It’s no secret that in today’s business environment goods and services must be produced both faster and smarter to make companies as competitive as possible. Only those companies with innovative staff, products, services, and dynamic processes can thrive. Of course, most businesses still have internal processes in place that were set up years ago by someone who was delegated the task to “figure it out”. Such processes – often built on reactionary, short-sighted outlooks – too often become the standard model for getting a job done. Through sheer repetition it’s proven to work, but when faced with ever-growing and changing needs of clients and partners, an old process – just like an old tree – will break instead of bend.
As change occurs it’s important to take account of new information and update how it’s being used. In order to keep your business running smoothly, you must pay close attention to how you manage even the simplest tasks. Fortunately, technology makes this much easier to achieve through workflow management and business process automation.
Workflow is the process of completing a series of tasks. A workflow can be very simple and include one person, or it could be a sophisticated and dynamic series of processes among many people, groups or departments. The aim of workflow management is to streamline the components of various systems by eliminating unnecessary tasks (and the costs associated with the performance of those tasks) and automating the remaining tasks in a process. An organization can integrate different office applications, restructure labor resources, and redefine the overall workflow steps to achieve the desired outcome.
A common misconception about improving systems and workflow is that it requires an entire overhaul of your system or processes to make a difference or to see a return on investment. This is not always true. Existing software or even Excel spreadsheets can often be customized and be the basis for a system that can be built, modified, or integrated. And today most custom application development companies have adopted the Agile methodology and modular engagements to maximize return on investment. This phased “mini project” approach really helps to minimize up-front costs and timelines. By focusing on the most vital components first, companies will gain measurable improvements in their workflow before deciding to proceed with additional phases and modules.
Where to begin?
In many cases, there is already collective wisdom within your organization on how to improve the workflow. Talk with your team to get a solid understanding of your existing system, its shortcomings and suggestions for improvements. After all, they are the ones who work with these systems every day and understand the workflow best. After you do your research perhaps an evaluation of your existing applications would be worth your while. You might discover you’re doing just fine with the solutions you have in place. Improving workflow is an important process that should be revisited on a regular basis. Much can be achieved through custom programming engagements that yield long-term benefits and cost savings.
To learn more about how IT Solutions can assist with workflow improvement through our application development services visit our App & Web development overview and success stories. Or call us at 1.866.Pick.ITS to schedule an evaluation of your existing software or to discuss your customization needs.