Workflow management is a system of overseeing the process of passing information, documents, and tasks from one employee or machine within a business to another. Through the proper use of this system, each of these employees or machines will pass the work on according to a predetermined procedure. As technology advances, much workflow management has become automated and takes advantage of special software to make the process much smoother.
Managing workflow appropriately is an important component of a business for a variety of reasons. The primary advantage to workflow management is improved efficiency within the business. By automating many of the processes within a business and establishing a procedure that is consistently followed, unnecessary steps are eliminated, and every member of the team is fully aware of his or her responsibilities.
This method also makes it easier to track employee and machine performance. When a link in the chain is broken, it is simple to go back and determine where this occurred. In addition, workflow management serves to standardize working methods, ensuring that every employee working on the same level is performing the same function.
It also improves customer service. By providing a consistent product or service that is predictable at every level, workflow management allows the customer to feel completely involved in the entire process and capable of getting answers to important questions in a timely fashion. In turn, this can increase company profits, as happy customers come back for repeat business.
Workflow management also helps businesses find ways to improve their production or service process. By streamlining the responsibilities of each employee and clarifying the roles of every employee and machine within the process, the company can more easily determine where improvements can be made to increase efficiency and to improve the quality of the product or service.
By using specialized workflow software, businesses also enjoy increased flexibility. By tracking processes with software and inputting various alternative scenarios, the company can more easily determine viable options for improvement. In addition, the software can be used to examine one small component of workflow or workflow at the company-wide level. This is particularly helpful to large businesses that may have several plants or offices spread throughout the country or the world.