In simple terms, document workflows describe nothing more than a sequence of activities – in other words, processes – involved in completing tasks or reaching defined goals. Every business uses workflows: it is the effectiveness of these workflows that truly make the difference. Document workflows exist to provide structure to the way your organization files, stores, retrieves and secures business-critical documents, so they can be managed to ensure effective operations.
While it sounds easy enough, many businesses struggle with implementing and maintaining effective document workflows. If you count your organization among them, this should be cause for concern, as document workflows can greatly increase productivity. Here’s how.
1. Issue Identification
Document workflows allow for a clear understanding of the document management process throughout an organization. When the process is understood, it is much easier for employees and managers to identify issues and inefficiencies and take corrective action when necessary.
2. Routing and Processing
When administered using document management software, document workflows can be established that routing and processing of documents. Not only does this reduce the time it takes to complete work, but it also helps maintain timelines and provide workers with the right information at the right stages of the workflow.
3. Convenient Access to Information
One of the biggest challenges faced by employees in their day-to-day is locating the information they need to do their jobs effectively. Document workflows establish a clear structure for document management, which eliminates the time it takes searching for information because – if done properly – the necessary information is either automatically routed to them or is accessible in a previously determined location.
4. Cuts Down Administrative Tasks
Document workflows can also serve to significantly reduce manual or time-consuming administrative tasks. By adding technology and automation into the equation, employees no longer need to expend as much effort or time on tasks that aren’t role-critical.
5. Operational Cohesion
Most organizations have complex, multi-step processes that involve a number of individuals and departments. Document workflows make it much easier to adhere to and expedite processes, from creation, to review and approval. This ensures that operations run more smoothly across departments and allows businesses to leverage documents to make informed decisions much more easily.
With the right document workflows in place, businesses of all types will experience a significant boost in productivity and efficiency. When implemented properly, workflows will help improve organization-wide performance – if you haven’t yet established document workflows, or your current ones are ineffective, it’s time to revisit the drawing board.