Workflow Management 101 – Part 2 #32

workflow & case management

Workflow Management 101

This is part two of the Workflow Management episode with The Automation Guys. BPM, Workflow Automation,  Workflow Management: What is the difference? Why should you care? If you like to find out exactly that, then this episode is right for you.

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Yeah. And when we look at, at some of these departments and more in detail, um, there, there definitely some processes, which stick out. And some of you listening today, you probably can relate to it because you’re working in the finance department or an operations department. So you’re the first one.

Um, so we come across a lot is the finance and procurement workflows. And. Yeah. And most, most organizations out there would address. Um, um, for example, creating and tracking financial requests, um, uh, was workflows and automating sending out purchase orders, for example, or, uh, Streamlining and automating, uh, like travel expenses and approvals.

So these are very typical and high volume, activities accelerating the end of month closing tasks are very, very important, in every organization month end and quarter end. Um, and yeah, automating that will speed up the process immensely. And, um, first of all, it will be more accurate, um, because we, we sometimes do mistakes.

That would help, uh, operational workflows, um, the ops departments. Um, yeah, they, they really want to increase their agility. Uh, although they have to really take, um, um, compliance into consideration. So, um, so in, in ops departments very often, um, Yeah. The whole integration of ERP CRM HR systems, was a workload management solution is what we see and where we see huge benefits.

You hear lots of statistics from, from McKinsey and Forrester and Gartner, but in some of those departments, um, you, you can increase, um, or you can automate up to 80% of these typical things. Uh, just yeah, much faster. It doesn’t really make sense to copy and paste stuff from ERP to CRM systems and so on.

Um, and was this a customized automate workflow systems these departments can use, um, to, to automate their workflows? Um, yeah, so they can really address very specific and unique requirements. Yeah, very popular was every manager and operations, uh, are, are for sure dashboards. So we, we start conversations chefs with the dashboard.

They’re not necessarily care about all the one, all the. Denise that. So as long as the automation is making sure that that all that stuff is done and everything is visible on the dashboard is happening and data is transferred and KPIs can be, can be calculated. And these systems can tap into all the other data silos, which might be available.

Yeah, that’s key for them. Um, and, um, and this how operations, um, uses that, that technology workload management to. Yeah, that stuff done. Yeah. I mean, another example is let’s say facilities management, where we might have, I dunno, maintenance requests or, um, you know, generic requests for a workstation set up, um, you know, in any, any types of, of, of, I guess, requests that facilities managers have to do or.

Um, you know, and I think, you know, if you look at workflows with insight, uh, you know, that particular department, um, and workflow management tool makes it really much easier for these these professionals to, to, to manage their processes. And also, I don’t know, multiple teams of, of people and contractors and subcontractors, um, you know, to, to, to do their work.

Um, and you can configure automation based on, I don’t know, conditional logic. So you automatically assigns tasks to specific team members. If certain conditions in the workflow is true. Right. Um, you know, you can automatically send out messages to contract the subcontractors. Or, um, uh, colleagues using the workflow automation, you know, with, without opening up outlook and knowing how to, uh, send out an email to request them.

Um, you know, uh, go in and do, uh, a maintenance call for example. Um, and of course, you know, you eliminate all the paperwork when you digitize these processes. Um, and you know, you, you increase efficiency drastically by doing so. And of course, you know, we look at other departments. Like, um, human resources, you know, we, we, we recently spoke, uh, quite a lot about the HR department and unfortunately is to, um, introduce automation within this department.

But you know, of course, when you look at, uh, uh, employee onboarding journey, for example, um, it’s, it’s really easy to use workflow management to improve that journey and also to optimize. No, it’s really important that, um, your HR, uh, operations are very streamlined, um, and you know, very optimized for that employee satisfaction, you know, to start that employee, uh, at, uh, on a really good foot.

So they feel like, you know, the onboarding journey was very, very efficient. Um, you know, they, they need to, um, to, to start the HR. And you know, that that process is standard. It’s repeatable, it’s predictable. It assigns tasks to the right people at the right time, you know, to drive those outcomes. And of course, you know, you can accelerate, um, you know, the time from when you actually put out.

Um, uh, you know, a job out at that, uh, to, you know, when you actually onboard that person quite drastically, because that’s a very optimized, streamlined process. If it’s automated while automated. And you know, of course, you know, you increase your, your productivity of your HR HR department, what drastically, because it is the same process.

