmares for a business just trying to stay competitive. And, yes, automating the management of these documents is tremendously valuable.

But while having a structured repository for your business documents increases productivity, the real opportunity for a business to excel is to drive operational efficiencies by swiftly moving information through your business process electronically. This allows for streamlining cumbersome, manual activities that are typically required but do not provide much added value to the organization or your customers considering the amount of time spent on them.

In the Enterprise Content Management world, this is called workflow. And what it comes down to is allowing high value workers to concentrate on high-value tasks.

For example, think about your hiring process. Having your candidates electronically fill out applications, those applications flowing through a structured review and rating process; and, if further information is requested, gathering supporting documentation (resume, W4, parental consent, driver’s license, background checks, etc.), all driven by a workflow engine that automatically moves to the next step once all required documentation has been received.

Think about having this kind of power spread across your accounting, legal, customer service and sales departments. Having all this information cross-referenced and at your fingertips at the click of a button, and all highly secured according to role, can leapfrog your business to the next level.

Workflow management automates business processes, matching work tasks with the workers best suited to them. Once they’re finished with their work, the task is automatically moved along to the person best suited for the next step.

How do I know if I need workflow management software?

It’s pretty easy to tell if you need document management. Rows of filing cabinets, megabytes of unidentified data lurking on your network, stacks of paper…everywhere. But how do you know if you need workflow management software?

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Here are four signs you need a workflow solution:

  • Employees are spending too much time doing low-value tasks (searching for documents, waiting for or manually transferring paper files, losing critical documents, duplicating work)
  • Some employees are swamped with work, while others are idle
  • Busy decision makers are causing bottlenecks in the process because they must be involved but are regularly unavailable
  • Employees are cherry-picking work (most interesting, most valuable to them, and so forth) to the detriment of corporate goals

Think in terms of electronic forms, audio and pictures, video recordings, and additional data collection as work processes move from step to step; storing critical e-mail communication from Outlook pertaining to the task at hand, and automated status updates to workers or customers warning them when something is falling behind schedule.

Imagine the ability to harness these systems to make work assignments based on workload, monitor employee productivity and make adjustments as necessary. Imagine the improved customer experience by reducing your response times from days to minutes. Imagine doubling the size of your business without doubling the operational overhead. These are the kinds of wins our customers have experienced using these tools.

For more information on workflow management software, contact Jeff at 615-309-2452 or e-mail.

Jeff McCorpin is partner and founder of LBMC Technology Solutions. He has been working with information systems for 25 years. He has assisted clients in defining data, application, technology, and organizational requirements for supporting business functions and objectives. He also has directed activities required to implement and deploy these strategies. His experience includes design, implementation, and administration of local and wide area networks, productivity and groupware applications, document imaging, as well as project management skills. His special interest areas include the facilitation of sharing information between an enterprise’s suppliers, partners, and customers to allow them to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.