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What is a Workflow Management System?

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  • Written By: Alexis W.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 10 September 2016
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A workflow management system is a computer system that is intended to help create, maintain, and store information on the parts of workflow. The purpose of such a system is to help to create reports and other useful data that can improve the workflow process and help improve productivity by emphasizing things that could move more quickly and areas where efficiency could be increased. Workflow management is a fairly new concept in the work world. Essentially, workflow management is the idea that by managing the progression of data, documents, leads, and other work-related items, the process of working can be streamlined, and any failures within the process can be easily documented.

Workflow management systems are used for a number of reasons in today’s business environment. One main reason for the increased use and adherence to a workflow management system is that the system can be used to track employee performance. By recording everything into the workflow management system, if a problem later arises, it is easy to see where the problem originated, and to take appropriate actions. In this way, it can be confirmed that each employee is doing his or her work properly and in a timely fashion; employees can also be held accountable for work that was not completed in a timely fashion, or that was completed incorrectly.

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Another use for a workflow management system is to assist with the customer service process. Workflow management systems used for this purpose are often called Customer Relationship Management systems, or CRMs. CRMs help customer service by making sure the customer service workers have access to a detailed record of everything that has been done to help a customer with a complaint. These systems also track every contact with a customer so that proof of “who talked to whom” can be found for any problem that may arise. CRMs are also useful for marketing to customers at any time the company employing the CRM sees fit.

Such systems can also improve productivity and production in factory environments. By being able to track the production process from raw material to finished product using a workflow management system, it becomes much easier to identify bottlenecks in the production cycle. Identifying inefficient processes that cause delays or excess work and cost can also become easier. Using a workflow management system can thus be a great way to improve productivity, accountability, and customer relations in any company.

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