Again, it’s predictable. People know what they need to do because they get to task assign at the right time for them to do their work. So, you know, in all, it creates a very positive experience, uh, for a, for a new employee when this process is automated. And, um, you know, I, I think that, that, that’s a really important element of this, you know, with insight agent.

Yeah. Uh, there, there HR is, is a very vast, vast area as we, um, uncovered, um, on, on my recent podcast episode was Thomas Schilling. Um, and. Yeah. So, so automation, uh, of all the different areas I’ve made, that makes absolutely sense. There’s so many different systems involved in HR and, um, uh, yeah. So you touched on recruitment, uh, or the onboarding and finding candidates.

Yeah. I think that the, the actual, just the recruitment part of that, there’s also, um, uh, already an interesting one too, to really go through all the resumes and to, to actually, um, kickoff, um, job advertisement everywhere. And. Yeah. I think that the whole recruitment process as, as a, as an area of, uh, of HR is it’s very, very manual because you need to see your screen a lot.

Um, was AI, you potentially can save a lot of time again, um, um, filtering out maybe unwanted to candidates. Um, yeah, so next to next to recruitment are so many in so many other areas, um, when it comes to performance and, um, Yeah. And promotions and contracts related to that is a very vast and, um, w when, when you get it right.

Um, yeah, the, um, the automation, um, results can be, can be huge. Um, 80% of, um, Of time can be saved and all freed up to you to your team, to, to actually D was the, the, the real HR issues there and, or speak was your remaining candidates more, more, uh, more often, or you can go with deeper into the candidates than you usually would do.

Um, because maybe you’re growing business and you only have so much time if, if half of it is already automated, um, you will not miss an important information when you go through the screening, um, which leads to better candidates in general. Um, yeah, it’s, it’s, uh, It is definitely time to, to look into workflow management.

Uh, everyone was not using it at the moment. They should also have a look at this next to all the other things, uh, we are talking about, um, local, uh, is then a part of workflow management because some of these systems, um, Yeah, we’ll allow you to, to build that stuff was out like really in depth technical knowledge.

This is the beauty of, uh, of the, the current, the current market. There’s a lot of low-code and no-code technology out there to get a really started. Yeah. What is the best workflow system, uh, out there? So it’s very important that you choose the right system, so many different, different directions. You can go.

Um, they are very flexible and affordable platforms out there and you don’t have to be, um, like an enterprise, uh, um, uh, um, to, to afford that. So, um, Uh, you can start very small then you’d scale. And, um, yeah, I think the main thing here is know you can get started. Um, But you have to do the other things.

First, you have to do a bit of your homework. What is the best process to automate then potentially after a while we not speaking too much about costs too much because it’s already so valuable, it doesn’t really make too much, uh it’s maybe, maybe not important. What’s uh, what platform we actually choosing.

It’s just a, just a tool like at hammer effectively at the end of the day, it produces results. Um, uh, Yeah. So investing in, in, in, in the right tool is, uh, is the right step. I think it doesn’t matter in what and what tool you invest. Yeah, exactly. And I think there’s a, there’s a lot of automation technologies out there.

And, um, I guess part of our job here at double automation guys is really to also be, uh, available to, to, to prospective. People that’s in the market for, for these types of tools, um, to, to, you know, to, to provide some advice, you know, what is the best, best to possibly for where your needs to get started.

And I think that the bottom line is that, you know, it is time to invest automation. Um, you know, there’s, there’s no sense in making your employees do routine tasks that can be taken care of by technology. Um, you know, they say as much as 30% of a average employee’s workload can be automated and, you know, by using automation, um, more effectively, um, you know, you, you can allow employees to reclaim some of their, uh, valuable time, you know, as much as, uh, a day and a half a week.

Um, so, so it is really important to, to consider that. And that automation is, is really something that, that is something that you need to look at. Um, and you know, the, the ultimate goal here is, um, to unlock the potential of your business by automating these repetitive tasks. And, you know, as a result of that, um, you will need few resources to manage these processes.

Um, because you obviously not just automate the processes, but you’ll also remove errors from, um, you know, creating the outcomes of these processes. So, you know, it’s, it’s really important to, to, again, to invest in, in automation, um, for these reasons. Um, and again, if you, if you look at, at sort of, um, processes across your business, um, To find the potential sort of candidates for that for, for, for candidate processes to be implemented.

I think you’ll find inefficiency pretty much everywhere. Um, because there’s a lot of processes winning side businesses as, as you can imagine, and it doesn’t take long to, you know, define these sort of manual processes that, um, you know, are quite cumbersome. They don’t provide flexible functionality. Um, and you know, this, this is a great place where you can bring in a workflow management system to, to, to improve that and to eradicate that the sort of the higher costs that’s associated with these, these manual processes.

