Over time, technology has reduced barriers to conducting business, increasing revenue, improving processes, and implementing new tools within companies.
However, today, its implementation is no longer a luxury, or an investment, but a fundamental necessity that allows large and small companies to be at the forefront of new times, with competitive processes both in the national market and international.
In recent years, technological advances focused on automation in the management of operational, support and administrative processes have allowed a truly spectacular revolution in work dynamics, gaining in efficiency and speed. For the study of this type of processes, relating them directly to their optimization through the support of technological resources, analysis and representation methods known as Workflows are used.
Workflow: definition and advantages
It is the study of operational and administrative activities, mainly focused on the use of technologies (specific software, applications, computer equipment, mobile devices) for its execution. Through this methodology it is about representing how the various tasks are structured, ways of carrying them out, correlative order, how they are synchronized etc.
The main benefits of workflow are:
- Time saving and improvement of the productivity and efficiency of the company, due to the automation of many processes.
- Improvement of process control through standardization of methods and greater flexibility.
- Increased quality in customer service and attention.
- Optimization of the circulation of internal information with clients and suppliers.
- Integration of business processes.
- Workflow management systems
Workflow management systems allow the effective management of documentation, through cloud services and the replacement of invoice paper, tickets and other documents by digitized formats. To manage these processes, specific softwares are used, such as Kontentino and even some open source software. You can read more about Kontentino here.
With that type of softwares, for example, it is possible to scan, order and classify all kinds of information and documentary support with a simple photograph from any smartphone, and integrate this data with the different departments of the company, such as human resources or accounting.
Through the softwares, in addition to streamlining and integrating processes, very effective control and management of dieting and travel expenses is achieved, greatly facilitating the tasks of supervision and detection of irregularities or fraud, such as the accounting of some type of expense not allowed by the company or exceeding the limits established by the company’s spending or travel policies.
Efficiency and attractiveness through digitalization. More and more municipalities and cantons are offering various services digitally: you report the move, extend the deadline for the tax return or obtain a parking card. This enables government transactions to be carried out flexibly and in a way that conserves resources, without being tied to opening times and personal contact with officials – that is smart government.
Cost savings through automation of processes and workflows
But the benefit for the population is only one side. Equally profound changes are taking place internally: Many offices and authorities are currently busy converting their business processes into automated workflows and supporting them consistently with new IT solutions. Two questions have to be answered in this context:
- What is digital workflow automation anyway?
- What are the benefits for public administration?
A workflow is a process in which tasks or content move from one person to the next. A good example are application forms which have to be checked and signed by different responsible persons within an authority. In traditional public administration, such a workflow is carried out using paper documents.
Digital workflow automation replaces those processes with a service bus and makes manual paper-based processes superfluous. In this way, standard tasks can be automated and lead times can be shortened. Media breaks are avoided, which ensures a rapid exchange of information. The escalation process can even be digitally mapped using workflow software. For example, if an employee does not respond to a request, a reminder is triggered or another employee is informed. Automated workflows thus make an important contribution to greater efficiency and quality assurance.
The 4 most important advantages of automated workflows
1. Efficiency and cost savings
The most important advantage of automation is the increase in efficiency. While people need several minutes to review a document, the same process is done by automatic calculation in microseconds. This means that a larger work volume can be dealt with in a shorter time. The result is less personnel and significant savings in operating costs.
2. Automatic document generation
Without tools for document generation, for example, master data such as name and address must be manually inserted into every form. A corresponding program automatically takes over master data and generates documents in real time, so that data that has just been changed can be correctly determined. Even the filing of documents is automated and in accordance with the archiving guidelines.
3. Less recurring tasks
As in every business, there are tasks in public administration that repeat themselves day after day, have a demotivating effect and cost a lot of time. This means that employees spend many hours on activities that have little added value on the bottom line. Automation can take over recurring tasks, accelerate processes and thus create scope for more productivity.
4. Real-time analysis of processes
If something goes wrong with a manual process, it is almost impossible to reconstruct the exact course of events. The result: the error cannot be identified. You do not have this concern with automated processes. Thanks to digital workflows, data can be made visible and analyzed in real time. So it is always clear where things are going and where there are problems.
Technology has brought about a real revolution in administrative and support work dynamics, gaining fluidity and speed and making it possible to manage and interrelate an immense amount of data.
All this has allowed the creation of totally unthinkable flows and forms of work a few years ago. In this regard, the possibilities for improving management, with an even more effective integration between the different tasks and departments of any organization, are enormous and constantly evolving and developing.