Yeah. When you invest in, in some, some of, uh, automation, uh, it is really important that you’re not, um, We are putting, putting sort of really big monolithic things in place. So most of the business already, um, uh, have the inefficiencies sort of in, um, uh, most part in old legacy systems, uh, and big legacy systems, um, not nothing against SAP, but sometimes there are some really, uh, really large.

Um, um, legacy SAP systems in place, which are very difficult to maintain. Um, so yeah, and, and also these old, old systems, um, and, um, they have, they don’t have that flexibility you need. Um, and, um, Yeah, because of they, they are very, very established. Sometimes they’re not even affordable in comparison to maybe some, some other workflow management systems out there.

Um, and big, big systems. If you go with new, newer, bigger systems, um, for a very, very, very expensive upfront, um, very often the required generally, um, A little long implementation period. Um, the same, even with the new, it was a new, big ERP system, uh, from, from different vendors. You look at, uh, implementation times, which are going beyond the year.

Um, and sometimes you read this. Yeah, it wasn’t successful. It was too much and projects are canceled as well. So it’s, it’s just a waste of time sometimes. Um, so it would be good to, to really, um, go was modern. Um, lightweight applications day day is still powerful. Uh, but you can make ’em, um, you, you can, you can start small, you can put your applications out there and no time, sometimes in a couple of weeks you have a system going in, going live, um, easy to deploy the infrastructure very often is already in the cloud.

Um, so. So 1, 1, 1 thing is a, yeah, they all the legacy applications out there very often very monolithic. They also new systems out there, which can be quite, uh, quite difficult to maintain. Um, yeah, our advice would be to start with some, some really innovative, um, uh, automation platforms out there and, um, get, get results very fast.

Yeah. And then of course, you know, you can integrate with your existing tools. You know, without altering your technology stack too much. So it’s, it’s really critical to, to look for, uh, a workflow management platform that supports integration with your existing tools and software you’ve got. Um, and you know, th this, this really allows you to, um, Integrate with those technology stack that you’ve already got.

There’s obviously you don’t want to just retire that and you want to reuse that. And of course, a good workflow management tool will allow you to integrate with that legacy stack. And, you know, these integrations would help you to build very seamless processes. Um, you know, for example, for your onboarding, uh, HR onboarding processes, because you can actually integrate with your.

Platform, uh, or, uh, if you have an automated vendor payment process that could easily. Uh, integrate with your account accounting platform. That might be cloud-based. So, so I think what we see with these workflow platforms is that you can still leave your legacy applications in place. Um, but you can connect those applications using this workflow process and provide, uh, a very easy to use frontend for the users to still, um, assume that these applications will be in the background.

But you hide all of the complexities, um, that he’s associated with with, um, sort of navigating those, those applications. So it’s really providing a very thin facade, um, kind of hide those complexities of those third-party or of your existing technology stack, um, by, you know, creating really modern user interfaces that, that sits in front of that using.

These low and no-code platforms, you know, that work for offenders. Yeah, this allows you to put a maybe very, um, um, very stable, large ERP system in place. It is really good in what it does. Uh, very often. Yeah. Easier was the most innovative, um, uh, use interfaces. It will by putting this layout sort of on top, um, uh, and around it, um, Yeah, you can make these applications sort of configurable customizable without actually, um, um, changing too much in this very monolithic core system.

So yeah, there is a trend currently there to just take a dynamics or an SAP system as it comes, uh, just do the basic configuration, everything else when it comes to customization. We’ll be all on the, on the, on the low-code layer on top of it. Um, and yeah, uh, I think that’s, that’s, that’s a great, great way of working.

It gives the, the, the speed and agility you need, um, to change your processes when something happens like, uh, like COVID or so you need to change within a week, you would not be able to do that with your core system. Um, and I think what you want to look out for. Um, you know, the, to create these processes and use a workflow management platform that allows you to, uh, enable collaboration amongst all of the stakeholders.

So this is not just employees of your company, but also your vendors, your customers, and any other partners that, um, you know, need to be part of your process. Um, so, so she, she always want to create a process in such a way that. You have a customer portal or you have, uh, any, any sort of, uh, access for, uh, external stakeholders that participate in the workflow.

You need to enable that. So, so that person can also be part of that process. So, so it’s not just, uh, for internal use, you know, you want to kind of bring that out end to end. Isn’t it now. Exactly. And of course, you know, you, you want to have, um, very good reporting and dashboards with insight, your workflow management tool.

You want to design those intuitive dashboards and reporting capabilities that, that makes it easy to share information with the right people. And this includes in a sort of company leadership project managers, these people. Should be able to, to look at customer ports for their needs to get a very clear picture of how the work they oversee is progressing.

And again, you know, everybody in the company should really be able to see these metrics to, to drive good decision-making and, you know, you want to look at historical trends, uh, for example, in dashboards, help you look at this and say, you know, how was all through with off. Um, in the past and you know what, what’s our current trajectory, um, are we understand, so turn it right.

Workflow management to will include disability to, to create these dashboards and very flexible reporting options to, to really keep your fingers on the pulse of your operations at all time. Hmm. Yeah. And so all that, um, as we mentioned earlier, Uh, it does need to be put in place just one and then it’s just working.

Um, uh, it is, it is a process. It is a journey. Uh, it is a cycle. Yeah. So, so the, the, the advice would be to, um, to keep, keep iterating, keep improving, um, start small scale up, uh, come up. Did you test ideas? You make changes, um, because you can be agile, you can be really fast and react to everything and to new ideas, uh, you can make mistakes and correct them very quickly.

Um, so yeah, there is no, no, no need to really over-engineer um, uh, the approach. When it comes to work from management. As I mentioned once, when you have all your dashboards in place, you see all your metrics. Um, um, you can then see what we are doing here. Is this really working or does it need some further tweaking and, um, yeah, I think it was this constant reviewing and improving, um, your company over time.

We’ll be we’ll work smarter. Uh, we’ll be, we’ll be more efficient. We’ll be more satisfying for everyone to, to work with and work for. And, um, yeah, this is, this is, this is a good start. Um, and, um, when it works is a really, really enjoyable journey. Um, and, uh, It was, was, was, uh, was lots of benefits as well, uh, on the bottom line.

And, um, yeah. So for everyone who who’s listening on, likes to get some, some, uh, advice on how to get started. We have plenty of material. Um, we are happy to share that with you and have a discussion. Um, Yeah, it’s definitely the right time to, to look at this. Um, automation will be, will be huge over the next 10, 15 years.

And, um, yeah, you can make it a success as well for, for your business. The automation guys are here, um, and I’m very happy to help. Yeah. And I think the benefits for adopting these types of platforms are quite large and you know, it has got the power to transform your operations. Um, and you know, once you are up and running with workflow automation, the benefits really become very clear.

You know, again, you, you gain really great control and visibility into your workflows, and you’ve got more efficient process management. There’s a rapid return of investment on your, uh, investment with insight and workflow management tool. Once this efficiency. And stomp starts to come through. Um, you’re flexible and agile.

So like Sascha said earlier, you can change your processes very rapidly because these tools allow you to amend your workflow processes almost on the fly. Um, you scalable because your processes are orchestrated and you know, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got one process a day or a hundred processes a day, it’s going to exit.

Uh, in the same way. So you could really throttle your resources. Um, according to that, um, and again, you know, there’s improved productivity with inside your, your business for that same result and of course, improved profitability for your business. Yeah. So this is, if this is not a reason enough, all these seven points then, um, I don’t know, but, uh, for me that sounds really good.

I would jump on that straight away. Uh, I would start building my workflows. Um, um, there was a workflow automation platforms and, uh, yeah, I would really look at automating every workflow I can and, um, uh, where it makes sense, obviously. So. And I’m not free up as many people we have, uh, in the business to do the really, really valuable stuff.

Um, yeah, I think that’s, that’s it for today’s episode. I hope you could take a few of those, uh, bullet points, um, uh, away and maybe one or two are really useful for you to get started. And, uh, as I mentioned earlier, and Arno mentioned earlier, we, um, you know, we are here to have. Um, yeah, visit us on our website,

Um, lots of good content there. Um, over 30 episodes already on. On all the areas of, um, you know, really all things process and automation, RPA chatbots, low code, uh, HR automation. So, so we covered all, we very keen on hearing your thoughts, getting your feedback on. On how we are doing. And, if you are interested in other topics, please share that all on the website with us.

And, otherwise you can reach out to myself and Arno whenever you like to, to hear more and like to have a one-on-one. Yeah, now thank you very much for listening as always. And let’s automate!

Unfortunately, that’s it again with this episode of the process and automation podcast. If you liked this episode, please give us a five-star rating and don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast so you don’t miss any upcoming episode. We hope you will tune in next time, And until then let’s automate.

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